Student Blogger Study Abroad

Oil extraction in the Amazon – Alex’s story

An oil extraction site in the amazon has completely polluted a beautiful pond surrounded by tall trees. Layers of brown scum float on the surface of the water.

Alex Kennedy is a recent graduate of St. Catherine University. In January of 2015, while most of Minnesota was shivering, she spent almost a month studying abroad in Ecuador, with HECUA’s Social and Political Transformation in Ecuador J-Term program. Students in Alex’s group explored Quito, trekked through the Yasuní National Park in the Amazon, and traveled to the Imbabura province to sleep at the foot of an (inactive) volcano. As she traveled through the country, Alex captured footage and still photos of the sights and sounds of Ecuador. Earlier this year she made them into the fantastic short documentary that you see below. Read Alex’s description of the video here, and prepare to be amazed by her work.

Alex writes: “I just returned from showing this short film at a Latin American Studies conference I attended with a St. Kate’s professor, Dr. Allison Adrian. We worked together to research Ecuadorian culture and politics from the time I returned from my January term experience in Ecuador to the present.  In the course of our time together, we also learned about ethnographic film and documentary filmmaking techniques. Using the footage that I recorded in Ecuador during the month of January, and Allison’s feedback, I created this mini documentary on the oil extraction that is happening in the Amazon.”

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