Learn More about Open Seminars

Your Global School journey begins here! Click to request more information today.

Interested in designing your own group seminar? Email us at globalschool@cristosal.org. 

 

About The School

The Global School, as part of the Center for Research and Learning, facilitates experiential seminars with North and Central Americans on important human rights issues affecting vulnerable communities.

These seminars include reading, dialogue and a week-long intensive learning experience in El Salvador. The seminar process generates new ideas, proposals, and actions by engaging individuals from different cultures and backgrounds in dialogue, shared learning, and capacity-building to address universal human rights issues. The Global School equips people who feel compelled to act for justice locally and globally with powerful tools for action.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can participate in the Global School?

Global School courses are for anyone who feels compelled to participate in processes for change, both locally and globally. The courses are an excellent training opportunity for individuals and groups who seek to develop human rights or community development initiatives, as well as those already engaged in this work. Participants will develop skills for critically analyzing problems and potential solutions, as well as approaches to multicultural exchange. In addition, courses provide a platform for team building, skills building, and discernment for parish, diocesan, and secular community groups. Our courses can also serve as a compliment to academic study at the undergraduate or graduate level, as well as seminary or continuing education programs.

We organize and schedule courses for groups of at least 10 participants, and we offer courses that are open to individual enrollment periodically throughout the year. (See Open Enrollment course dates noted throughout the catalogue.)

What can I expect to gain from my course?

We design Global School courses to match theory with contextual experience—preparing participants with broad theoretical perspectives on human rights issues, paired with field visits and workshops in which to learn new skills and approaches for improved practice. Throughout each course, the Global School pairs participants from North America with Salvadorans interested in the same theme. This approach provides participants with rich, multicultural perspectives unique to Global School courses.

What kind of involvement is expected after my course?

The Global School’s mission is to advance knowledge and promote cultural engagement. During the course, we encourage participants to reflect on how they will use their new skills and experiences to create change in their home communities. Participation in the Global School does not imply an obligation or expectation of continued engagement with El Salvador or Cristosal.

What background do I need to participate in a course?

Involving participants with a wide diversity of academic, professional and life experiences in each course enriches learning and discussion. We have designed the Global School courses to be accessible to individuals of any background, culture, or belief system; we simply ask that all participants be respectful and open to new experiences, and adhere to the safety guidelines established by the School. There is no language requirement for participation as all courses include simultaneous translation between English and Spanish as needed.

Why El Salvador?

Whether your interests lie in Latin America or elsewhere, you will find that El Salvador is a compelling setting in which to study human rights and community development. Its recent tragic history of grave human rights violations, but also inspiring struggle and progress toward greater freedom, is a powerful testimony to social change and has produced a wealth of experience and knowledge about how to create change. Located at the center of the American continents, El Salvador is a global crossroads, offering a unique perspective on how our interconnectedness and global relationships affect the poor.

How many participants are in each course, and how much does it cost?

The ideal size of a group is 12-20 participants, although we can accommodate up to 35 per course and a minimum of 10. We often break down larger groups into smaller teams to ensure full participation for everyone. The cost is a flat, non-proratable $970.00 (USD) per person, not including travel to and from El Salvador. The course fee covers all in country costs such as lodging, meals, transportation, interpretation, and all course activities. Once groups confirm the dates for a course, we ask for an initial non-refundable deposit of $100 per person to reserve course dates.

Deposits should be sent to:
Foundation Cristosal
9641 Carousel Center Drive Syracuse, NY 13290
Re: Global School

Payment for the course should be made in full at least one month ahead of arrival.

Can I tailor a course to my group’s interests?

The Global School staff can tailor your course to meet your group’s special needs and interests in three ways:

  1. The Pilgrimage Option: This option emphasizes the spiritual and theological underpinnings of your course material. The Pilgrimage program is grounded in Benedictine spirituality, beginning and ending each day with prayer and reflection. The Benedictine framework for the course emphasizes living contemplatively in such a way that leads to praxis or action in the world.
  2. The Youth Option: Youth Global School Courses are designed to promote global awareness and a sense of vocation among youth participants, empowering them to act for justice in their local communities and the world. These courses offer appropriate methodologies and activities and emphasize engaging with Salvadoran youth of a similar age. The Global School recommends the Youth Leadership and Activism or Theatre of the Oppressed courses for youth groups, though the Youth Option can be applied to any course in the catalogue.
  3. The Focus Option: You can work with Global School staff to define a specific focus for your course that will help to hone in on the interests of your group. The most common example is the Introduction to Human Rights course, which looks at human rights through a specific lens, such as women’s rights or environmental rights. These themes can also be applied to either the Youth or the Pilgrimage Options.

Can I participate in a course by myself, or do I have to come down with a group?

