*Please direct any questions about international programs to the IPO office (455 Hills South – UMASS).*
The Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Arizona invites you to participate in its renowned study abroad program in Guatemala, the International Program for Education and Social Action (IDEAS). We partner with the Association for the Advancement of the Social Sciences in Guatemala, one of Guatemala’s leading intellectual centers that emphasizes the connection between research and social action (http://avancso.org.gt/). Classes are held in the El Sitio Cultural Center in Antigua, Guatemala (www.elsitiocultural.org/), a stunningly beautiful World Heritage town (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/65), and students live with Guatemalan families in Antigua.
The IDEAS study abroad program in Guatemala is a unique experience that combines rigorous academics with for-credit internships that engage students in a transformational pedagogy. Our program weaves together theoretical and practical engagement in themes such as development and public health, ethnic relations and human rights, and indigenous politics with ongoing reflection of current events, home-stay experiences, top-notch language training and encounters with Guatemalan activists, artists, students and scholars. You will be opening yourself to sights and sounds, thoughts and feelings of a country known equally for its spectacular beauty and deep social contrasts. Our goal is to give you a prism with which to analyze the present and build your personal and professional future in relation to a rapidly changing and increasingly challenged planet and its people.
Your experience in Guatemala will be enriched by a colloquium series with nationally and internationally recognized social and intellectual leaders. The colloquium leads to in-depth discussions on topics such as contemporary arts, the peace process in Guatemala, historical memory and human rights, grassroots development, the Central American migration crisis, and the significance of ‘democracy’ in Guatemala and the region.
Field trips, included in the price of the program and led by scholars from the region, will enable you to see for yourself how Guatemalans from different walks of life live and work amid cultural, social, environmental, and political challenges. You’ll experience first hand the realities that define life in the country today. The field trips are connected to the academic courses and will vary from session to session.
The program offers long weekends so that you can travel to Guatemala’s diverse regions, from the ancient Mayan temples of the Petén jungle, to highland indigenous markets to the black sand beaches of the Pacific coast. You can also enjoy Antigua’s vibrant cultural and intellectual life, including its renowned libraries and museums, lively cafes, and beautiful colonial architecture and cobblestone streets, under the shadow of stunning volcanoes.
To read about how transformational this program has been for previous students, see:
The single most fundamental and dramatic shift of perspective I’ve ever experienced. –Nic, Fall 2009.
WOW! There is not enough room to describe how much the Guate Study Abroad program impacted me. I experienced personal growth that has propelled me into my future that influenced my religious beliefs, political beliefs, personal aspirations, self-confidence and how I wanted to impact the world. –Courtney, AY 2012-2013.
It was the experience of a lifetime. Not only did I learn incredible amounts about Guatemala, I learned about myself.–Paige, Summer 2013.
Guatemala changed me in so many positive ways that I don’t even know where to begin. First of all, I became fluent in Spanish, which was one of my main reasons for going there. Second of all, it helped me grow so much as an individual; I was finally able to think for myself and come up with my own opinion about things. Being in Guatemala also made me realize that my true calling in life is to be a nurse. Working at Centro and Obras Sociales really gave me a higher appreciation for nurses and their role in the care of patients.–Britney, AY 2012-2013.
Choosing to study abroad for the entirety of my Sophomore year was by far the single most important and impactful decision I made during undergrad. I can say with complete sincerity that were it not for this program, I would not be who I am today, nor would I have the same passion that drives my professional career. Chelsea, Fall 2009-Spring 2010.
The Guatemala Study Abroad program was one of the most amazing experiences of my entire life. I made lifelong friendships and learned more than I could have imagined. Lawrence, Fall 2007.
For more information, contact IDEAS program director Gustavo Palma, at email@example.com (inquiries can be in English or Spanish). Gustavo Palma holds a doctorate in History from the Ecole des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris. He has taught at the San Carlos University in Guatemala City, as well as other national and international universities, and he is a researcher at AVANCSO.
Interested students can also contact University of Arizona Study Abroad Program Director Jill Calderón, firstname.lastname@example.org (see below for links to the UA study abroad application page).
COURSES OFFERED (UA CREDIT)
All courses (except Spanish) are also available for honors or graduate credit.
