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This community-based research program is an experiential and interdisciplinary exploration of the land and the people of El Salvador from the perspective of international solidarity and sistering. You will participate in Fall and Spring courses on campus, in addition to two weeks abroad in El Salvador.
As we examine the interrelated political, economic and cultural systems of El Salvador, our focus will be to define international solidarity and to explore the development of grass-roots social movements as a means to develop a sense of understanding and connection between the peoples of the United States and El Salvador. Our class will study and promote the practices of consciousness raising, empowerment, and liberation, and explore the meanings of democracy for us in the United States and for the Salvadoran people.
The capital city of San Salvador is located at the foot of the San Salvador Volcano in El Salvador's Valle de las Hamazas. The city of San Salvador was founded in 1525.
As the second largest city in Central America, San Salvador is one of the major transportation hubs. The capital city is spliced by the Pan-American Highway and is home to the largest and most modern Central American airport, El Salvador International.
San Salvador museums include the David J Guzman National Museum of Anthropology, the Museo de la Palabra y la Imagen (the Word and the Image Museum), and the Museo de Arte (MARTE). Other San Salvador National sites of note are the National Theater, the National Palace, and the National Cathedral.
Arcatao, sister city to Madison, is located 32 km east from Chalatenango at the border with the Republic of Honduras in a small valley between the La Canada and Caracol mountains.
A visa is not required for U.S. citizens for this program. U.S. citizens must have a U.S. passport valid for at least six months beyond the end of the program.
Class time during the semester will be used to discuss in-country logistics and details necessary to be successful on the program. Upon arrival in-country, you will be provided with emergency details related to the program and an on-site orientation by the course instructors.
You will stay in a guest house in San Salvador for 7-9 nights, and then home stays in the Arcatao countryside 2-4 nights. Guest house rooms are typically triples and quads. Individual rooms lock and keys are provided to all students. Some rooms have en suite bathroom, while others have an adjacent bathroom. The guest houses are converted houses in middle class neighborhoods, so they are not luxurious but very clean, safe, and comfortable. Faculty members also stay at the guest house.
Meals in San Salvador are always group meals either in the guest house or in local restaurants.
The US.-El Salvador Sister Cities staff arrange the homestays with the community of Arcatao, our sister city. Host families are chosen on the basis of their involvement in the community and their historic relationship with Madison. Families are vetted by USESSC on the basis of being known to their organization and having served as host families for many past delegations. Meals in Arcatao are prepared for our program by the workers at community-owned and operated "comedor", or communal restaurants.
All participants in IAP programs are enrolled in health insurance through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) and the cost of the insurance is included in program fees.
Faculty members from UW-Madison and Edgewood College will serve as Resident Directors. In-country logistical and administrative support is provided by the United States El Salvador Sister Cities (USESSC), which has staff based in San Salvador.
Use the links below to find out more information on academics, daily life and student impressions for this program.El Salvador Academic Notes
(Winter Module - 2012-13)
Returned Student Network
to contact a returned student.
How to Apply
First complete the IAP Online Application. The following supplemental application materials will become available to you through the application portal:
Unofficial Transcript (Student Record)
Forms are subject to change. Complete the forms according to the checklist provided to you in the online application portal.
After the Deadline
IAP will review your application and make the final admissions decision. You will be notified of the admissions decision via email.