Guatemala and Spain 2019

Guatemala and Spain: Spring 2019

Program Details

During this cross-cultural semester we will experience distinct Spanish-speaking locations through homestays, intensive language study, field trips and regular reflection on issues of migration and globalization. Students will think critically about the interrelatedness of poverty, nationalism, migration, historic identities and the role of religion in both the “new world” of Guatemala and the “old world” of Spain.

We will experience the geographic proximity of Mexico, Central America, and the U.S. which contributes to the interchange of culture, commodities, capital, and of course, people – who sometimes become migrants. In a similar way, Spain has had significant interchange historically with North Africa, and current dynamics related to migration will be studied. Migrants sometimes reach the Spanish mainland
where many continue on to other parts of Europe.

We will study how in both North American and Europe, current societal tensions revolve around issues of economic
anxiety and needs, cultural identity and change, fear and nationalist movements.

Students will begin with approximately 6 weeks of Spanish study at CASAS (Central American Study and Service), a cross-cultural language program in Guatemala and include visits to the Guatemala/Mexico border, an important migration point. We will have 3 more weeks of Spanish
study in Cadiz, Spain on the Atlantic coast. Additional travel throughout Spain, including walking on the Camino de Santiago, will fill out a semester which touches history, spirituality and cultural diversity.


Estimated Cost: Tuition, room & board plus $2900 travel fee (subject to change)
Semester Leaders: Byron Peachey and  Deanna Durham
Enrollment: 22 students
Credits: 15 semester hours

Course Descriptions

CCSSC 201 Cross-cultural Social Science 3 SH
In two countries, 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 native and host cultures.

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 302 Immigration, Globalization, Human Mobility 3 SH
Global changes in technology and political economies have led to an acceleration of human mobility worldwide. On the local level in the Shenandoah Valley, this is experienced as rapid social change as people from diverse backgrounds are brought into contact with one another. The goal of the course is both to unsettle conventional ideas about immigration and immigrants, and to see how
human mobility and globalization touch all of our lives.

CCREL 304 Religion, Culture and Economics in Guatemala and Spain 3 SH (CIW)
This interdisciplinary course emphasizes the interaction between Catholic, Protestant (including Mennonite), and Indigenous faith expressions; current political and economic climate; peacebuilding initiatives; and local music, literature, and art. Students will also explore the role of faith in immigration issues.


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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