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Guatemala 2021

Program Details

Due to pandemic restrictions, travel plans for all future seminars are subject to change. With a commitment to the health and safety of students and faculty, and to the communities that host our groups, we continue to monitor conditions and restrictions for travel. Please check for updates on programs of interest as you make decisions for upcoming terms.

Students will learn a great deal about the people, history & culture, language, and current health & education contexts of Guatemala and its diverse population.  Some of the broad questions we will explore are: How has history influenced Guatemala today? For example, to what degree are Guatemalans still impacted by the Spanish conquest of Mesoamerica? What are the repercussions of the Catholic Church’s past actions in Guatemala?  How does the Church influence Latin identity today? How has colonialism influenced their history, economy, government and political systems? What is the current political and economic context of Guatemala? What is the state of health and education in this country?

Our learning will be accomplished through host families, language study, field trips, regular lectures by experts, and reflections.  Students will begin their study of Spanish and Guatemalan cultures through online classes with CASAS experienced teaching staff.  Academic work completed in the spring semester will be centered around current and historical experience, enhanced by  field trips, home stays and other excursions in Guatemala, planned for May 2021.  Students will earn 1 SH of additional credit in Cross-Cultural Social Science through the May travel and cultural immersion. Interested students should request a Confirmation form with more course details before Nov. 2.


Estimated Cost: Tuition, room & board plus $2,200 travel fee (subject to change)
Semester Leaders Kris Schmidt
, Biology, and Kathryn Schmidt
20 students
15 semester hours


CCSSC 201 Cross-Cultural Social Science: Guatemala (2 SH)
Students will begin exploring cultural differences and similarities, as well as ability to critique and value one’s native culture with new perspective.

Spanish Language 6 SH: Two of the following courses, placement based on previous knowledge:
CCSPA 110, 120 Elementary Spanish I & II
CCSPA 210, 220 Intermediate Spanish I & II
CCSPA 312, 322 Adv. Conversational Spanish I & II 

CCSOC 306 - Global Issues (3SH)

Many countries around the globe face a similar set of issues as they relate to indigenous peoples, economic development, religious change, justice and peace, migration, and the environment. These issues take a specific shape and form in Guatemala, a country that has been shaped by a 36 year-long war. This course will examine six case studies from Guatemala, exploring the challenges and lessons to be learned from examples of devastation, resistance and life-giving hope.

CHS 333 - Violence, Peace, and Justice in Central America (CIW) (3SH) 

This course explores many "structures of violence," such as racial, ethnic, economic and gender inequality. Direct violence has traditionally been the key method for both promoting and detaining social change. As such, it has been both defended and critiqued from a variety of biblical perspectives.


Health Risks

  • Zika virus is a risk in Guatemala.

Pregnant women should not travel to Guatemala because Zika infection during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects.
Partners of pregnant women and couples planning pregnancy should know possible risks to pregnancy and take preventive steps. Before travel, those planning pregnancy should talk to their doctor or other healthcare provider.
All travelers should follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during and after their trip. Travelers should also use condoms during and after their trip to prevent sexual transmission of Zika. This will protect against getting Zika while traveling and stop its spread to others back home.

Immunizations and prescriptions may be obtained at EMU Health Services by appointment.
Immunizations may also be obtained from your local health department or primary care provider.

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