Center for International Education
Georgia Perimeter College
Clarkston Campus, CN-2102
555 N. Indian Creek Dr.
Clarkston, GA 30021
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Clarkston Campus CN-2102
Peggy Curney Davis
Clarkston Campus CN 2105
Program Leaders by Campus
Margee Bright-Ragland, Ireland
Nicolette Rose, Jamaica
Fred Bounds, China
William Price, Jamaica
The Guatemala program will be offered in Summer 2016. A SAMPLE of the program from a few years ago is below.
May 13 - May 28 (16 Days abroad with coursework to be completed online upon return to Georgia)
Guatemala is one of the most colorful and exciting areas in Central America. When it comes to ancient history, archeological sites, and cultural and linguistic diversity it is second to none in this region. The Guatemala Study Abroad program will provide students with a unique learning experience where indigenous Native Americans (Maya) and Latin American cultures coexist. Guatemala is the only country in Latin America where indigenous ethnic groups make up 50% of the country's population. Fantastic archeological ruins are scattered throughout the region, the most impressive of which is Tikal, the largest city of the ancient Maya civilization, which we will visit during our program.
The primary base of the program will be Jaibalito, located on beautiful Lake Atitlan, at 4,000 ft. in the southern Guatemalan highlands. The lake is surrounded by 4 magnificent (inactive) volcanoes and several vibrant and colorful native Maya villages. Jaibalito is a small, quiet, sequestered village nestled on the edge of the lake, accessible only by boat.
Secondary towns to be visited include Antigua and Chichicastenango, which are also located in the highlands of southern Guatemala. Both of these charming colonial villages are steeped in the cultural diversity of both Maya and Latin culture groups, and are world renowned for their colorful markets and classic colonial architecture. We will spend 3 days in Antigua and a full day in Chichicastenango.
This is a program of hybrid study abroad, meaning that a portion of the program takes place abroad while the remainder is dedicated to academic classes back at home. For the first 16 days, students will participate in a rich interactive cultural encounter with the local people and environment of Guatemala. Back home in Georgia, and for the remaining 4 weeks of the program, students will complete their academic coursework via online classes. In other words, we pack in the cultural immersion and experience with the local cultures and environment and leave most of the coursework until we return back home.
Because the travel abroad component of the program is only 16 days in length, the program is especially well suited to students whose employment and family commitments do not allow them to be away from home for extended periods of time. Additionally this keeps the cost of the program well within the financial reach of most Georgia college students. The online component allows us to reach students all across the state and region; therefore no specific residency near a GPC campus is required. Classes will start on site in Guatemala in space provided by our hotel residences. Guest lecturers, museum visits, guided field trips to volcanoes, archeological sites, and village market days will enrich and fill out the educational experience, and will be included as part of the academic contact hours for our program.
Service Learning Guatemala: Service Learning is attached to all of our GPC Study Abroad programs. Our Service Learning project for this program involves helping a economically struggling village in Guatemala named Jaibalito (population 400). We will bring down from the U.S. 20 laptop computers for their educational use; train them on these computers, and help set up a tutoring center in the village used by local students, teachers and visiting volunteer tutors. The village mayor has also requested some help in purchasing cement for many of the houses and sidewalks in the village (they have occasional flooding issues where dirt floor houses and dirt walkways become unusable). There are no roads in the village (arrive only by boat or on foot) so sidewalks are crucial. We will set aside 2 1/2 days for these projects.
Information may be subject to change
Detailed Itinerary - Guatemala Study Abroad, May 2016
May 13 – 21 Lake Atitlan
(Sun) Arrive at Atlanta Airport at 8:00 a.m. sharp. Depart for Guatemala City at 10:15 a.m., arriving at 12:35 p.m.. Board our private shuttle vans at airport to Panajachel (Pana), Lake Atitlan (3 hours in transit). Stop for lunch along highway. Take a lancha (small boat) over to Jaibalito village and Hotel La Casa del Mundo (20 minutes in transit). Get settled into hotel and village of Jaibalito. Orientation at 6:00 p.m. on lower outside porch below dining room. Dinner (optional) at 6:30 p.m. every night at Casa del Mundo.
