By: Robyn Emory Murray ’18
Last month, three IPED students were invited to join the International Project on “The Value of Human Rights on the Camino de Santiago: Harnessing the power of tourism to promote cross-cultural dialogue and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals” in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Benjamin Boltz (IPED ’19), Owen Fitzgerald (IPED ’18), Robyn Emory Murray (IPED ’18), and Evan Soloman (M.A., Ethics and Society), were chosen by Dr. Melissa Labonte to participate in the program, which consisted of three phases: online learning modules, walking the Camino de Santiago, and the concluding forum.
The focus of the program, organized by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Helsinki España University Network, and the Compostela Group of Universities, was to reflect on human rights, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the value of tourism in achieving those goals. “Walking the Camino was incredible. The idea that people had been walking to Santiago de Compostela for hundreds of years along the routes that we were taking created this tangible connection with history and, for me, Christianity what I had never experienced before.” – Robyn Emory Murray
Student Owen Fitzgerald ’18 reflects: “Ultimately, this initiative helped me to garner broader knowledge of these rights that are intrinsic to all human beings and to gain a deeper understanding of the impact cross-cultural dialogue can have, especially in the context of tourism. For me, each of the 81 miles hiked served as an opportunity to reflect on these topics with other impassioned students – together on the same journey toward ensuring a more free and peaceful world.”