SPAN 330: Intermediate Conversation (3 credits). Offered continuously.
For students who wish to improve their oral skills within a dynamic cultural context.
SPAN 425: Advanced Grammar and Composition (3 credits). Offered continuously. For advanced students who wish to perfect their speaking and writing skills.
Latin American Studies 462/Anthropology 495 Special Topics in Contemporary
Latin America: Central American Narratives of Identity and Nationhood. Offered in Summer and Fall 2015.
Taught by Professor Ricardo Lima (Ph.D, Rice University). Professor Lima is a Guatemalan anthropologist, professor and former head of the School of Humanities at the Universidad Rafael Landívar in Guatemala City. Fluent in Spanish, English and Kaqchikel-Maya, he has researched and written extensively on subaltern politics, interculturality and bilingual education. He is a former director of the University of Arizona’s Guatemala study abroad program.
This course, which has become a popular pillar in Guatemala study abroad, provides an introduction to Central America’s multicultural reality, specifically Guatemala’s cultural diversity. With a multidisciplinary approach, the course uses tools from cultural studies and postcolonial/subaltern studies to provide an introduction to Mayan cosmovision and a dynamic view of modern Mayan culture, as well as analyze the hegemonic cultural relations that shape the definition of development, citizenship and nationhood in Guatemala. Guest lecturers in this course include a Mayan Ajkib’ or Day Counter
Latin American Studies 462 Rethinking Public Health in Guatemala: State, Community and Difference in Theory and Practice (3-4 credits). Offered continuously.
Taught by Professor Juan Carlos Verdugo. Professor Verdugo is a Guatemalan medical doctor with extensive experience in public health policies. He is the founder of the Institute for Inclusive Health, an award-winning community-based integrated health project in rural Guatemala.
In Guatemala, a country with soaring rates of infant mortality and a growing gap between rich and poor and between indigenous and non-indigenous, health practitioners and activists understand critical, integral public health as a key link in the processes of building a more just society. This course takes as its starting point the premise that attention to the historical-structural limits and emerging alternatives in health care in Guatemala serves as a lens for grasping broader economic, political, social, and cultural issues of development.
Guatemala has one of the highest levels of malnutrition in all of Latin America. At the same time, historical patterns of discrimination and exclusion mean that alternative health care models, such as Mayan and community-based initiatives, are not taken into account within official public health programs. To confront these problems, a new inclusive health care model (MIS) has been developed, which breaks with the existing structural discrimination and creates an integrated and inclusive attention based on the right to primary health care, inter-cultural respect, gender equity and harmony with the environment. This model has achieved notable grassroots success.
In this course you will come to understand key tensions in Guatemala through a rethinking of national and community public health policies and practices. Specifically this course will draw on three analytical lenses — human rights perspectives, intercultural relevance and gender equity— to deepen your understanding of how the health system is structured in Guatemala, and what integral and inclusive models of health care exist.
Latin American Studies 462 Special Topics in Contemporary Latin America: Women Writers in Guatemala. (3 credits). Offered in Spring 2016.
Taught by Professor Rubén Nájera. Professor Nájera is a Guatemalan playwright, essayist, and poet. He has received several awards including the Premio Mesoamericano de Poesía “Luis Cardoza y Aragón” in 2009. Women writers who will be invited to participate in the course include Carmen Matute, Delia Quiñónez, Carol Zardetto, and Denise Phefunchal, among others.
This course is a survey of women writers in Guatemala from the colonial period to the present day. We will explore the works of these artists in order to understand how they saw themselves, their country and their times, as well as their strategies to overcome marginalization and suppression. In this course we will try to listen to their literary voices and we will meet and discuss with contemporary women writers. We will also study the emerging role of Mayan women writers.
We will also be developing a course on the Anthropology of Central American migration.
Latin American Studies 493: Internship (1-6 credits). Offered continuously.
Study Abroad students are placed with Guatemalan social organizations in and around the Antigua area according to their interests (advanced students may be placed elsewhere, see below). Students have helped disabled children, done medical internships, and tutored in an organization that aids children whose families live by sorting garbage in Guatemala City. The internship program is not just “volunteer tourism,” however. You will gain practical experience collaborating with Guatemalan social organizations, but you will also learn critical thinking skills to link your internship with your academic work, reflect on the broader issues of global development politics, and build on this critical experience in your future professional plans. Below is a partial list of internships.