14th (Mon) Morning classes from 10:00 to 12:30 at hotel. Lunch at 1:00. Social Work: 2:30 we will meet the Jaibalito teachers, and possibly students, to demonstrate computers we are giving them. Dinner at 6:30 (your option). Slide show on Maya at 8:00 p.m. in Dining Room.
15th (Tues) Breakfast at 8:00 in dining room. Depart in lancha (boat) for Pana at 9:00 a.m.; then minibuses up mountain to Sololá (Market Day in this kakchiquel community). Shopping in market, or stroll around town, or visit cemetery on lake side of town. Return to minibuses at 12:30; return in buses to Pana for lunch, more shopping, and underwater archeology and geology museum. Buy food for dinner if looking for cheaper option than our hotel. 4:00 p.m. take private lanchas back to La Casa del Mundo. Dinner at 6:30 every night at this hotel. Live music in evening.
16th (Wed) Day for Social Work with village of Jaibalito. Breakfast at 8:00 a.m.. Activities not yet defined. Classes will be held in the morning or afternoon depending on social work activities, or possibly after dinner. Lunch at 1:00 in dining room.
>17th (Thurs) Chichicastenango (Market Day in this Kiche Maya town): Early breakfast served at 6:30. Catch a 7:30 lancha from Jaibalito to Pana; and then minibuses to Chichi (1 hour in transit). Lunch 12:30 at Hotel Santo Tomas just 2 blocks from main market plaza and church. 1:30 – option to climb the hill next to town to see outdoor shamans, or continue to site see and shop around town. Return to minibuses no later than 3:00 p.m.. Return to Lake Atitlan and Casa del Mundo. Dinner served (optional) at 6:30. Night in the group hot tub after dinner -ooh!.
18th (Fri) This is a free day. Options: Take a hike from Hotel to Santa Cruz, or Sololá (w/ guide); mountain bike from Tzuzuman (walking distance) to village of San Marcos; kayak around the lake; scuba dive in the lake; visit villages on east side of the lake via Pana; climb San Pedro volcano (w/ guide); or just chill around the hotel. As usual, breakfast at 8:00, lunch at 1:00, dinner (optional) at 6:30.
19th (Sat) Half day free (morning). Breakfast at 8:00; Lunch at 1:00. Classes from 2:30 to 5:30.
20th (Sun) Full Day – Morning venture to Santiago Atitlan via lancha departing Casa del Mundo at 8:30 a.m. (it’s their Market day). Visit the Church together and house of living Maya god Maximon. Enjoy the market until 12:00 and return to dock to take a lancha over to San Pedro. Here we’ll have lunch and then hike over to the village of San Juan for a tour of some cottage industries (wood & textiles). Return to Jaibalito/Casa del Mundo via lancha around 4:30. Dinner at 6:30 . This night a guest lecture by local historian at hotel at 7:30.
21st (Mon) - Morning free to study (or explore if you’re caught up on your studies). Breakfast at 8:00; Lunch at hotel at 1:00. Classes from 2:30 to 5:30.
22nd (Tues) - Breakfast at 8:00. Depart Casa del Mundo at 9:00; take lanchas to Pana; immediately take vans to Antigua, Guatemala (2:20 minutes in transit). Lunch in Antigua at SaberRico restaurant. Check into hotel Casa Antigua. At 2:00 we’ll take a walking guided tour of the city until 5:30. Late afternoon tea (or other libations) at Café Sky for sunset over the volcanoes.
23rd (Wed)– Early Breakfast at hotel at 7:00 a.m.. 8:00 a.m. departure for active Pacaya Volcano (1 hour in transit). We’ll climb the volcano on foot, though some horses will be available for rent. Return from the volcano around 1:00 p.m. to eat our pack lunch in village. Return to Antigua around 3:00. Rest of afternoon free.
24th (Thurs) - Departing at 9:00 we’ll take a visit to nearby village of Jototenango to visit a Maya music & ceremony museum and a coffee finca & factory. Return to Antigua for lunch at Fernando’s Café where you’ll get a lunchtime lecture on the chocolate industry. Coffee and chocolate are big cash crops in Central America. Classes between 2:30 & 5:30.
