Winter Break Programs


ANTH 224 Tourist Cities and Sites

Professor Helaine Silverman

The course takes place in the beautiful south highlands of Peru (Cuzco and the Sacred Valley of the Incas) and on the dramatic desert coast (Lima). We examine the intersections of archaeology with tourism to major ancient sites and the impact of tourism on previously traditional communities now embedded in the global tourism industry. 

Cuzco was inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List on the basis of its still extant Inca walls and Inca urban layout as well as its stunning Spanish Colonial architecture. But the global tourism industry’s attention to this extraordinary district has resulted in the expulsion of most its local inhabitants and the increasing conversion of much of the historic district into a service sector for tourism. This process is extending into the Sacred Valley of the Incas where the growth of hotels and expansion of once small towns is dramatically changing the agricultural character of this beautiful area. 


Most notable are the changes that have occurred in less than a decade in the ancient town of Ollantaytambo as it has become the preferred access point for visiting the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Machu Picchu. 


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Machu Picchu itself is fascinating not just for its Inca past but for the town that has arisen at the base of the sacred mountain, which is completely dedicated to tourism services while needing to serve its residents. 

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We then travel to Lima, vibrant capital of Peru, to understand the remarkable revitalization of its UNESCO World Heritage historic center --



-- and to learn about several classic manifestations of coastal culture at a rural estate that cares for the renowned Peruvian step horses.

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During this course we study the archaeological past, colonial history, and contemporary political reality of Peru. Students also become competent in the complexities of UNESCO’s World Heritage system and will understand its benefits as well as problems as it is implemented locally. Students develop an understanding of the global tourism industry as it impacts local communities and promotes economic development. 



Conservation and Sustainability: Integrating the needs of the Human and Nonhuman Primate Communities

 Professor Paul A. Garber

The course takes place at a biological research station in a tropical rainforest in northeastern Costa Rica.  We will examine the effects of industrial agriculture (banana and pineapple plantations) on biodiversity and the accumulation of waste (plastic and pesticides used in industrial agriculture) on the local human community and the nonhuman primate (monkey) community.

winter break

This course provides students with (1) first hand knowledge regarding the conservation crisis faced by a rural Costa Rican community and its effect on the behavior, ecology, and survivorship of monkeys and other wildlife that live adjacent to human communities and (2) empower students to use social media to petition multinational corporations to rethink ways of solving these environmental problems. This course builds on a growing literature in anthropology, environmental sciences, and community ecology on the inter-dependence of the human community and the natural animal and plant community in promoting sustainable environments.

winter breakStudents will engage in four major educational activities: (1) observing and collecting data on the ecology and behavior of mantled howler monkeys and white-faced capuchin monkeys in fragmented forests; (2) conduct a census of the types of trash (discarded plastic, glass bottles, and other non-biodegradable materials) present in the nearby town with the goal of identifying the manufacturers of these products; (3) work in groups to develop an effective strategy to use social media (twitter, Facebook, Youtube, etc.) to promote a public awareness campaign that informs and educates companies of the environmental hazards of their products; (4) collect all non-paper student garbage generated during the course in order to quantify our own footprint on the environment.