Los Patojos: after school program with at risk children in Antigua, http://lospatojos.org.gt/. Los Patojos was recently featured on CNN: http://edition.cnn.com/2014/07/31/world/cnnheroes-romero/.
Obras Sociales Hermano Pedro: hospital for children and adults with special needs and/or physical challenges, http://www.obrashermanopedro.org/.
Casa Jackson: project for malnourished infants, http://www.casajackson.com/.
As Green as it Gets: supporting a small producers’ sustainable development coffee cooperative: environmental, agricultural and business support, http://www.asgreenasitgets.org/.
Camino Seguro (in Guatemala City): Program for at risk children whose parents work in or in conjunction with the Guatemala City Garbage Dump. Tutoring children, adult literacy, microenterprise,www.safepassage.org/.
Latin American Studies 499: Towards a Praxis of the Possible: Thought and Action in Study Abroad in Central America (1 credit). Offered continuously.
Taught by Professor Jennifer Casolo. Professor Casolo is a geographer whose research focuses on the limits and possibilities of grassroots movements for social change. She first became involved in peasant politics and human rights in El Salvador in the 1980s and women’s rights in Honduras in the 1990s. She is a former director of the University of Arizona Guatemala’s study abroad program.
This 1-credit special class is required for all Guatemala study abroad students. The class will provide you with the tools to weave together the various facets of your study abroad experience in a critical way that benefits your final project and helps you to grasp the relationship between theory and practice, as well as interrogate the power-laden dynamics underlying taken-for-granted ideas. Throughout the semester we will use films, role-play, break-out sessions, peer review, debate, analysis of current events, and art. Students are divided into two sub-groups: those with an internship focus and those with an academic focus, with different assignments for the first half of each class and then a discussion on a specific KEYWORD for the second half of the class. Keywords may include Development, Solidarity, Coloniality, Difference, Sustainability, Knowledge, Praxis.
Latin American Studies 495F: Colloquium in Latin American Studies (1 credit). Offered continuously.
Through a weekly lecture series, students are exposed to nationally and internationally recognized experts in such areas as ethnic relations, contemporary art, historical memory and human rights in Guatemala, the Central American migration crisis, and the significance of democracy in Guatemala and the region. Required of all Guatemala study abroad students.
Latin American Studies 499: Independent Study (1-3 credits). Available upon arrangement. Students work with a designated professor to complete a research project or undertake an in-depth study of an area of interest. Past projects have included: memory and photography in Guatemala, the peace process, and US policy in Central America, among others.
Plans of study: Students can take a maximum of 9 credits during the summer program or 12-15 credits during the semester. Classes are organized so as to leave Fridays free for travel and Wednesdays free to focus on an internship.
This program offers two tracks: 1) an “academic” track, whereby students take academic classes and can also do an internship (1 credit during the summer and 3 credits during the semester) and 2) an “internship” track, whereby students take the bulk of their credits as a supervised internship. All students must enroll in the 1-credit weekly colloquium and in LAS 499, the 1-credit “synthesis” class. Spanish classes are available to students in both tracks.
Pre-requisites: Two semesters of college Spanish or the equivalent. GPA: minimum 3.0.
Dates: Summer 2015: June 14-August 7, 2015. Fall 2015: August 30-November 28, 2015. Spring 2016:January 16-April 23, 2016.
Deadline to apply for Summer session: Feb. 15. Deadline to apply for Fall session: April 15. Deadline to apply for spring session: Oct. 15.
Cost: Semester program: $9,975. Summer program: $5,700. Fee includes tuition and academic fees (students receive a University of Arizona transcript), food and lodging (except for meals on Sundays), fieldtrips, health insurance, orientation, and airport pickup. Does not include airfare to Guatemala City or required course books and reading materials.
Contact: In Guatemala: Gustavo Palma (email@example.com). UA Study Abroad: Jill Calderón (firstname.lastname@example.org).
To apply: http://global.arizona.edu/study-abroad/program/programa-internacional-de-educaci-n-y-acci-n-social-ideas-antigua-guatemala