25th (Fri) - Free day in and around Antigua. Breakfast at 8:00. You can visit other volcanoes in the area that are close by; horseback riding available in the area; visit the other colonial ruins in the city; visit other small cute villages in the area. Lunch at Fernando’s café at 1:00 if your around.
26th (Sat) - Very early departure from Antigua via vans to airport in Guatemala City (departing at 4:30 arriving airport at 5:45 for 6:30 flight). We off in our private plane to northern Petén region of Guatemala to visit the ancient Maya city of Tikal. Breakfast on the plane. Pick-up our private vans at airport for trip to Remate on Lake Petén Itza. Drop off our stuff at the hotel and complete the trip further north to the ruins of Tikal. We’ll have a short museum visit at the site then venture into the ruins. Return by foot back to park entrance complex for lunch around 1:00. Return to hotel in Remate around 3:00. Take a swim in the lake; visit the nearby outdoor zoo; go horseback riding; or just chill and relax in this tropical environment.
27th (Sun) - Breakfast at hotel at 8:00. Depart for ruins at 9:00 for another visit (can’t see whole site in one day). Leave ruins at 12:30 and on our way back we’ll stop at a restaurant. Next door to the restaurant is Canopy Tours – we’ll ride on zip-line cables through the jungle from tree house to tree house – fun stuff. Return to hotel to pick up our luggage and go straight to airport for our late afternoon flight back to Guatemala City (5:00 p.m. flight). We’ll return to Antigua via vans for our final night in Guatemala.
28th (Mon) - Late morning departure to airport from Antigua at 10:00 a.m.. Fly back to Atlanta at 1:00 p.m.
Since we will be at the heart of the ancient and contemporary Maya region, the students will conduct some research on the general history of the region, to include some light research into the ancient and present day Maya prophecies surrounding the upcoming "End Times" of the ancient Maya calendar.
Math and computer science students will focus on mathematical and computer modeling of contemporary Guatemalan political, economic, environmental, and health issues. They will study the architecture of the Maya, tutor Guatemalan students in math and basic computing, explore the Mayan base 20 number system, and delve into the complicated mathematical calendars of the Maya.
Anthropology and sociology students will flesh out the general research on the ancient Maya as it relates to their calendars and prophecies. Anthropology spends much time focusing on tribal and traditional people around the world. A special emphasis will be directed toward the Maya in course examples.
Spanish students will conduct interviews with contemporary Maya, revealing their understandings of the end of the great calendar cycle. Spanish students may be called on to translate some written documents as well.
The hope is to combine this research into one collaborate "wiki" website report.
La Casa del Mundo, an American-owned hotel at the base of Lake Atitlan, which is a unique boutique hotel in an extraordinary setting on the side of a mountain hanging out over the lake. It will be our base for the 9 days. Many cultural points of interest lie within 15 minutes to 1 hour from this location. The hotel serves 3 healthy meals a day, and has common space for classroom and leisure setting.
The Hotel la Casa Antigua is in the classic colonial town of Antigua and will be our secondary base location for the program (3 days/nights). It’s an incredibly charming and atmospheric small hotel right in the heart of the city, 1 block from the main plaza. The town has many restaurants and other tourist infrastructure, and is a good base for other points of interest in the area.
The Hotel Mon Ami will be used for our 2 day/night stay at the ruins of Tikal.
Accommodations will be in double, sometimes triple, occupancy rooms. Two meals a day (breakfast and lunch) will be included in the program fee.
Program fees do not cover tuition, registration at GPC or airport exit taxes. Cost is subject to change in the event of unanticipated increases in airfares or other program elements.
Apply Early! Students who apply before the deadline and make monthly payments find it easier to afford study abroad. Students who qualify may use financial aid and scholarships to pay for some of the costs associated with study abroad.
The CIE recommends all interested students meet with a Financial Aid Advisor as early as possible.
$ 1,950 includes:
- Round trip airfare between Atlanta and Guatemala
- Round trip airfare between Guatemala City & ancient Tikal
- All Accommodations in 3 star hotels
- Breakfast and Lunch
- Transportation to and from all program related excursion sites and points of interest
- Travel health insurance for the duration of the program
Price does NOT include (What else you should budget for):
- GPC tuition and books
- Personal spending money ($200 recommended)
Download: [ Budget Worksheet for Study Abroad Students]