New Summer Course: Cultural Ecology and the ejido system in Yucatan
Dates: June 13-June 27
Listing: GS 247/CLAS 247/NAS 247
Units: 1 SLU Unit/3.6 Credits
Course Description: The Yucatan peninsula of Mexico is best known as the land of the ancient Maya who, have inhabited a quite fragile ecological region for over 3000 years. This course will explore the cultural ecology of the present-day Yucatec Maya, their adaptation to a unique tropical forest environment, and their links to a still little-understood past involving environmental change. Some of the questions that are going to be examined in this course are: How have the past dynamics of settlement and natural resource use by the Maya influenced the present environment of Yucatan? What is the role of the ejido, community land, in their social, political, religious and life and also in protecting the biodiversity of the area? What role does biodiversity play in the stability and productivity of traditional Mayan agriculture and household subsistence? How is the sustainability of present-day Maya farming affected by regional development like tourism and other patterns of cultural and economic change?
This is a community based course where student travel to Merida, Yucatan, Oxkutzcab, Santa Elena, and Yaxcaba.