Casa de la Mateada is a different kind of study abroad experience. It offers a rare and exciting opportunity for students to experience praxis, community living, critical analysis and reflection, and spiritual formation in the dynamic city of Córdoba, Argentina. Offered in partnership between Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles (LMU) and the Universidad Católica de Córdoba (UCC), this program reflects and embodies the Jesuit values at the heart of these two universities. Especially important is the Ignatian ideal of a “well-educated solidarity,” a concept students in the program engage on many different levels--from the types of courses offered, to the intimate setting in which they are housed, and to the direct way they engage the Argentine communities with whom they work. Students spend a semester immersing themselves in the rich and complex cultural, social, political and historical realities of Argentina, learning to accompany those living on the margins, while also being challenged to grow and develop as persons for others.
The program is rooted in four “pillars”: Community, Academics, Spirituality, and Accompaniment. Students live simply in shared housing in Córdoba, Argentina, while also taking classes three days a week at the UCC. The other two days are spent in ‘praxis sites’ where students are given the opportunity to immerse themselves in the life of humble, often marginalized communities in and around Córdoba. Throughout the semester there are also regular (always optional) opportunities for reflection on the spiritual meaning and significance of students’ experience. In addition, there are numerous ‘paseos’ or excursions scheduled throughout the semester, designed to give students experience of various aspects of the cultural, social, historical and geographical richness of Argentina from tango in the streets of Buenos Aires to the breath taking vistas Patagonia and Iguazu Falls provide and more!
Paseos or short excursions are woven into the fabric of the Casa program. During the course of the semester, students will have an opportunity to encounter places in and around Córdoba that provide insight into the social, political, cultural and spiritual reality of Argentina. For example: the Jesuit Estancia and Che Guevara museum in Alta Gracia; the annual folkloric festival in Cosquin; “La Perla”—the former clandestine detention center from the period of ‘La Dictatura’—now a ‘site of memory’ Alla Arriba, the retreat center in the mountains above La Falda where students will stay for their silent retreat; Paseo de los Artes, a weekly gathering of artists, craftspersons and musicians near La Cañada in central Córdoba; and occasional hiking trips out to Las Sierras Chicas (La Bolsa, Agua de Oro).
Why 'Casa de la Mateada'?
The name comes from the beloved Argentinian drink, mate, often shared among families, friends and communities in a space of friendship and solidarity. The simple practice of sharing mate with others has a deep resonance in Argentinian culture, and embodies the shared intimacy and sense of accompaniment and friendship that is also at the heart of our program.