Dr. Minda Morren Lopez recently co-led a study abroad program to Panama with Dr. Christine Lynn Norton, Associate Professor of Social Work. This interdisciplinary study abroad program focused on international human rights and social justice and examined the relationship between social work and education. Dr. Norton and Dr. Lopez partnered with Kalu Yala, an experiential education institute that focuses on environmental sustainability and community development.
The two-week program included 3 days of camping and participating in outdoor recreation activities in the Pecora River Valley, followed by 4 days in the small town of San Miguel, where students volunteered with a local afterschool program and attended cultural events in the community. The trip also included 5 days in Panama City. Included in the program were visits to various schools and community groups. The group went to an after school program in Buena Vista, a barrio in Colon, outside of the free trade zone where students learned about immigrants to Panama and challenges in the underserved area. Participants also visited three schools in Panama City, one private school in the City of Knowledge and 2 public schools in Casco Viejo.