Cristosal offers Open Courses throughout the year, which are open to enrollment by individuals or small groups. Open Courses have preset dates and curricula. Participants join with people from around North America in El Salvador, providing an even greater diversity of perspectives and a great opportunity to meet new friends and colleagues. The Open Courses being offered in 2105 were: LGBT Rights & Sexual Diversity Ministry, Theologies of Mission & Development, Theater of the Oppressed, Migration & Human Trafficking and Election Observation and Democracy Building. (See course descriptions for Open Course dates.)

Is El Salvador safe for foreign travelers?

Yes. The most recent travel advisory released by U.S. Department of State states that:

Tens of thousands of U.S. citizens safely visit El Salvador each year for study, tourism, business, and volunteer work. There is no information to suggest that U.S. citizens are specifically targeted by criminals.

Cristosal is in constant conversation with U.S. Embassy staff to monitor the security threat to North American visitors. Currently, the State Department views El Salvador as a safe and attractive destination for engagement and cultural exchange programs like the Global School.

Your participation in the Global School is an active means of forging healthy relationships of exchange and dialogue with neighbors throughout the Americas.

Cristosal has 15 years of experience bringing groups of North Americans to El Salvador without a single safety incident. If Global School participants honor their commitments to abide by Cristosal’s security guidelines, it is very unlikely that you will be affected by any type of crime or incident, including petty theft. Most people find El Salvador to be a beautiful country and Salvadorans to be inspiring and extraordinarily welcoming hosts.

What about the beach?

A typical course concludes with a one-night stay at the beach. Global School courses are intense. We have found it useful for groups to set aside a final day to decompress and reflect before heading home. Global School participants sometimes raise concerns about whether it is appropriate to spend a day at the beach after a week focused on addressing issues of poverty and human rights. If this is a concern, groups can request alternative activities on the final day. However, accommodations at the beach are modest and should not make Global School participants feel uncomfortable. El Salvador is a beautiful country, and most Salvadorans want visitors to see the country for all that it is and enjoy it to the fullest.

2018 Seminars

Applying a Human Rights Framework to Community Engagement

The Cristosal Model: Applying a human rights approach to social justice

Cristosal Model

Dates: February 6-13, 2018
Cost: $970 ($1,220 for a private room)
Registration Deadline: November 5, 2017
Level 1 Seminar
Download and share a flyer!

Cristosal has evolved tremendously since its inception in the early 2000s, from a small ministry of the Anglican Church in El Salvador to a human rights organization on the cutting edge of innovative programming spanning three countries. Throughout this transition, we have been committed to a faithful vision to accompany and learn with the Salvadoran people. Study Cristosal’s history and work as examples of ways to use human rights principles in a variety of contexts, developing tools to support human rights in El Salvador and worldwide. The first offering of this seminar will take place during Cristosal’s board of directors meeting.

What to expect:

  • Engage directly with Cristosal’s work in Central America
  • Deepen our understanding of how structures rooted in discrimination perpetuate injustice
  • Apply a human rights approach to promoting social justice in our local context
  • Develop tools to help empower vulnerable populations and build capacities of state actors
  • Learn to advocate for human rights locally and globally

Elections, Democracy, and Human Rights

Dates: March 4-11, 2018
Cost: $995
Registration deadline: December 5, 2017
Level 2 Seminar

Recent events have many of us wondering whether we are in a period of global democratic regression as democracies around the world embrace populist and/or autocratic leaders. Following the 2018 Salvadoran municipal elections on March 4th, this seminar will examine this trend and analyze the causes and effects of this regression. How can democracies be tools for ensuring participation and respect for human rights? Where do they fall short? How can the human rights approach inform our political system?

What to expect:

  • Learn about human rights and analyze democracy as a means of participation
  • Examine the factors that contribute to the global trend of democratic regression
  • Discuss ways to build the capacity for government systems to respect, protect and fulfill human rights
  • Develop tools to ensure the respect of human rights in democratic elections and beyond

The Cristosal Model: Applying a human rights approach to social justice

Dates: April 22-29, 2018
Cost: $995
Registration deadline: January 23 2018
Level 1 Seminar

Cristosal has evolved tremendously since its inception in the early 2000s, from a small ministry of the Anglican Church in El Salvador to a human rights organization on the cutting edge of innovative programming spanning three countries. Throughout this transition, we have been committed to a faithful vision to accompany and learn with the Salvadoran people. Study Cristosal’s history and work as examples of ways to use human rights principles in a variety of contexts, developing tools to support human rights in El Salvador and worldwide. The second offering of this seminar is designed for participants with a Christian background.

