Pete Schwartz, Physics Instructor at Cal Poly, Program Director
After a decade of scholarship dedicated to nanotechnology, I took a year’s sabbatical in 2006 with the Energy and Resources Group at UC Berkeley to study renewable energy, and models of sustainability. Since then, my teaching and scholarship has been dedicated to energy, and the interface between technology and society. The overarching challenge is to provide services to society in a way that is accessible and beneficial to all. This requires attention to the environment and recognition that the solutions may have more to do with social restructuring than implementation of new technologies. My students and I have conducted technological, financial, and environmental analysis of renewable energy (especially concentrated solar), personal vehicle transportation, and technology substitutions toward carbon neutrality. These more technical studies have provided insight and support for two community outreach projects in collaboration with many faculty and community members here and abroad:
International Outreach: We have introduced two international service learning classes using a collaborative model sharing information with overseas communities and introducing appropriate technologies as a means to generate wealth and provide services. Our students in these classes are designing a summer school in Guatemala for Cal Poly and Guatemalan students starting 2011. In December 2010, 12 Cal Poly students traveled to Guatemala to develop this school and explore projects with Guatemalan partners.
Local Curriculum: We are developing a community partnership surrounding a yearlong, full time, integrated sustainability-oriented curriculum(sustainslo.org) for Cal Poly freshmen involving partnership with local businesses and organizations. Target starting date is January 2012.
Jamie Cignetti, Guateca Program Coordinator
I graduated in June 2011 from California Polytechnic State University’s International Business Management program. During my college career, I completed Dr. Pete Schwartz Appropriate Technology for the World’s People course series, co-designed a bicycle ambulance cart for use in Haiti, participated in the creation of Guateca, and traveled to Guatemala twice with the program. Since November 2011 I have worked as Guateca’s program coordinator. Eventually, I would like to pursue an education and career in the field of Social Business. I love to travel, speak Spanish, cook, swim, and play outside.
Jessica Riccio, Webmaster
For the last four years, I spent my time in San Luis Obispo attending classes, hiking, cooking, and enjoying time with friends. In June 2012, I graduated from California Polytechnic State University with a degree in Liberal Arts and Engineering Studies and a minor in Computer Science. In order to obtain my degree I was required to participate in a study abroad program. I heard about Guateca from some friends and was part of Guateca 2011. After being part of the first Guateca group to venture down to San Pablo, I realized there was no other way I would have rather spent my study abroad experience. When people ask me to describe my time in San Pablo, words don't even begin to cover it. It is for this reason that I became involved with Guateca Leadership: to demonstrate and showcase the experiences of past Guateca students to perspective student in the hope that they will become interested and involved in a remarkable program.
Many thanks to all of our Guateca Alumni for their ongoing enthusiasm and support of the program – without you guys none of this would be possible!