The Trek Project is a multi-faceted, multi-media project that examines the ways that people see themselves in a global context. The project was created follows 10 high schools students on the same community service trip to Nicaragua that I completed when I as 17 and documents the journey that occurs when people from the US travel abroad as well as all of the complicated dynamics that surround how people claim global citizenship. The piece takes an analytic lens to the aide tourism industry and the US-relationship with Latin America. The piece involved the creation and implementation of Mapping Workshops in the Spring of 2009 both in public events and also privately with the students that I traveled with. These workshops examined how people see themselves in a global context. Additionally, I have been working on a timeline that contextualizes the concepts that come up in the movie and examines the colonization and re-colonization of Latin America. The project culminates in the creation of El Trompo, the documentary that takes the viewer on a journey from New York City and Philadelphia to Gualacatu, Nicaragua. El Trompo seeks to complicate our notions of macro and micro global systems of oppression and examine both the good and bad ways that people experience aide tourism. Additionally, I have created curriculum for various age groups in both in/out of classroom settings to further engage with the topics brought up in the movie.  


The Trailer:


You can view the entire documentary (25 mins):

Helyx is available to screen the documentary as an interactive mapping workshop.  The following blog serves as documentation of the project process, it was kept from 2009-2010 during the peak of pre-production, production and post production.  

Entries in history (1)

Journal Reflections

Excerpt from a conversation I had shortly after returning from Nicaragua:

me- "My host mom had never heard of the Jews, and when she told us this we asked her if she had ever heard of Hitler and she said no, she hadn't"

someone else- "You'd think that would have come up in a history class..."


I didn't really know how to respond to that, my host mom only had a basic first grade education. When she was elementary school age the revolution was happening in Nicaragua and she had to flee to Honduras with her family; and Nicaraguan refugees were not allowed to attend the schools in Honduras. She eventually returned to Nicaragua and at age 18 she took first grade. I am pretty sure that she had her first son when she was 19. She never had a history class.