Last January fifteen intrepid graduate students (aka Team Monterey 4) traveled to the Bajo Lempa region of El Salvador to tackle agricultural, water access, and conservation issues. Visit the Equipo Monterey blog to explore their adventures searching for illicit turtle eggs at the local markets, or designing workshops for food producers to share knowledge and potential growth strategies.
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For this project I returned to Old Providence for almost a month over J-term with a Garmin GPS to ground-truth information I had acquired from CORALINA (the government-sponsored Corporation for the Sustainable Development of the Archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina) and to create my own more accurate dataset. I recorded data for all of the roads, dirt roads, sidewalks and trails on the island, as well as important waypoints, and compiled a map of this information, populated areas, the biosphere reserve, and English nomenclature—which I fact-checked with native islanders.
One of the presenters for TEDxMonterey was Kelley Calvert, a MIIS alumna and faculty member. Kelley spent the summer of 2009 on a cross-country road trip exploring the nation for signs of hope and change. This was no ordinary journey; she traveled via a twenty-year-old retrofitted biodiesel Jetta. This adventure has inspired her book, Hope Walks into a Bar Looking for Change, a fast-moving tale on the open road that attempts to learn if hope can emerge from change. The cross-country journey and the process of documenting her experience inspired her TEDxMonterey talk where she encouraged participants to add their hope to her online map.