Guatemala

Spanish Language Intensive (6-Week)

A 6-week Summer Abroad Program

Enroll
Duration
41 Days
Description

Investigate issues of social justice amidst Guatemala’s diverse landscapes and communities while improving your Spanish language skills through personalized instruction.

Dates

Jun 28 - Aug 8, 2019


Suggested Ages

16-18

Number of Participants

12


Availability

open

Begins In

46 Weeks

Land Cost

$7,280


Estimated Flight Cost

$900

Tikal

Coban

Todos Santos

Lake Atitlan

Xela

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 suits.

Our course begins in Antigua, where we explore colorful markets, 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 one-on-one 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…

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 suits.

Our course begins in Antigua, where we explore colorful markets, 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 one-on-one 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 colored human rights record, sharp economic inequalities and underrepresented indigenous populations.

Our final leg takes us into the Peten rainforest, where we encounter howler monkeys and scarlet macaws 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.

3/5
Independent Study Project (ISP)

ISPs primarily facilitated during homestay period in San Juan. Options include traditional weaving and textiles, Maya spirituality, medicinal plants, sustainable agriculture, painting and the arts, and exploration of socio-political issues.

4/5
Language Study

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

4/5
Learning Service

Volunteering in schools, clinics, and farms. Tree planting with the Chico Mendes project. Approximately 20 hours of service credit earned.

3/5
Rugged Travel

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

3/5
Trekking

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

About Components