Program Details

Explore issues of sustainable development and social change in Costa Rica and Guatemala. Students learn about the richness and diversity of Central America compared and contrasted by the history, culture, and anti-oppression struggles.
Location:
San Jose, Costa Rica; Multi-Country Programs, Multi-Country Programs; Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala; Solola, Guatemala
Program Type:
Study Abroad
Degree Level:
Undergraduate
Term:
Fall Semester, Spring Semester

Program Overview

Program Description:

Open to students from any college or university. This multi-country semester study abroad program, defined by an experiential methodology and unique approach to community engagement, offers students a provocative and inspiring experience that develops Spanish language skills while immersing participants in the lives of host families, urban and rural communities, and grassroots organizations dedicated to working on issues related to conflict, U.S. foreign policy, gender, and economic and social justice.

Explore issues of sustainable development and social change in Costa Rica and Guatemala. Students learn about the richness and diversity of Central America compared and contrasted by the history, culture, and anti-oppression struggles of the people of Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Indigenous cosmovisions, the role of religion in social change, legacies of armed struggle, community organizing and engagement, and the impact of globalization and immigration. Students gain a better understanding of diverse approaches to environmental conservation, sustainability, economic issues, and social justice.

The program focuses on issues of peace and justice and includes many meetings with grassroots organizers. Students will meet and speak with liberation theologians and practitioners, women’s collectives and representatives of feminist movements, government officials, political party representatives, former guerrilla leaders, a Mayan priestess, Indigenous leaders, and youth groups. This level of community engagement and experience provides students with a truly broad and deep understanding of the region and also larger global issues related to revolution, the peace process, transition, and democracy.

Setting Description:
In Guatemala, students spend a few days in Antigua, but the majority of the program occurs in Quetzaltenango (Xela) where students live with homestay families. Xela is characterized by the Santa María volcano, colonial-era buildings, quiet parks, plazas, open-air markets, and narrow stone-paved streets. One-on-one language classes provide unlimited opportunities to practice Spanish. The school is located within a 10-minute walk to homestays, numerous restaurants, and cafés. From Xela, students can explore hot springs, mountainous rainforest, weaving cooperatives, and the oldest cathedral in Guatemala. In Costa Rica, students spend a few days at a guesthouse in San José and then spend three weeks with local families in San Francisco de Dos Ríos neighborhood, located about 20 minutes southeast of San José. This is a middle class neighborhood made up of mostly Afro-Costa Ricans, Nicaraguans, Colombians, Chinese, and a small percentage of European families.
Cost:
$18,615. Includes tuition, room, board, all program related travel and excursions, insurance.

Additional Program Information

Scholarships:
Yes
Scholarships Description:
Variety of available including diversity and need based.

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