Teaching Journey of the Universe in Colombia with Verónica Vargas

Verónica reached out to us on our Facebook page to for more information on the Spanish translation of the Journey of the Universe film that she uses for her courses. After learning more about her story, we wanted to share what she is up to in South America with her students.

Verónica: Hello! First I would like to properly introduce myself. My name is Verónica Vargas. I am an ecology teacher at university level in Colombia. I love your work!!!! Thanks a lot for it.

I think JOTU is an amazing work.  We watched the movie with both of my student groups as an introduction to the course and as a guide. We share a spiritual view of ecology and for that I must thank you. 

JOTU: Nice to meet you Verónica.  Let’s dive in.  What does a spiritual view of ecology mean with respect to your class?

V: I focus my teachings on the connection that exists between living organisms and non-living components of nature so that they understand that we are all part of a unit that is historically woven into the processes of development of the universe, the evolution of life, and the current natural and cultural processes studied in ecology. The connection between ecology and spirituality relies on the delicacy of the development of that unity contained in our chemistry and genetic information, and also in our capacity to understand it. This unity implies being part of something much bigger but also give us a sense of responsibility in the way we live.

J: Why did you choose to include JOTU in your course?

V: I chose JOTU because it connects the origin of the universe, the origin and organization of life and human consciousness. That connection is the teaching that I think is important for these new generations.

J: What were your student's responses?

V: At the beginning they were surprised perhaps because they expected a course with a purely scientific approach, but the evaluation of the course was excellent. The final exam of the course was to write a story for her grandchildren that included an explanation of the origins of the universe and life, the organization of nature, the current environmental crisis, and their actions as citizens and professionals to contribute to the solution of environmental problems from the perspective of planetary limits. Some of the stories were very good and inspiring.

J: What are you currently excited about and exploring in 2020?

V: I have been a yoga practitioner for 20 years and I am currently finishing a certified Kundalini yoga professorship in which I have been working for the last two years. I would like to incorporate meditation exercises into the course that allows them to feel and experience this unity and not just study it from the mind perspective.

In response to the amazon fires, we planted native trees in a place close to Medellín. They wanted to do a yoga class but we ran out of time.

Some of my students in two events: a conference and a talk with activists and an expert in SDG.

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