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News from the Regional Office

Dear <<First Name>>,

As with every year, January was a busy month for the Regional Office. Eighty Harvard graduate and undergraduate students traveled to the region to participate in the various January programs and courses that took place in Chile, Peru and Argentina. From analyzing cosmic dark matter to assisting physicians in rural communities; from designing solutions to improve air and water quality to developing research projects to address issues related to rapid urbanization in Latin American capitals, Harvard students enriched their education through immersive and experiential learning. As a continuation of their programs, many students will continue to work on faculty-led projects that will make a difference in the region.

Since DRCLAS' founding twenty years ago, we have made a difference at Harvard and in our local communities in Latin America. I invite you to read an article in the latest issue of ReVista: Harvard Review of Latin America about how DRCLAS has made things happen through its Regional Office. As we plan for the future, I look forward to working with you in the upcoming months to continue making a difference. We are grateful to our friends and donors for their commitment to the Regional Office. We are particularly grateful to Andrónico Luksic for his great generosity, supporting our core activities and more than a decade of success.


Marcela Rentería
Program Director, Regional Office

Health Reform and Community Medicine

Fifteen Harvard School of Public Health graduate students, along with medical students from Universidad Católica and a faculty member from Universidad de Concepción, participated in the thirteenth iteration of the January course led by Professor Thomas Bossert in Santiago. The course's main objective was for students to learn the epidemiological profile of Chile and the elements of its health system and health reforms, and how they compare to those in other countries.

Through presentations and interviews with key policy makers and stakeholders in healthcare, and visits to public and private hospitals in Santiago and its surrounding rural areas, students gained an understanding of the complexity of the Chilean healthcare system, and the similarities in the challenges that both Chile and the United States face in providing equitable access to quality healthcare. As part of the course, students completed research projects and presented on various health topics, including mental illness, pharmaceutical law, and alternative medicine in public primary care.

Peru: Air and Water Quality in Emerging Economies

As part of the agreement between the Universidad de Ingeniería y Tecnología (UTEC), and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), six students from SEAS traveled to Peru to participate in the January course: “Air and Water Quality in Emerging Economies”.
Led by Joost Vlassak, Professor of Materials Engineering, and Chad Vecitis, Associate Professor of Environmental Engineering, and alongside five students from UTEC, Harvard students worked on a project related to water treatment, which involved approaches from different fields of science and engineering. In the first part of the program, the SEAS-UTEC team assessed the problem of water pollution and the impact on users and the environment. In the second phase, they worked at UTEC designing and testing potential solutions to the problem.

Summer School in Dichato and Cobquecura

In collaboration with Universidad de Concepción (UdeC) and with the support of Fundación Mar de Chile and dozens of independent volunteers, the DRCLAS Regional Office organized a one-week summer school program for children aged 5 to 14 in the communities of Dichato and Cobquecura. As one of the initiatives of Recupera Chilethe second iteration of the summer school offered a week full of cultural, physical and educational activities, creating a space for recreation, learning, and health promotion and illness prevention. Over 400 children participated in the program, which was led by Harvard Medical School Professor Judith Palfrey, Professor Sean Palfrey and Dr. Elizabeth Peacock, with support from Program Manager Pilar del Canto. UdeC's Kinesiology Program has also been a strong partner for Recupera Chile throughout the school year and in the summer schools. The program is currently conducting an evaluation to scientifically demonstrate the impact of kinesiology intervention on children’s physical, social and emotional states, body control, and behavior.

Concurrently with the children's summer school, the Recupera Chile team organized the first summer school for teachers of the Tomé region, in collaboration with UdeC's Faculty of Medicine and UNESCO. A four-day workshop was designed to train educators in first aid, CPR, nutrition and sex education. Watch a video of the 2015 Summer School here.