What to expect:

  • Engage directly with Cristosal’s work in Central America
  • Deepen our understanding of how structures rooted in discrimination perpetuate injustice
  • Apply a human rights approach to promoting social justice in our local context
  • Develop tools to help empower vulnerable populations and build capacities of state actors
  • Learn to advocate for human rights locally and globally

Human Rights and Youth Leadership

Dates: July 7-14, 2018, 2018
Cost: $995
Registration deadline: April 8, 2018
Specialized Seminar: Participants should be between 14 and 22 years of age. Chaperones required.

Youth around the world face unique challenges, from overcoming age-based discrimination to being victims of abuse. As the ones facing these struggles, youth also have the opportunity to confront these issues and respond to them. Through this seminar, we will embrace our ability to take leadership and develop responses to these issues from a youth perspective, incorporating our Christian faith. The seminar will use a human rights framework and an intercultural perspective on issues that affect youth around the world, including discrimination and access to justice.

What to expect:

  • Familiarize ourselves with human rights principles and relate them to the Christian faith
  • Examine human rights issues that affect youth in our local contexts, El Salvador, and the world
  • Study the structural roots of injustice and violence in a variety of contexts
  • Strengthen leadership skills with special emphasis on community organizing and creating leadership structures that emphasize participation and equality
  • Develop responses to injustice locally and globally by applying a human rights approach

Active Resistance and Human Rights: Organizing for change

Dates: Fall 2018, 2018

Cost: $995
Level 2 Seminar

This seminar is still being developed. If you or someone you know is interested in joining us, helping us recruit participants for this seminar, or just wants to learn more, contact us at globalschool@cristosal.org.

Applying a Human Rights Framework to Community Engagement

The Cristosal Model: Applying a human rights approach to social justice

Cristosal Model

Dates: February 6-13, 2018
Cost: $970 ($1,220 for a private room)
Registration Deadline: November 5, 2017
Level 1 Seminar
Download and share a flyer!

Cristosal has evolved tremendously since its inception in the early 2000s, from a small ministry of the Anglican Church in El Salvador to a human rights organization on the cutting edge of innovative programming spanning three countries. Throughout this transition, we have been committed to a faithful vision to accompany and learn with the Salvadoran people. Study Cristosal’s history and work as examples of ways to use human rights principles in a variety of contexts, developing tools to support human rights in El Salvador and worldwide. The first offering of this seminar will take place during Cristosal’s board of directors meeting.

What to expect:

  • Engage directly with Cristosal’s work in Central America
  • Deepen our understanding of how structures rooted in discrimination perpetuate injustice
  • Apply a human rights approach to promoting social justice in our local context
  • Develop tools to help empower vulnerable populations and build capacities of state actors
  • Learn to advocate for human rights locally and globally

Elections, Democracy, and Human Rights

Dates: March 4-11, 2018
Cost: $995
Registration deadline: December 5, 2017
Level 2 Seminar

Recent events have many of us wondering whether we are in a period of global democratic regression as democracies around the world embrace populist and/or autocratic leaders. Following the 2018 Salvadoran municipal elections on March 4th, this seminar will examine this trend and analyze the causes and effects of this regression. How can democracies be tools for ensuring participation and respect for human rights? Where do they fall short? How can the human rights approach inform our political system?

What to expect:

  • Learn about human rights and analyze democracy as a means of participation
  • Examine the factors that contribute to the global trend of democratic regression
  • Discuss ways to build the capacity for government systems to respect, protect and fulfill human rights
  • Develop tools to ensure the respect of human rights in democratic elections and beyond

The Cristosal Model: Applying a human rights approach to social justice

Dates: April 22-29, 2018
Cost: $995
Registration deadline: January 23 2018
Level 1 Seminar

Cristosal has evolved tremendously since its inception in the early 2000s, from a small ministry of the Anglican Church in El Salvador to a human rights organization on the cutting edge of innovative programming spanning three countries. Throughout this transition, we have been committed to a faithful vision to accompany and learn with the Salvadoran people. Study Cristosal’s history and work as examples of ways to use human rights principles in a variety of contexts, developing tools to support human rights in El Salvador and worldwide. The second offering of this seminar is designed for participants with a Christian background.

What to expect:

  • Engage directly with Cristosal’s work in Central America
  • Deepen our understanding of how structures rooted in discrimination perpetuate injustice
  • Apply a human rights approach to promoting social justice in our local context
  • Develop tools to help empower vulnerable populations and build capacities of state actors
  • Learn to advocate for human rights locally and globally

Human Rights and Youth Leadership

Dates: July 7-14, 2018, 2018
Cost: $995
Registration deadline: April 8, 2018
Specialized Seminar: Participants should be between 14 and 22 years of age. Chaperones required.

