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The Andes & Amazon Gap Year program is based in the tranquil agricultural town of Tiquipaya, on the outskirts of Cochabamba in Central Bolivia. From sparkling glaciers to lush tropical forests, this Gap Year program takes you through a dizzying tapestry of landscapes and cultures, exploring the links between land and people, past and present.

The Andes & Amazon Gap Year program is based in the tranquil agricultural town of Tiquipaya, on the outskirts of Cochabamba in Central Bolivia.

Based at the foothills of the Andes, this is an ideal backdrop for settling into the rhythms of a local community, exposing students to issues affecting the Andean landscape, while offering them the time to develop critical language and leadership skills.

Our Program House is situated on an organic farm, creating unique opportunities for students to engage with local food systems and agricultural practices.

Beyond Tiquipaya, the semester takes us to the fascinating twin cities of La Paz and El Alto, dramatic urban centers that sit above 13,000 feet in the midst of the sparkling snow-capped peaks of the Cordillera Real.

Here we partner with a local theater group in El Alto, the indigenous capital of Latin America, while meeting with local figures and exploring the bustling streets and markets of El Alto and La Paz.

Before me, a bowl of steamed potatoes–the only edible plant that could take hold in the barren valley–overflowed onto the dried paja floor.

One of the figures thrust an ancient, dirt encrusted hand into the steaming mound and withdrew one, peeling and eating it. “I really enjoyed our time spent with local people during the course, whether it was through a homestay, passing through a community, or talking with one of our guides.

Dragons has partnered with Naropa University, our School of Record, to offer interdisciplinary courses for-credit that extend from our Core Curriculum.

Here students live with local families, largely of Quechua descent, and have the opportunity to connect intimately with a local community.

Our time is characterized by intensive Spanish instruction, exposure to local activists and social organizations in Cochabamba, and opportunities to delve into independent study topics.

On the Dragons South America Gap Year program, expect to hone your Spanish skills while discovering the links between vibrant indigenous peoples and the diverse and breathtaking landscapes they inhabit.

Dragons students will come away with a deep understanding of indigenous political trends, important challenges in conservation and development, and a first-hand understanding of day-to-day life in some of the earth’s most dramatic locales.