LL.M. student (in red) with University of Miami students in Colombia
A Miami Law student, joined by others from UM's College of Arts and Sciences, Latin American Studies students, and the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Studies, traveled to Colombia over Spring break as the second part of the academic collaboration agreement between UM law and Pontificia Universidad Javeriana Cali for Port and Coastal Management.
Led by Daniel O. Suman, a professor of Marine Affairs and Policy who teaches at Miami Law and RSMAS, the group of 15 'Canes visited Cali, Buenaventura, and Cartagena exploring issues related to port development management in Colombia’s two main ports of Buenaventura and Cartagena.
They explored the Uramba Bahia Malaga Park and, in Cali, Buenaventura, and Cartagena met with municipal officials to discuss the environmental implications of the historic peace deal between the Colombian government and the country’s largest rebel group.
They also connected with private nonprofit organizations, including Propacifico, which works towards the sustainable development of Colombia’s Pacific Region, and Fundación Carvajal that focuses on the improvement of the quality of life in the most vulnerable communities in the prioritized cities of Cali and Buenaventura. In Cartagena, they met with public officials at the Institute of Heritage and Culture of Cartagena to learn about the Conservation of cultural heritage.
"Our field trip was a unique opportunity to discover Colombia from a cultural, social, and economic perspective," said Gilli Kahn, a U.S. and Transnational Law LL.M. student. "Visiting Cali, Buenaventura and Cartagena allowed us to compare different regions and gain more in-depth knowledge about the specific issues relevant to each city. One of the highlights was the visit to the Bahia Malaga Uramba Natural National Park which houses an immense variety of fauna and flora species, and it is very famous for its iconic mangroves."
For the UM students who traveled to Colombia over spring break as part of the class Fieldwork in Coastal Management/Tourism, Conservation and Development, the South American nation offered unparalleled opportunities to learn about port management and structure, marine protected areas, and the peace accords.
"I wanted our students to understand this vital nation that is attempting to implement peace accords after 50 years of internal violence,” Suman said. “Also, we are examining port management and policies in Colombia’s two major ports that are rapidly growing as international trade and commerce boom, and the third focus area of our study is the management of protected areas. Since January, we have read about and discussed these topics so that our students already had a good background before traveling to Colombia. In March and April, they will write short research papers on these topics.”
Suman said he selected Colombia for the 2019 course because it is one of the most diverse Latin American countries in terms of biodiversity, politics, and culture.