Youth around the world face unique challenges, from overcoming age-based discrimination to being victims of abuse. As the ones facing these struggles, youth also have the opportunity to confront these issues and respond to them. Through this seminar, we will embrace our ability to take leadership and develop responses to these issues from a youth perspective, incorporating our Christian faith. The seminar will use a human rights framework and an intercultural perspective on issues that affect youth around the world, including discrimination and access to justice.

What to expect:

  • Familiarize ourselves with human rights principles and relate them to the Christian faith
  • Examine human rights issues that affect youth in our local contexts, El Salvador, and the world
  • Study the structural roots of injustice and violence in a variety of contexts
  • Strengthen leadership skills with special emphasis on community organizing and creating leadership structures that emphasize participation and equality
  • Develop responses to injustice locally and globally by applying a human rights approach

Active Resistance and Human Rights: Organizing for change

Dates: Fall 2018, 2018

Cost: $995
Level 2 Seminar

This seminar is still being developed. If you or someone you know is interested in joining us, helping us recruit participants for this seminar, or just wants to learn more, contact us at globalschool@cristosal.org.

Violence, Security, and Peacebuilding

Research Challenges in Violent Contexts

Dates: June 14-21, 2018
Cost: $995
Registration deadline: March 15, 2018
Specialized Seminar: Participants should be academics and other researchers (journalists and Human rights monitors) working in violent contexts.

Join fellow researchers working in a variety of violent environments to learn from one another’s experiences in the field. Discuss the application of a human rights framework to address key issues in research methodology, security and ethics. Develop general advice about conducting research in violent environments, and explore the limits of that advice.

What to expect:

  • Examine various forms of violence and violent contexts and how they impact research
  • Discuss the political dimensions of research work
  • Discuss how security and violence impact the findings and application
  • Analyze the challenges to methodology and ethics in researching in violent contexts
  • Develop general advice about conducting research in violent environments to promote best practices
  • Contribute to a special edition of a peer-reviewed social science journal (English language)

LGBTI People, Hate Crimes and Other Violence: Working together to defend basic rights

Dates: Fall 2018, 2018
Cost: $995
Level 2 Seminar

This seminar is still being developed. If you or someone you know is interested in joining us, helping us recruit participants for this seminar, or just wants to learn more, contact us at globalschool@cristosal.org.

State Violence, Torture and Police Abuse: Applying international human rights standards to local challenges

Dates: Fall 2018, 2018
Cost: $995
Level 2 Seminar

This seminar is still being developed. If you or someone you know is interested in joining us, helping us recruit participants for this seminar, or just wants to learn more, contact us at globalschool@cristosal.org.

Migration and Forced Displacement

Making the Case for Asylum: Understanding Salvadoran country conditions and the international human rights law framework

Dates: February 17-24, 2018
Cost: $1,200
Early Bird Cost: $970
Registration Deadline: November 17, 2017
Early Bird Deadline: December 17, 2017
Specialized Seminar: Participants should be legal professionals with experience in asylum law.
*CLE Credits pending

Come to El Salvador to study country conditions and engage directly with the Salvadoran reality and improve your ability to support Salvadoran clients. Reflect on the Salvadoran context and the asylum system as a whole from a new perspective, and contribute to developing long-term solutions to the difficulties asylum-seekers face. This seminar will emphasize understanding U.S. asylum from an international humanitarian protection framework.

What to expect:

  • Deepen our understanding of country conditions in El Salvador and the unique struggles of Salvadoran refugees
  • Develop tools to better advocate on behalf of Salvadoran asylum-seekers in the U.S.
  • Analyze the shortcomings of the asylum system with an international human rights perspective
  • Apply human rights principles to work with migrants as you build your case
  • Develop goals for continued learning and collaboration with other participants and facilitators

The Central American Refugee Crisis: A faithful response

Dates: April 7-14, 2018
Cost: $995
Registration deadline: January 8, 2018
Level 2 Seminar

In 2016 alone, an estimated 244,200 people were internally displaced in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. As people of faith, we are called to advocate for justice for all, especially the most vulnerable. This seminar provides an opportunity to deepen our understanding of human rights, apply this understanding to the Central American refugee crisis, and develop concrete tools to respond.

What to expect:

  • Deepen our understanding of a human rights framework to understand the rights of migrants and refugees
  • Study international policy on forced migration in Central America and the world
  • Analyze the root causes of forced migration and internal displacement in Central America
  • Discuss responses to this crisis and potential approaches to prevention
  • Develop strategies to respond to the refugee crisis and support the rights of migrant populations

No Person is Illegal: Understanding the Central American Refugee Crisis

Dates: Fall 2018, 2018
Cost: $995
Level 1 Seminar

This seminar is still being developed. If you or someone you know is interested in joining us, helping us recruit participants for this seminar, or just wants to learn more, contact us at globalschool@cristosal.org.