Guatemala

Spanish Language Intensive (4-Week)

A 4-Week Summer Abroad Program

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Duration
30 Days
Description

Investigate issues of social justice through Guatemala’s thirty-six year civil war while improving your Spanish language skills through individualized 1:1 instruction.

Dates

Jun 28 - Jul 28, 2017


Suggested Ages

15-17

Number of Participants

12


Availability

closed

Begins In

5 Weeks

Land Cost

$6,775


Estimated Flight Cost

$920

Tikal

Coban

Todos Santos

Santiago Atitlan

Program Overview

At dawn a howler monkey cries from the branch of a giant ceiba tree.


In the Cuchumatanes Mountains, a young woman rises to grind corn on a stone petate. Along Avenida Reforma, street-children juggle oranges for change as businessmen tuck into air-conditioned office buildings. Students explore this complicated country of contrasts where steamy jungles rise to meet towering volcanic peaks and traditional traje walk alongside Armani suites.

Our course begins in Antigua, where we play soccer with local kids, hike through coffee plantations and begin our first Spanish lessons. We ride the infamous Chicken Bus—a colorful and chromed-out version of a 1990s Blue Byrd school bus—past the sacred Lake Atitlan, and eventually arrive in Pachaj for a week of 1:1 intensive language study. In the mornings we volunteer with the Chico Mendes Reforestation Project, and in the afternoons we immerse ourselves in local Quiche’ culture, where we engage in such activities as assisting our home-stay siblings with a local recycling program.

From Pachaj, we wind our way…

In the Cuchumatanes Mountains, a young woman rises to grind corn on a stone petate. Along Avenida Reforma, street-children juggle oranges for change as businessmen tuck into air-conditioned office buildings. Students explore this complicated country of contrasts where steamy jungles rise to meet towering volcanic peaks and traditional traje walk alongside Armani suites.

Our course begins in Antigua, where we play soccer with local kids, hike through coffee plantations and begin our first Spanish lessons. We ride the infamous Chicken Bus—a colorful and chromed-out version of a 1990s Blue Byrd school bus—past the sacred Lake Atitlan, and eventually arrive in Pachaj for a week of 1:1 intensive language study. In the mornings we volunteer with the Chico Mendes Reforestation Project, and in the afternoons we immerse ourselves in local Quiche’ culture, where we engage in such activities as assisting our home-stay siblings with a local recycling program.

From Pachaj, we wind our way into the protective folds of the Cuchumatanes Mountains where local communities share their accounts of Guatemala’s thirty-six year civil war. Their stories help us understand the root causes of Guatemala’s embarrassing human rights record, sharp economic inequalities and deeply embedded racism.

Our final leg takes us into the Peten rainforest, where we encounter howler monkeys, scarlet macaws, and coatis in the ancient city of Tikal. We rest in hammocks, converse with our new Spanish vocabulary, and reflect on all we’ve learned about indigenous rights and Guatemala’s grassroots revolutionaries.

Read More Read Less Sample Itinerary

Program Components

3/5
Comparative Religion

The syncretism of Catholicism and Maya spirituality, Maya cosmovision, and cycles of time.

3/5
Development Studies

Modernization and globalization, impact of education and tourism on indigenous culture, free trade, exploration of minority empowerment issues.

3/5
Focus Of Inquiry

Cultural survival and change in a globalized society.

4/5
Home Stay

Home-stays in 2 to 3 different communities, including 2-3 weeks during language school.

1/5
Independent Study Project (ISP)

ISPs facilitated throughout. Multiple opportunities for internships.

5/5
Language Study

2-3 weeks of one-on-one interactive instruction, four to five hours a day; language immersion throughout.

3/5
Learning Service

Volunteering in schools, clinics, and orphanages. Tree planting with the Chico Mendes project. Approximately 30 hours of service credit earned.

3/5
Rugged Travel

"Chicken bus", truck, and boat travel. Hikes to remote villages.

2/5
Trekking

4-day trek through Cuchumatanes Mountains. Day treks through Biotopo del Quetzal cloud forest. Volcano ascents.

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