Samuel Hanson ’24



Project Title

Religion and Environmental Justice in Panama and the Peruvian Amazon

Our project aimed to explore the link between religion — both colonial and indigenous— and the environment in Panama and the Peruvian Amazon. During our two-week stay in Moyobamba, Perú, we interviewed members of Paz y Esperanza, a faith-based organization, and other members of the community, asking questions about why they are motivated to fight for environmental justice. The work we did opened my eyes to the reality of modernity and the forces driving the extraction of resources from the Amazon rainforest. It also gave me perspective on the types of lifestyles that are causing suffering. For instance, visiting a nearby rainforest preserve gave me a very different taste of life compared to the busy town I stayed in. I also gained insight into the knowledge that Indigenous people have of the cycles of life and the relationship between humans and non-humans. I have come to appreciate that this knowledge is something that we need to reconnect with in order to reintegrate our way of being with the natural order. We are all indigenous someplace on the earth, but at the same time, we seem to have forgotten our true connection.

Internship Year


Project Category

Environment and Society and Urban Sustainability


High Meadows Environmental Institute, Princeton University; Paz y Esperanza Perú - Princeton, New Jersey; San Martin, Perú


Rob Nixon, Thomas A. and Currie C. Barron Family Professor in Humanities and the Environment, Professor of English and the High Meadows Environmental Institute; Ryan Juskus, Postdoctoral Research Associate, High Meadows Environmental Institute