Studying the local economy: an expedition to the central market in Guatemala City

One of the core features of our new Expeditionary Learning teaching methodology is the concept of connecting student learning to real-world issues and needs.

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By utilizing fieldwork, project-based expeditions, and service opportunities, we can better connect students to the world around them. Relevant, authentic curriculum will encourage students to work collaboratively and think critically about life beyond the classroom.

For example, a recent expedition brought our students to the Mercado Central, one of the two main markets in the heart of Guatemala City (Zone 1). A sprawling, underground labyrinth of colorful stalls and local goods, the Mercado Central provided an immersive landscape for our students to apply their fieldwork.

Throughout the day, students created a budget, researched and compared vegetable prices, interviewed staff and sellers, and explored the history of the market.

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We asked our students what they enjoyed most about the experience, and Charly (full-day student, fourth grade) said, “It was an amazing experience! What I liked most was the part where people told us about the market’s history.”

As we transition into a full-day school, we hope that our immersive, real-world curriculum will better prepare students for entering the workforce or university studies.

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By connecting students to their local community from a young age, we can better prepare them for life outside of Safe Passage.