Duke offers an immense amount of opportunities to engage with Latin American countries. These include various SRT, DukeEngage, Duke Immerse, and Bass Connections projects, as well as a great variety of community service trips and projects organized by student groups. This course is designed to be an exploration into the nature of those relations: why ate most of these service oriented? What are our intentions when traveling to Latin America? The course will focus predominantly on the aid system and the dynamics it is built upon. Through readings, films, and discussions we will try to deconstruct our ideas of service learning, volunteering and working to help 'others,' especially abroad. We will explore how the aid system works, the criticisms that have been made of it and of the civic engagement movement, and we will end by looking into different ways in which we can re-think and improve our connections with Latin American countries. Some of the topics the course will touch upon include: civic engagement, community based participatory research, action research, travel and cultural exchange, otherness, power, and decolonization.