Date

3-2010

Degree Name

BS in Social Sciences

Department

Social Sciences Department

Advisor(s)

Benjamin F. Timms

Abstract

Social inequality and environmental degradation are motivating informed young people into action and connecting impoverished regions of the world with students in more developed nations. This Social Sciences senior project is to analyze an alternative development model designed by a group of Californian university students. The project, named Chimeneas de la Esperanza, is designed to help impoverished Nicaraguan women start a ceramics business. The major hurdle of this mission is to establish a market for the ceramics product. Energy efficient ceramic stoves and smoke ventilating chimneys would benefit the community and avoid an impacted crafts market. The project encompasses ideas of cultural, social and environmental sustainability. In order to be holistically integrated, alternative development strategies focus on using local approaches to help the people empower themselves. This project resulted in the students gaining a greater sense of empathy and an increased interest in participating in volunteer tourism.