Indigenous Rights and Environmental Justice of Bolivia

Language Requirement: None
Academic Standing by Program Start: Open to All Students
Location: Americas, Bolivia
GPA: 0.0
Program Overview

Sustainable Goal: Gender Equality


Learn from the indigenous peoples of Bolivia and look at a range of lenses through which indigenous peoples and others view the environment.

The academics of this experience will focus on pressing contemporary issues in Bolivia, including self-determination and autonomy; indigenous peoples and climate justice; oil/gas/mining conflicts on indigenous territories; legal developments and challenges; natural resource management in indigenous territories (e.g. community-forestry); development encroachment (e.g. industrial farming and logging); conservation of biodiversity-related to indigenous peoples’ intellectual property rights; and indigenous agroecology.

    By exploring contemporary issues, you will:  

    • Understand respectful ways of collaborating with indigenous peoples.
    • Understand how indigenous knowledge is related to environmental conservation.
    • Understand how environmental justice, social justice, and indigenous rights are intertwined.
    • Identify causal and dialectical relationships between economic development models, indigenous peoples, and the environment.
    • Talk and write in an informed way about these topics.
    • Have a better ability to think creatively, analytically, collaboratively, and objectively.

    Download the program flyer.

    Students who went to Bolivia on this study abroad program in summer 2019 founded an exciting UO student organization called Students for Indigenous Rights and Environmental Justice (SIREJ), which has continued to work on the community projects mentioned in the previous slide. Anyone can participate in the ongoing work of SIREJ at any time. Please feel free to contact Professor Hindery if you are interested in volunteering. 

    Learn more about the in-person study abroad program that this #NPN is based on here.


    Academic Details

    Credit: as with the on-site study abroad program students will earn 6 quarter credits approved as 400/500-level Global (International) Studies credit, which counts for the GLBL/INTL intercultural experience requirement, Block B or C. The course counts for many other majors as well. 

    SERVICE LEARNING OPPORTUNITY (Please consider for your Service Learning Paper)

    • Longer remote internships with Bolivian legal, human rights and environmental organizations, such as World Wildlife FundCEJISCIPCA and DIAKONIA are available as well  please contact Professor Hindery directly about these!

    Course Equivalencies

    Actual credit awarded is determined by the relevant department at your university in consultation with the study abroad office. Check with your study abroad advisor for more information.

    UO students, please refer to the UO Course Equivalency Process and the UO Office of the Registrar Course Equivalency Database.

    Faculty and Staff

    Derrick Hindery, Associate Professor in the Department of International Studies at the University of Oregon.

    Professor José Martinez has served as the head of Sociology at the Gabriel René Moreno Autonomous University (UAGRM) in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. A sociologist who conducts research on development, social movements, indigenous peoples, extractive industries and the environment, Martinez has served as a university professor at UAGRM since 1997. He is an associate investigator at the Center for Social Investigation in Support of Development (CISAD) and a member of the science committee. On a national level, he is a member of Bolivia’s Climate Justice Program. Martinez has published books and articles on forest management, deforestation, indigenous rights, indigenous history, impacts of fire on ecosystem biodiversity, protected areas and indigenous territories. He has taught courses on the anthropology of the Amazon, Chaco and Eastern Lowlands of Bolivia; Evaluation of Social and Environmental Impacts; Political Sociology; Research Methods and Techniques and Community Forestry. He worked with the territorial planning office (CPTI) at the lowland national indigenous organization (CIDOB), heading up the satellite imagery and Geographic Information Systems unit, produced an Atlas of indigenous territories in Bolivia and worked with indigenous peoples to map and was instrumental in the creation of various large-scale indigenous territories in the country. Professor Martinez has been featured in several TV interviews on topics such as extractive industries, indigenous rights, gender and environment and politics.

    Zulma Villegas Gomez’s passion for science and technology led her to study computer science at the Universidad Mayor de San Simón (Higher University of San Simón), located in Cochabamba, Bolivia, but her inclination towards people encouraged her to become a geographer, working with communities and the environment, particularly as a systems specialist of geographic information (GIS) and remote sensing. In recent years she has been involved in several research teams related to indigenous peoples, the environment and socio-environmental evaluation. Currently, her area of interest is the relationship between the environment and society, focused mainly on deforestation processes in Bolivia. She has collaborated with two important research centers: the Noel Kempff Mercado Natural History Museum (MHNNKM-UAGRM) as Head of the Geography and Informatics Laboratory, and the Center for Planning of Indigenous Territories (CPTI) within the Confederation of Indigenous Peoples of the Bolivia (CIDOB).

    Application process

    UO Students: Simply enroll through DuckWeb using the CRNs for each experience. For this experience - CRN 42957 and CRN 43615 (Grad level). See all CRNs here. On the UO class catalog, you can also select “GEO – Global Education Oregon” on the Subject drop-down menu, in order to see all the #NoPassportNeeded experiences listed.

    Non-UO students: Non-UO students will not officially apply to UO. Participation will be through our Community Education Program, which allows non-UO students to register and receive a UO transcript. More information for non-UO participants can also be found here. Begin an application to learn more!

    Dates and Deadlines
    Term Year Priority Deadline Deadline Start Date End Date
    Summer 2021 02/15/2021 03/15/2021 06/21/2021 07/16/2021

    Travel Advisories

    For current health, safety, and travel advisory information, search the US Department of State country webpage.