Global Awareness Festival

2016 Global Awareness Festival Feb. 8-12 Focuses on Latin America

Panama city skyline

Panama City, Panama

MCC’s 17th Annual Global Awareness Festival on Feb. 8-12, 2016 will focus on Latin America, a region located in the western hemisphere between the southern boundary of the U.S. in the north and Antarctica in the south.

The region includes 46 counties and dependent territories located in the southern part of North America, Central America, West Indies and South America. Situated between the Pacific Ocean on the west and the Atlantic Ocean on the east, Latin America comprises approximately 15 percent of the total land surface of Earth.

Waterfall in Honduras Forest

Waterfall in Honduras rain forest

“We have a responsibility to provide our students, staff and community with a greater understanding of what’s happening in other parts of the world,” said Papa N’jai, international coordinator at MCC. “In an era of globalization, we have to think globally. If we better understand other cultures and other people, then we are better able to resolve cultural misunderstandings.”

Each year, the Global Awareness Festival highlights a different geographic area of the world. The College hosts a series of activities, lectures and other events to bring awareness to that region’s population, culture, cuisine and political issues. All Global Awareness Festival events are free. For more information, contact Papa N’jai at (231) 777-0693 or by e-mail at


Monday, February 8

  • 9:30-10:30 a.m. Folktales and Fun. MCC’s ED 230 Children’s Literature Class. Collegiate Hall
  • 12:30-1:30 p.m. Global Topic:  Living and Working in Latin America. MCC counselors Tonia Lans and Sylvia Hayes and MCC Director of Institutional Research and Grants Eduardo Bedoya. Blue and Gold Room.
  • 2:30-3:30 p.m. “Black in Latin America,” a film by Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates, with discussion facilitated by members of MCC Phi Theta Kappa honor society. Blue and Gold Room.

Tuesday, February 9

  • 10:10 a.m. Noon – Latin American Women of Achievement: the Arts, Education and Activism. MCC Women’s Studies Program Director Gretchen Cline. Blue and Gold Room.
  • 12:30-1:30 p.m.  The New U.S.-Cuba Relations, Keynote Speaker Jose Infante, senior vice president at Independent Bank. Blue and Gold Room.
  • 2 p.m.  A Taste of Culture. Sample Latin American food with MCC Chefs Vonny Murphy and Nickolous Wisniewski. Collegiate Hall.
  • 3:30-4:30 p.m. “The Life and Times of El Nino.”  A documentary highlighting the causes and consequences of El Nino, with discussion facilitated by MCC Geography Instructor Papa N’jai. Blue and Gold Room.

Wednesday, February 10

  • All Day – International T-Shirt Day. Students and staff who have travelled to other nations are encouraged to wear their apparel featuring those nations and to share their experiences.
  • 10 a.m.–1 p.m. Information Fair will feature booths highlighting international opportunities for students to study and work abroad as well as cultural differences around the world. Collegiate Hall.
    11 a.m. – Noon Wild Wacky Wednesday – Social Dance Studio Salsa Dancers. Student Union.
  • 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. Global Topic:  A History of Latin America focusing on the Columbian Exchange. George Maniates, MCC History Instructor. Blue and Gold Room.
  • 6-7 p.m. Panama and the United States: From the Heart of the Americas to America. MCC Instructor Alfredo Hernandez Corsen. Blue and Gold Room.
  • 2:30-3:30 p.m. “El Norte.” A film about a brother and sister who flee persecution in Guatemala and journey north through Mexico and to the U.S. with the dream of starting a new life. Discussion facilitated by MCC Instructor Papa N’jai. Blue and Gold Room.

Thursday, February 11

  • 10:30-11:30 a.m. The Archaeology and History of Central America. MCC Anthropology Instructor Timothy Bober. Blue and Gold Room.
  • 12:30-1:30 p.m. Global Topic: Biodiversity in the Cloud Forest of Cusuco National Park Honduras and Geology of Latin America.  Biologist Rachel Schwallier and MCC Geology Instructor Amber Kumpf.  Blue and Gold Room.
  • 2:30-3:30 p.m. “Who is Destroying the Forest?” A documentary that examines the deforestation, focusing on the forest ecosystems and forest-dwelling peoples in South America. Blue and Gold Room.


  • International news coverage shown daily from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Collegiate Hall
  • International cuisine prepared by the campus food service
  • Geo Club poster display of Latin American nations
  • International artifacts collected from the community on display in Gerber Lounge
  • Flags representing approximately 200 nations campus hallway walls