News & Events
Alumna Brooke Gonzales '09 and the Peace Leadership League in Costa Rica
High Tech High Chula Vista Students at the University for Peace (UPEACE)
In April 2013, University of San Diego Alumna Brooke Gonzales '09, MA Peace and Justice Studies (MAPJ), Humanities teacher at High Tech High Chula Vista, coordinated with Math/Physics teacher Ted Cuevas to send seven of their Peace Leadership League (PLL) students to Costa Rica for 10 days. Ted is currently getting his Master's degree in Peace Education at the University for Peace (UPEACE) in Costa Rica, and he is married to Jill Covert '09 MAPJ.
Ted Cuevas and Brooke Gonzales took advantage of the unique experiences they could offer their PLL students. During their first few days in Costa Rica, students lived with local host families and took seminars at UPEACE on subjects such as Gender and Peacebuilding, International Law and Human Rights, and other courses taught by UPEACE professors and Master's students.
“UPEACE really opened our eyes to the ongoing conflicts in our world and how we can take action.
We felt empowered to actually change the world with career choices in the field of peace and justice,” reflected a student.
The second part of the trip included travel to Manuel Antonio National Park, the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and Volcán Arenal where students were exposed to Costa Rica’s diverse nature and beauty. The trip was supplemented throughout with cultural experiences provided by local family friends who arranged the host family stays; a tour of their 50-year old family-run shoe factory; tortilla and jewelry making with another local family; and a visit to one of the poorest neighborhoods in Costa Rica. Ongoing reflection was encouraged and built into the trip.
Now home at High Tech High Chula Vista, the Peace Leadership League students will incorpate their experiences into the 2nd Annual Peace Conference - where they will share learning with their peers including topics of inner peace, peace on campus, and global peace.