Experiential Learning Program: Healthcare in Rural Settings

For the fourth consecutive year, the DRCLAS Regional Office, in collaboration with Universidad Mayor, organized this January program in a rural community near Temuco, Chile. Thirteen Harvard undergraduates joined the Universidad Mayor’s “Trabajos Voluntarios” (Community Service Program) in the community of Freire. Alongside 200 Chilean students from various fields of study, Harvard students spent their days engaging in volunteer work and shadowings related to their majors and areas of interests. Some of the areas included family medicine, dentistry, primary education, agriculture, veterinary care, and construction. Through this immersive experience, Harvard students learned about healthcare in rural settings, improved their Spanish, and built friendships with local students. The program concluded with cultural visits and activities in other parts of Chile, including Santiago, Pucón and Valparaíso.

Chile-Harvard Innovative Learning Exchange in Computational Science

The Institute for Applied Computational Science (IACS) of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) at Harvard University, the Millennium Astrophysics Institute (MAS) and the Center for Mathematical Modeling (CMM) of the School of Engineering and Sciences (FCFM) at the University of Chile (UChile) partnered together with AURA to provide a team-based intercultural learning experience this past January. Five Harvard students worked together with seven Chilean students in three interdisciplinary teams on a real-world computationally challenging problem drawn from a cutting-edge astronomical endeavor, the Dark Energy Survey. The January program, led by Pavlos Protopapas, Scientific Program Director and Lecturer at SEAS, included a five day stay in La Serena and a visit to the Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory (CTIO) and Gemini South to meet with the scientists who collect the data.

Modern and Contemporary Art in Colombia

Harvard Professors Tom Cummins and Doris Sommer traveled to Bogotá this past January to begin a new project to study the development of modern and contemporary art in Colombia. They were accompanied by DRCLAS associates Robin Greely (University of Connecticut) and Ana Maria Reyes (Boston University), as well as by Jose Falconi (organizer of the project), Michael Orwicz (University of Connecticut) and Lyle Rexer (NYU). After visiting the Museo Nacional and the Banco de la Republica, they met with José Dario Gutierrez, whose large collection served as the centerpiece for a two-day seminar on modern and contemporary Colombian art. Colombian critics, artists and art historians Jorge Mario Munera, José Roca, Ivonne Pinni, Carolina Ponce de León and Nicolás Gómez (among others) participated in the seminar. This new project aims to produce a collection of essays focusing on a variety of interrelated issues of art production, reception and creation since the 1930’s in Colombia.

Latin American Immersion Experience Program: Building Cities

In January forty first-year MBA students visited Lima and Buenos Aires to participate in the course “FIELD 2 - Latin American Immersion Experience Program (IXP): Building Cities.” Led by Harvard Business School Senior Lecturer John Macomber, students focused on three main themes related to the two Latin America cities: rapid urbanization, worsening resource scarcity, and the involvement of the private sector to alleviate governmental gridlocks. In the course, students initiated research projects to address these issues, and will continue to develop them throughout the spring semester.

In this Issue:

We Make Things Happen
The David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies (DRCLAS) celebrated its 20th anniversary in May 2014 during the annual meeting in Cambridge of the DRCLAS Advisory Committee. In a memorable gala, Harvard University President Drew Faust spoke about DRCLAS’ positive impact across the University and throughout Latin America, all of which has been made possible by David Rockefeller, the mastermind in the creation of DRCLAS. Read more here.

Académico de Harvard: "No hay sistema en el mundo que haya mejorado con las políticas educativas que hoy tiene Chile"
El académico de Harvard, quien participará hoy en el VI Encuentro Anual de la Sociedad Chilena de Políticas Públicas, en la U. del Desarrollo, destacó a La Tercera la necesidad de cambios profundos en educación, en la línea de la reforma que impulsa el gobierno. En ese sentido, Pasi Sahlberg se reunió ayer con senadores y diputados oficialistas, para discutir los alcances del proyecto. Read more here.

Check out the DRCLAS Regional Office Blog and find out more about student and faculty experiences in Regional Office programs and initiatives.

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The David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies is grateful to its friends and donors for their commitment and support. We are particularly grateful to Andrónico Luksic for his great generosity, supporting core activities of our Regional Office and contributing to this decade of success. 
Copyright © 2015 David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, Regional Office, All rights reserved.

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