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Building Intercultural Bridges—Rethinking Academic Practice

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Chapter Summary

This chapter traces the evolution of author academic practice in Mexico from academic course with service learning to delegations and solidaritya relationship still under construction. The achievement of cultural competence, or the experientially-based cultural awareness, knowledge, and skills which emerge through cross cultural interaction is an overarching goal of the Jamaica program; the Chiapas program is seeking a more political understanding and relationship. Since developing the Hartwick College first year immersion program of 1998 and the Hartwick and SUNY Oneonta program of 1999, both with service learning components, the nature of the course in Chiapas has shifted to reflect my deepening commitment to solidarity. In conclusion, there are important lessons to be learned at every level by undertaking transnational community-based work-lessons that include disciplinary specifics, but which extend far beyond to life, social justice, and the practice of democracy.

Keywords: Chiapas program; cross cultural interaction; Hartwick college; Jamaica program; Mexico; solidarity



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