Back to
Photo by Tom Pablo, South America Semester.

Student introductions and precourse assignments

Queridos Dragones,

We hope you are doing great and getting excited for our journey in South America!

After our (the nstructors’) personal introduction Yaks now it’s your turn! We want to start getting to know you better and we also have a collection of small assignments for you.

Before we meet up in Cusco in a few weeks, we invite you to engage in the themes we’re going to be learning about so that we’re all on the same page and super excited when the course begins. If you spread it all out, all of these assignments should take only about 10-15 minutes a day over the next week or so. Please make time, you won’t regret it! It would be a bummer if people arrive in Cusco without having put some thought into some of the themes that will inform our learning over the course of the semester – it’s letting down your peers if you don’t have the context of the course from the very beginning. .

Assignment #1: Post an introduction Yak!

We want to know who you are. Please post a short introduction Yak of yourself within the next 7 days answering the following questions:

  1. Introductions tend to go the same every time, like this: “My name is Evo Morales and I’m from La Paz, Bolivia. I went to school at Agrarian Humanistic Technical Institute of Orinoca. I’ve never been to Peru before but I’ve been to Costa Rica, where people also speak Spanish…” So, without telling us where you are from, where you go to school, your major life achievements, or where you have traveled, please tell us briefly: who are you?
  2. What are the things you are most eager to experience and to learn about on this course?
  3. What role does this course play in your life?
  4. Make sure to post a picture of yourself with the Yak.

Assignment #2: Talk with one of your instructors!

One of us will be getting in touch with you to arrange a phone call very soon. We know you’ve been talking with people at Dragons a lot, but now you can talk with the people you’re actually going to be traveling with. We like to hear your voices, give you a chance to ask questions, and get to know each other a little. Please check your email so we can schedule a call.

Assignment #3: Get to know the communities we will be visiting!

In order to start getting to know the communities we want to ask you to research a bit about them, you can share valuable information for everyone to know, some fun facts or something that calls your attention about the community or city we will visit. We have already assigned you a community – see the list below.

  1. El Valle Sagrado, Cusco, Perú. (Victor & Teresa)
  2. Puerto Maldonado, Perú (Christopher & Charlotte)
  3. Nacion Q’eros, Perú (Mary & Anabelle)
  4. La Paz and El Alto, Bolivia (Asa & Jack)
  5. Tiquipaya, Bolivia. (Isabel)
  6. Potosí, Bolivia. (Rebecca)
  7. Tocaña and Las Yungas (Elizabeth)

Assignment #4: Watch these videos!

Grab some tea or your favorite beverage and take your time to watch them 🙂

Mama Kawsay; The Andean Seed Mother

The Vanishing Water of Bolivia  

People of African Descent in Bolivia

Assignment #5: Brush up on your Spanish!

Five minutes a day of thinking, writing, speaking, or listening to Spanish goes a long way to warm up the parts of the brain that like to adapt to new grammatical structures, sounds, and words. Maybe just listen to the same Spanish song every day with a sheet of lyrics and start to sing along. Even if you have never spoken a word of Spanish, hearing and saying those sounds will help get the ball rolling. Activate those neural pathways!

Un abrazo fuerte,

Los instructores: Zack, Raquel, Sandy and Erick.

P.S. Stay tuned for a tentative itinerary Yak as we work out logistical details, as well as additional packing notes soon.