This course will look at the culture of Mexico, how that differs from the culture of the United States, and then also look at the implications for socioeconomic development in light of the cultural factors. The small city that we will use as our “home base” is not a border town, nor is it a tourist area.—it is a fishing village with a population of 14,000 that is undergoing rapid development at this time. Home of the oldest Spanish mission in North America, it is also an area where there has been a significant impact by the Protestant/Evangelical church, and therefore the impact of true transformational development can be observed. It is also a fragile ecological region where the development initiatives by the Mexican government and the Canadian Trust for Sustainable Development have had high environmental impact. Students will interact with church groups, visit the National Park and learn from the local Eco-Allianz, and will also visit sites of development initiatives. Service learning through the evangelical Mexican church will connect the students with the local people of Loreto,
Mexico. Students will be camping outdoors for the duration of the course, and will be cooking meals together.
This course would ideally be both a General Education course, but also part of the new major in Economic Development proposed by the department of Management & Business. It is also approved as a Service Learning course through the Agape Center. Estimated Course Fee: $3,150
Connie Ostwald has taught Economic Development around the world, and especially likes to teach it in a cross-cultural environment. She is currently launching the new major in Economic Development at Messiah College of which this course plays a vital part. Loreto has been a favorite spot of both Connie and her husband, Gary, who have been visiting this region of Mexico for over a decade, and have brought students here from Messiah and other colleges.Connie Ostwald leads this trip.