Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua
Spring 2009


Program Description

Participants in the Central American semester will experience a window into the world of Guatemala and Nicaragua - our neighboring region with its diversity of people, religion, and economic status.

EMU students will spend significant time with CASAS (Central American Study and Service), a cross-cultural study program in Guatemala. The first two months, participants will live with families in Guatemala City while studying Spanish. Along with the Spanish classes, students will investigate culture, history and current issues including immigration, trade and economics. We will have a special focus on peace-building efforts by Catholic, Protestant and Mayan groups. Attention will be given to relating to and understanding the Guatemalan/Mayan Anabaptist churches. Following this time of intensive Spanish study, students will participate in a service learning opportunity in rural Guatemala or Honduras. Planned travel in small groups will allow students to engage in independent learning within the region.

Traveling to Nicaragua offers the opportunity to compare history and culture of two countries in the region. The main focus in Nicaragua will be trade and other development issues, particularly in rural areas.

The EMU group will return to Guatemala in time for Holy Week activities in Antigua and a final retreat at Lake Atitlán to reflect on the new relationships and understandings from the semester and discern individual/group responses.

Estimated Cost: on campus tuition, room and board plus $600 travel (cost may be adjusted due to changes in currency exchange rates and air fares)

Semester Leaders: Ann and Jim Hershberger

Enrollment: 25 students

Credits: 15 semester hours

Course Descriptions:

CCSSC 202 Cross-Cultural Social Science – 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.

CCHUM 302 History of Central America – 3 SH
Students will study the highlights of Pre-Columbus, colonial, independence and contemporary periods. This will be the foundation for our understanding of current events and problems.

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 Adv. Conversational Spanish & II – 6 SH

CCPSC 302 Contemporary Issues – 3 SH (CIW)
This interdisciplinary course will emphasize the interaction between Catholic, Protestant (including Mennonite), and Mayan faith expressions; the current political and economic climate; and how music, literature, and art reflect current issues.