A Field Trip they’ll Never Forget: University of San Diego Students Examine Post-Conflict Peacebuilding Conditions in Colombia (E)
Sixteen students, two USD administrators and Kroc School of Peace Studies Professor Necla Tschirgi recently traveled to Bogatá, Colombia to examine post-conflict peacebuilding conditions.
“Peace is complicated and messy,” said Blake Harper, a graduate student in the Kroc School master’s program. “It’s not that you wake up one day and there’s peace in the country. It takes years, if not decades, and maybe centuries to really overcome conflict. Some would say that in our country, we’ve still not overcome the Civil War and we’ve never healed from the way that Blacks have been treated in this country.”
And, as news of this peace accord was revealed, University of San Diego Kroc School Professor Necla Tschirgi seized the opportunity to teach a spring class on post-conflict peacebuilding in Colombia.
Tschirgi had prior exposure. In Summer 2015, she was invited to teach a peacebuilding course at the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia. At that time, the future of the latest peace negotiations was “a toss-up,” she said. There had been many failed attempts at peace and Colombians were skeptical about a successful peace accord.
Tschirgi looked forward to teaching students about post-conflict peacebuilding, which has gained attention as a field of study and practice since the end of the Cold War. Included in her class was a first-ever opportunity for students to visit Bogotá during USD’s spring break week in early March. The goal was for students to gain on-the-ground understanding of Colombia’s conflict and peace process. Sixteen students, Dr. Tschirgi and two USD administrators went. USD News Center