CCNY/CIRMA SPANISH Language & Social Sciences Program in
La Antigua Guatemala
Study abroad in a UNESCO World Heritage Site and in the heart of the Mayan World!
Dates: June 15 to July 30, 2013
Credits: 6 to 8
Do you want to immerse yourself in Central American history and culture, learn a Mayan language, perfect your Spanish, study Mayan historical memory or meet ex-guerrillas from the revolutions of the Cold War? Study in La Antigua Guatemala, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Our program’s host institution, Centro de Investigaciones Regionales de Mesoamérica (CIRMA), is the most prestigious social science research center in all of Central America with a diverse faculty uniting from different parts of the world.
The 6-week intensive Summer program is tailored to provide students with a sophisticated understanding of the region. Courses of study include Central American and Guatemalan history, anthropology, Mayan archaeology, Spanish language and literature, and Mayan languages, with cross-disciplinary focuses in culture, politics, geography and ethnography.
Complementing classes and Guatemalan home-stays are lectures, field trips, internships, and service work. Students also have privileged access to CIRMA's unique documentary and photographic collections. On weekends and holidays, our program participants explore this fascinating country on their own.
6 credits*: CCNY Tuition $1380; CIRMA Program Cost $3295
*option two extra credits are offered through CIRMA at no extra cost. One credit for an internship and/or one credit for lecture series.
- Guatemalan home-stays for students and leaders in Antigua with 3 meals a day Monday-Saturday
- Transportation in private, insured bus
- All entry fees, tour guides, and activity fees
- Group pick-up and drop-off at La Aurora International Airport
- Welcome lunch and goodbye dinner
- Extensive orientation on health, security and emergency protocols and introduction to CIRMA and Antigua
- Backup and logistical support for group
- International Health Insurance
Costs Not Included
- Purchase of Guatemalan cell phones for students (required; approx. $32 plus phone card)
- Sunday meals in Antigua, laundry, snacks
- Independent travel (not recommended, given short duration of trip)
- Materials needed for class (photocopy pack, e.g.)
Airfare from/to USA (approx. $600)
Courses Regularly Offered
Please see CIRMA's website for summer-specific course offerings.
Intensive Intermediate Spanish (4 credits) For students who have passed two semester of elementary Spanish courses.
Intermediate Spanish Conversation (3 credits) For students who wish to improve their oral skills within a dynamic cultural context.
Advanced Spanish Grammar and Composition (3 credits) For Advanced students who wish to perfect their speaking and writing skills.
Mesoamerican Archaeology/Anthropology (3 credits) This course traces the development of culture in Mexico and Central America from the Mayan pre-classical period through the present day. It explores trends in social relationships, emphasizing the changing state of inter-ethnic relations and their connection to political change. The course examines the state of the environment and of national parks protecting archaeological sites. This course will be combined with a field trip to the Petén jungle region. Please note this is a writing intensive course. Taught in English and Spanish.
Special Topics in Contemporary Latin America: Mesoamerican Identity and Nationhood (3 credits) This course examines how cultural traditions from the Mesoamerican region are communicated and preserved, the ethics that derive from them, and their legacies today. The course considers the treatment of race, ethnicity, identity, and power in selected Mesoamerican texts, both ancient and modern. The class examines how civil conflict is addressed in these works as well as the impact of literature on the most important political questions of the post- independence era.
History of Central America (3 credits) This in-depth course on the history of Central America emphasizes the origins, trajectory and aftermath of the Marxist revolutions and civil wars of the twentieth century in Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador. Paying special attention to the role of the U.S. in Latin America, to global political and economic trends, and most particularly to the lived experience and consciousness of disenfranchised populations. This course goes beyond simple narratives to provide a deep understanding of Cold War Central America. It also contextualizes contemporary phenomena such as the rise of a new left, the spread of Evangelical Christianity, growing gang violence, and massive migration to the United States. Taught in English.
Environmental and Resource Geography in Central America (3 credits) This course examines natural resources in Guatemala, including biodiversity, national parks, forests, contamination, ecotourism, and development. It looks at the human factors that contribute to their completion and deterioration as well as protection and maintenance. The course includes a field trip to a national park where issues of illegal logging in buffer zones are paramount. Taught by one of Guatemala's most well-known natural resource policy makers, in Spanish.
Internship at CIRMA (1 credit) A CIRMA internship can involve helping with the inner workings of the most prestigious social science institute in Central America, or going out in the field. Study Abroad students have helped disabled children, done medical internships, and even tutored in an organization that aids children whose families live by sorting garbage in Guatemala City.
Colloquium in Latin American Studies (1 credit) Through a weekly lecture series, students are exposed to nationally and internationally recognized experts in such areas as history and current trends in ethnic relations, aesthetics of contemporary Central America, prospects for the peace process in Guatemala, the Central American environmental crisis, and the significance of democracy in Guatemala and the region.
Indigenous language: Q'eqchi', Kaqchikel and K'iche' (3 credits) Currently offering beginning-level instruction in the Kaqchikel language - one of the most widely-spoken languages in Guatemala and the indigenous language most spoken in the Antigua area. These courses require a minimum of five students.