Programs : Brochure
- Locations: Quetzaltenango, Guatemala
- Program Terms: Winter
- Restrictions: Drexel applicants only
Based in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, Doing Development: Learning from the Ground Up, is a study tour that focuses on exploring development issues through experiential learning, cultural exchange and service. Students will explore international development, including global and environmental health, women’s rights, economic development, and community tourism, through interactive site visits and service learning projects.
By the conclusion of the program, students will:
Learning will mostly be rooted in Quetzaltenango, which is nestled in a valley mountain surrounded by farmland, indigenous populations, numerous development organizations, and a lively art and music scene. In addition to service learning activities and field trips, students will engage in daily lectures, discussions and qualitative research efforts.
Students will be registered for GST T380, Doing Development, 3 credits as part of their winter term course load. Students must leave space for this 3 credit in their winter term credit load or will have to pay for exceeding the 20 credit maximum. The 3 credit for this program is not optional.
Although many of the assignments will occur during the program, students will be responsible for completing a research paper upon their return. This course is open to all Drexel students in class or on co-op, and there are no pre-requisites.
Students will be directed and overseen by Kate Hughes, M.S., MPH, Associate Director of the Center of Interdisciplinary Programs (AFAS, IAS and WMST), as well as Guatemalan instructors at local development practitioners and NGOs.
Arrival Date: Friday, December 9, 2016
Departure Date: Sunday, December 18, 2016
*Students may extend their travel independently before or after program dates.
Students will gain an interdisciplinary understanding of Guatemala and development through lectures, site visits, community-based learning projects and cultural activities, which include meeting with a local journalist to discuss the Guatemalan civil war, building safe stoves in the Mayan highlands with a women’s empowerment organization, participating in a traditional Mayan ceremony, assisting with a clean water project, and helping an environmental organization address deforestation. The group will also spend two days at a cooperative coffee finca, learning about land and labor rights, fair trade and sustainability, and will volunteer during harvest season.
Afternoon cultural activities include salsa lessons, chocolate making and cooking classes, soaking in natural hot springs, and exploring local markets. Students will also have free time in Antigua, and an opportunity to explore the world heritage site independently.
Students will spend the first weekend sleeping lakeside at famed Lago Atitlan. The weekend will be devoted to exploring tourism along the lake, including the environmental, economic and cultural issues spurred by development. Students will meet with different NGOs (artist and weaving cooperatives, etc.) and learn about innovative and sustainable community tourism projects formed in response to development pressures. Students will also have the opportunity to swim and explore the lake by kayak.
Check out an online presentation about this program!
Read student blogs from Guatemala
Due September 30, 2016 - $25 application fee + $500 Advance Payment
Due November 1, 2016 - $900 Final Payment
*All payments are non-refundable unless declined admission or program cancels for unforeseen reasons.
Included in Program Fee:
Not Included in Program Fee:
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