As a college student, I can attest to loving some college courses and not loving others. However, this past semester I had one of my favorite course since the start of my college career. The course was based on the political and economic development in Latin America because this region of world despite its vast resources, the region still lacks economic and cultural prosperities.
Historically, Latin America was colonized by several European countries that sent resources and goods back to their countries without compensation to natives. This put the region in a disadvantage when it came to early economic power after revolution from their colonial masters because their resources were still in the control of the colonials via land grants or money for the goods that did receive payment vs. the native who worked the land. Those that held the power on the resources took advantage of these infant governments and made the governing to their advantage despite the cut ties to their European ancestors. This continued the viscous cycle of the average population not receiving benefits of more open trading and economic opportunities in the world. A cycle which still is in effect today.
I think the truly unique aspect of this class is that I had two professors that taught the course side by side focusing on cultural and economical implications of laws and events. My professors grew up in Brazil and Peru so they were personally attached and citing examples of the disparities of the region. They made the course fun by having us add our own input on the topic we were discussing and allowed us to question the logic behind topics. They brought articles, research papers, videos, and photos to the class so we could see the reality of the times in Latin America despite being separated from the region in time and place.
I am especially thankful for the knowledge that was imparted onto me because in the news I was able to find the connections between life in Latin America and life here in America. This topic is relevant and truly holds importance when it comes to creating a better tomorrow for ourselves and every person on this planet.
I am sad to say that the University of Texas at Dallas was only offering it temporarily but I have high hopes that it will come back and more students will sign up for it. The passion of my professors were palpable and my class was able to discuss current real world problems with possible real solution that we came up with. How many students can say that their class gave them a chance to try to change the world in some small way?