A one of a kind program, a once in a lifetime opportunity.
The Guyana Lesley Abroad Service Semester (GLASS) offers an unprecedented opportunity for Lesley students to experience complete cultural immersion and gain highly valuable in-field experience with the Makushi people in Yupukari village of Guyana.
As a part of the first program of its kind in the country of Guyana, Lesley students help to develop the educational literacy and sustain environmental ecology central to the Makushi future. Working with a team led by Dr. David Morimoto, in partnership with the Rupununi Learners Foundation, students work to develop an infrastructure of knowledge, education, historical and cultural documentation and economic opportunity to the Guyanese community. The Guyanese are in the midst of great developmental change and find themselves with new realities and opportunities in a rapidly changing world – complete with the tensions to maintain traditional ways and language – and depend more and more on English language literacy and education as the keys to their future.
The GLASS program offers a rigorous eight week intensive educational experience provides students of all disciplines with opportunities to create a lasting impact on an indigenousculture in a time of great transition; to engage in hands-on, active learning as they invest themselves in community-based projects and teaching experiences essential to villagers.
Beginning with an intensive, one week on-campus preparation curriculum, students ground their service in scholarship, investigating the region, initiating contacts and developing plans that will center their service and engagement (folks make subtle distinctions between service learning and civic engagement). Under the close mentorship of key Lesley faculty, students work in collaboration with village partners to initiate projects that address the needs and interests of the village even before they arrive in Guyana. The goal is to develop projects that make a difference, serve the needs of the village, and that will be sustained after the students leave, with the help of Rupununi Learners.
During their time in the village, students continuously draw upon their formal learned expertise in their various disciplines to contribute toward their work Service learning work is centered in scholarly learning and ecological research and exploration paired with the informal learning gained from the indigenous Makushi people. Students gain a first person perspective of an indigenous culture– its roots and traditions, its relationship to the environment, its oral history- at the critical crossroads of change
Working in tandem with Yupukari villagers, Lesley students create real and valued cultural exchange of perspective, knowledge and skills as they work g together toward common goals.
Lesley students have been critical in the establishment of educational opportunities, as teachers and leaders offering English language study to the children of the Makushi tribe; they have worked with villagers to create maps of the village to enable more effective planning for future development; they have documented oral histories and indigenous learning, helping children and adults to create and capture stories and traditional knowledge in books and to pass it on. Students have researched traditional use of medicinal plants and worked with tribal elders to achieve change in things like public health and natural resource management In the process, they’ve learned invaluable skills in education, ecology, cultural literacy, leadership and beyond. GLASS is truly an irreplaceable experience and incalculable learning opportunity to step outside their worlds and providing a lasting impact in others.
For more information on Lesley's Study Abroad Programs, please visit the links below:
Undergraduate Study Abroad Opportunities
College of Art and Design Study Abroad Opportunities
Guyana Lesley Abroad Service Semester (GLASS)
Study Abroad Financial Aid
Life in Cambridge and Boston
Internships and Field Placements
Career Planning and Employment
Facts About Lesley
All Degrees and Programs
Bachelor's Degree Completion
Off-Campus (Education Programs)
Continuing Education and Professional Development
Study Abroad Programs
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