Program Details

The ethnomedicine field course connects students to a variety of different ways of looking at health, beliefs and healing using traditional medicine from the Maya, Creole and Garifuna cultures. Students travel to several villages around Belize.
San Ignacio, Belize; Dangriga, Belize; Toledo, Belize
Program Type:
Study Abroad
Degree Level:
Summer, Winter Semester

Program Overview

Program Description:

Contemporary indigenous groups draw on a long history of working with medicinal plants from their surrounding environment, while taking a holistic approach to health care. Around the globe many traditional health practices are quickly fading, however traditional healers remain widely consulted and essential members of their communities. This course will offer an introduction to the world of traditional health as it is practiced and integrated into daily life in southern Belize. The health practices of Maya and Garifuna populations will be explored in-depth, with a focus on their vitality and relevance to people’s lives. Through in-class lectures and discussions, readings, guest lectures, visits with traditional healers and other elders, tours of a medicinal plant garden and medicinal plant walks with healers, students will have the opportunity to experience unique health traditions as they have been passed down through generations and begin to understand their form and function in today’s world.

This course carries three credit hours, transferable to home institutions with prior approval. The nature of this field course connects students to a variety of different ways of looking at health, beliefs and healing through the use of traditional medicinal plants. The student will interact with Maya, Creole and Garifuna cultures.

Setting Description:
Students will study in English -speaking Belize in Central America. The course work takes place is several locations in Belize, visiting clinics, traditional healers, medicine trails and cacao growers.
Winter - $2,995 one course, summer $2825 one course, $4,995 for two summer courses. $2,995 for the winter session USD. Course fees include the cost of the course, housing, transfers from and to the Belize international airport, transportation for field trips, breakfast and some other meals. Airfare and insurance are not included.

Additional Program Information

Scholarships Description:
see provider for details

Program Reviews

Overall Rating


Based on 2 Reviews

  • My experience
    This experience was a once in a lifetime opportunity. I enjoyed traveling around the country with only three other people in the course. The small course size made learning more enjoyable and more meaningful.
    Bottom Line:Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
  • Health, belief and ethnomedicine review

    The program was a pretty eye-opening experience. As my first true abroad experience, it was all pretty humbling. It was fantastic to learn about the great range of plants and listen to the healer's stories, and learn about their wealth of knowledge.

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    Bottom Line:Yes, I would recommend this to a friend