A goal of the MAS Program is to support engagement with the MAS world not just in Trinity classrooms but on the ground in the region as well. Each faculty-led study abroad trips exposes students to everyday social and political issues that affect these developing nations. Furthermore, it is a cultural experience they will never forget.
Past trips have included visits to Nicaragua, Cuba, and the US-Mexico Border. Students gained first-hand exposure to the environmental and health issues affecting developing nations while visiting Nicaragua. While in Cuba students experienced an insider’s view of the country and were exposed to an emerging country, with the potential to change regions and economies. The US-Mexico Border allowed students examine a variety of social, cultural, political, and economic phenomena that characterize the Mexico-United States border region.
In March of 2015 Meredith McGuire and Alfred Montoya from the Department of Sociology & Anthropology led a group of 9 Trinity students from multiple disciplines on a two-week field trip through urban and rural Nicaragua. The trip gave students the opportunity to gain first-hand exposure to the environmental and health issues affecting developing nations, supplementing and developing the skills and material presented in our courses. The group visited, among other sites, ecological preserves, exploring the impact of agribusiness and monocropping on small farmers, water resources and biodiversity, and urban slums, to gain a sense of the social determinants which impact health outcomes for the urban poor. This program will be offered again in the Spring 2018 semester.
"My trip to Nicaragua ended up being one of the best, most illuminating trips I have ever been on. Although I certainly enjoyed the people I met and beautiful places I saw, the most important thing I took away from my trip was the knowledge that inspiring grassroots efforts for change are happening all over the world and that I can be a part of that."
- Laura Prentice '15
During January 2014 and 2016, Katsuo Nishikawa led Trinity students to Cuba to meet business and community leaders, witness the value of artists and senior citizens, and learn first-hand about the trade embargo. The trip was designed to expose students to emerging countries – ones with the potential to change regions and economies – and to promote cultural exchange. Activities included discussions on race relations; participation in family parties to celebrate New Year’s Eve; visits to sugar and tobacco plantations and a rain forest; listening to Cuban jazz; and enjoying a performance by the National Ballet of Cuba.
In February 2015, David Spener led a group of 11 students on a 2-day excursion to the Texas-Mexico border as an extra credit assignment for his class entitled: Relaciones Fronterizas MEX-US. The trip included a tour of Customs and Border Protection infrastructure in the Rio Grande Valley Sector, a human rights discussion with staff at a local NGO, La Unión del Pueblo Entero, in San Juan, Texas, a visit to the historic Los Ebanos Ferry and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Port of Entry, as well as a sampling of border cuisine and musical entertainment.