|The penultimate day of the Summer Institute for Educators was one saturated in information on a wide variety of topics related to the modern culture and identity of Caribbean people. On Friday, July 15th, the group of educators traveled to Santiago, the second-largest city in the Dominican Republic, and spent the morning at the Cultural Center León Jimenez.
The visit to Centro León was highlighted by a workshop given by two experts specializing in distinct and important topics. Dr. Frank Báez, a sociologist and expert in migratory processes, gave an in-depth presentation covering the three historical migratory periods in the Dominican Republic and their economic and social impacts. Next, Andres Navarro, an architect, professor and expert in urban planning, gave a lecture on the impact of free trade agreements on the urbanization of the country in the past decades.
These presentations served to present a more complete picture of the outside forces affected modern Caribbean identity. After a tour of the anthropological exhibit at the museum, “Signs of Identity,” the professors heard a presentation on Centro Leon’s new program, Caribbean Atlas, which they can use as a resource in their classrooms to uncover and teach topics relating to the development, similarities and identities of the French-, English- and Spanish-speaking Caribbean.
In the afternoon the group met with a guide from the Ministry of the Environment to explore to ecological reserve on the Diego de Ocampo mountaintop. The educators met community members and representatives from the association of youth guides, who explained some of the rare and endangered plant and flower species that can be found on the mountain. The visit served to immerse the educators in the life of the community, as well as to integrate ecological elements into the picture of Caribbean identity that had been painted during the week.
The Summer Institute for Educators is a series of intensive professional development sessions that serve as a continuing educational training tool for in-service and pre-service K-12 and university-level teachers. It is sponsored by Programs in International Education Resources (PIER), The Council on Latin American & Iberian Studies at Yale (CLAIS), the MacMillan Center, the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at NYU (CLACS) and the U.S. Department of Education through a Title VI National Resource Center grant.
This program responds to InteRDom and Global Foundation for Democracy and Development’s objective to increase the quality and quantity of Caribbean topics being presented in international classrooms. The initiative will also serve to fortify InteRDom and GFDD’s commitment to providing networking, exchange and development opportunities to the Dominican Diaspora, as many of the participants in the Summer Institute have expressed their desire to use topics in the field portion to better serve and relate to the Diaspora students that they teach.
The internship program, InteRDom, an initiative of Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD) and Fundación Global Democracia y Desarrollo (FUNGLODE), is the premier internship, research and academic study program in the Dominican Republic. It offers international students the opportunity to research important topics at the forefront of the United Nations agenda, obtain professional experience by interning with Dominican organizations and businesses related to their fields of study and/or earn academic credits by taking courses and seminars at a local university.