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Global Seminar: Contingent Future (La Paz, Mexico)
La Paz, Mexico
Program Terms: Summer
This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline App Review Begins Start Date End Date
Summer 2014 02-MAR-2014 
Variable 13-MAY-2014 14-JUN-2014

** For most programs, applications are reviewed on a rolling admissions basis (starting August 1st for Spring programs and starting January 15th for Summer and Fall programs). NOTE: Applications for programs offering exchange positions will be reviewed AFTER the application deadline.

Indicates that deadline has passed
Fact Sheet:
 Type of Program:
Faculty-Led Global Seminar
 Areas of Study:
Architecture, Business/Intl Business, Design, Entrepreneurship, Environmental Design, Environmental Studies, Planning, Real Estate
 Minimum Required GPA (at time of application):
 Minimum Class Standing (at program start):
4 - junior
 Course Prerequisite(s):
Prereqs for ENVD, ESBM, REAL majors (see text below)
 Housing Option(s):
 Open to students from:
 Language(s) of Instruction:
 Course Load for Summer/Winter Program:
6 credits
 Length of Summer/Winter Program:
5 Weeks
Program Information:

Please note: This program will not run in Summer 2015. It may run again in Summer 2016. Please check with the Study Abroad office for updates.

Espiritu Santo


  • Learn about Mexican culture through site explorations and personal encounters in and around the beautiful bayside city of La Paz

  • Stay on the incredible island of Espíritu Santo for 3 days – swim with sea lions and learn about regional environment, culture and tourism. Other trips include the famous Balandra Beach and the ‘Pueblo Magico’ Todos Santos

  • Investigate how cultural heritage and a delicate landscape environment are involved with future development and tourism

  • Collaborate with students of a variety of majors including Environmental Design, Business, and Environmental Studies to analyze aspects of La Paz culture and effects of tourism


The program is located in La Paz, Mexico, the capital city in the state of Baja California Sur. La Paz began as a fishing village and then grew to be the seat of government, with about 350,000 inhabitants. It has avoided many issues associated with tourism and development throughout its history. The city has retained a strong Mexican culture. However, policy changes and worldwide access are pointing to impending development.

The location is beautiful with crystal clear waters, surrounding white sand beaches and incredible fishing. The class, and the city, offers a perfect opportunity to investigate how cultural heritage and environmental issues can be woven into a growing city’s future. We will begin by understanding how the land and sea are intertwined, the sea being integral to La Paz’s economic and experiential way of life. Next, we will examine the local culture - how it was established and how it is unique – to identify how growth and tourism might be beneficial for it. Ultimately, students will create multiple concepts for development and entrepreneurship.




This global seminar is geared toward an interdisciplinary effort between Design students (architecture, landscape architecture, planning), Business School students (real estate, entrepreneurship, social development), and Environmental Studies (biology, ecology, etc.)

The class is a 6 credit studio, titled La Paz: Contingent Future. One of the main tenets of the course will be to immerse students into the local culture, so that they can understand how it will inspire future development, alongside other issues of sustainability. You will be working with students from La Paz, and guided by local professors. The course will involve lectures and research, but also personal and experiential activities such as meeting and discussing issues with local community members. The class will host a regional symposium of environmental groups, and will engage community members to understand how local issues relate to global accessibility.

In the end, student groups will create proposals and present their findings to the community for review and discussions. Project ideas may be acted upon by local organizations and administration.


  • Mid-May to mid-July


  University of Colorado
Course Levels

ENVD 3900: La Paz Contingent Future


6 Credits: ENVD 3900 This course counts as upper-division credit for the following majors/programs: ENVD, ENVS, Entrepreneurship, and Real Estate Certificate (for Real Estate this program satisfies the 2 electives that all RE students need to complete).

See "General Eligibility Requirements" below for further information about prerequisites.




Brian Cook of the CU-Boulder Program in Environmental Design will lead this program. Brian’s research interests pertain to local and indigenous cultures, especially in rural areas, and how that is brought into contemporary development and urbanism. He strives to teach interdisciplinary courses involving landscape, environmental design, urbanism, and community engagement.


You will have the opportunity to visit areas in and around La Paz. Planned group activities include a boating trip, sea kayaking and snorkeling.


You will live with two or three other students on the program in a furnished apartment in La Paz. You will be able to cook your own meals or go out to local restaurants.


You are responsible for making your own transportation arrangements to La Paz and back. Transportation all site visits in La Paz is provided as part of the program fee. More detail about how to get from the U.S. to La Paz will be provided at the pre-departure orientation meeting.


Playa Balandra






Prerequisites exist for different majors applying to the program. ENVD majors need to have completed two years of the ENVD program; Entrepreneurial Studies Certificate students should have taken ESBM3700: Entrepreneurial Environments; Real Estate Certificate students should have taken REAL 3000: Principles of Real Estate Practice and either REAL 4100 or REAL 4000. There are no additional prerequisites for ENVS majors.

This course is interdisciplinary and will count as an upper-division elective course for ENVS, Entrepreneurship and Real Estate Certificate students. It also counts as upper-division credit for ENVD students. The course will not focus exclusively on any one of these topics, but it will provide an environment for students to practice the skills they have developed in these areas. Entrepreneurship and Real Estate Certificate students should come prepared to "hit the ground running" and ready to put their skills to work in a real-world setting.




Balandra Beach





This program is currently not accepting applications.