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Guatemala & Mexico – Spring 2007

Program Description

Giants to the North:

Guatemala looks at Mexico to their immediate north with a marked sense of inferiority. Mexico looks at the USA with a similar sense. Both countries are inundated with popular culture from their neighbor to the north—music, television, movies and sports.

Each feels overwhelmed by their geographic relation to their neighbor when each has so much in common culturally.

This semester will focus on how this reality has played on the psyche of each country and how that reality is played out on the stage of culture, religion, politics and economics.

Giants from within:

On a hillside near Cholula, Mexico, sits a beautiful church called Nuestra Señora de los Remedios. Underneath that hill, archeologists discovered six preceding civilizations of religious pyramids. As each people group rose to prominence, they built their religious temple over the previous one ending with the current Spanish church. This hillside is a symbol of the history of humankind’s need to both dominate and impose.

Both Guatemala and Mexico were the sites of giant empires; the Mayan empire stretched across southern Mexico and Guatemala, the Aztec empire stretched across central Mexico and traced its mythological past and future to the Southwest of the United States.

These empires were superseded by the Spanish conquest; another northern giant which imposed its language, culture and religion on the region.

This semester will examine empire building and its effects on culture, particularly the religion of Guatemala and Mexico.

Other Information

Semester Leaders: Don and Esther Clymer

Enrollment: maximum 20 students

Cost: Tuition, Room & Board + $800 travel

Course Credits: 15 Semester Hours

Course Descriptions

CCUS 202 Cross-Cultural Understanding 3 SH
In Guatemala, students will live with families and study culture in context to learn skills of adaptation and empathy, as well as ability to critique one’s host and native culture.  

SPANISH LANGUAGE: Six semester hours at one of the following levels (placement based on previous knowledge):

  • CCSPA 102, 112 Elementary Spanish I & II 6 SH
  • CCSPA 202, 212 Intermediate Spanish I & II 6 SH
  • CCSPA 302, 312 Advanced Conversational Spanish I & II 6 SH

CCHUM 302 Religion and Empire: History and Geography of Guatemala and Mexico 3 SH
Students will study the highlights of Pre-Columb ian , colonial, independence and contemporary periods with an emphasis on the religion and empire as dominate themes on each of these periods.

CCSOC 302 Religious, Economic, Psychological and Social forces in Guatemala and Mexico 3 SH
This interdisciplinary course will emphasize the interaction between various faith expressions , psychological make-up of each culture, and current social and economic realities. Emphasis will be given on how m usic, literature, and art express these realities.