Culture and Community in Spain

Instructor Name: 
Jessica Rodriguez-Montegna and Suzanne Savaria
Course Description: 

Mougas is a small coastal community in the Northwest region of Galicia, Spain on the Costa De Castros.  Historically, Galicia has been one of the poorest, most remote regions in Spain.  These communities have lived through economic instability and isolation. However, changes, including the growing popularity of the pilgrim routes throughout Spain and improved transportation options to this region, are starting to change the face of tourism in Galicia.

In the spring of 2014, a 4000-year -old hill-fort (castro) was discovered in the hillside above the village.  Since this discovery, ancient tools of trade, petroglyphs, and additional hill forts have been unearthed in the same area.  These discoveries have become the impetus to bring significant opportunities to the region.  As a result, four small coastal communities have come together to develop job opportunities, manage native cultural resources, and establish sustainable tourism. These community-wide goals include creating and effectively maintaining a working agricultural cooperative, reforestation projects, and tourism promotion of the archeological sites and the Camino Portuguese, a highly touristic walking path. This course will bring students to this region to assist in these efforts through both community conversations and service work. During their time in Spain, students will engage in up to 4 hours of direct service activities each day.