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Drexel Winter Break In Guatemala: Development in Action
Quetzaltenango, Guatemala (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Winter
This program is currently not accepting applications.
Restrictions: Drexel applicants only
Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction:
English, Spanish
Minimum Cumulative GPA:
Class Eligibility:
Junior, Pre-Junior, Senior, Sophomore
Eligible Majors:
All Majors
Type of Program:
Intensive Course Abroad
Housing Options:
Program Advisor:
Ahaji Schreffler
Program Description:

The Programguatemala flag

Based in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, Doing Development: Learning from the Group Up, is a study tour that focuses on language acquisition, experiential learning, cultural exchange, and service. Students will devote time to intensive Spanish instruction and volunteer work, and be engaged in interactive site visits and service learning projects exploring international development, including global and environmental health, women’s rights, economic development, and community tourism.
By the conclusion of the program, students will:

-Increase their language capabilities.
-Understand key challenges of development, and the intersecting connections between global and environmental health, gender issues, economics, politics, etc.
-Increase their cultural competency skills, especially when working with diverse, non-English speaking communities.
-Experience and learn about Guatemalan culture, and understand how the country’s history shapes its current state.
-Develop experiential education reflection skills, and understand how engagement shapes their own identity and interpretation of the world. 

Check out an online presentation about this program!

The Academics

Students will be registered for IAS 390, Doing Development: Learning from the Group Up, a 3 credit course. 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 Spanish class and service learning activities, students will engage in daily lectures, discussions and qualitative research efforts.

Requirements: Although many of the assignments will occur during the program, students participating in Winter Break 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.

Instructor: Students will be directed and overseen by Kate Hughes, M.S., MPH, Assistant Director of the Center of Interdisciplinary Programs (AFAS, GREC, IAS and WMST), as well as Guatemalan instructors at the Casa XelaJu language school, and local development practitioners.

Winter Break Program Itineraryguatemala

2014 Dates: December 6th—20th

Weekend excursions: 2 nights in Antigua exploring the world heritage site and local coffee fincas. 2 nights in Lago Atitlan visiting community tourism projects, kayaking, and volunteering.
Week 1: Informal and formal learning through lectures, site visits and service learning projects which include meeting with local journalists, building safe stoves in the Mayan highlands, helping with a deforestation project, and cooking classes with a women’s empowerment organization. The group will live together during this week.

Week 2: Intensive Spanish instruction, and a homestay with a local Guatemalan family.
Afternoon cultural activities include salsa lessons, hiking, classes on chocolate making, soaking in natural hot springs, and exploring local markets.

Check out an online presentation about this program!
Read Fall 2013 student blogs from Guatemala

Winter Break Program Fee: $1,300

Included in the program fee:
-In-country transportation
-25 hours of individual language instruction and class materials
-All lodging and food
-Weekend activities
-All entrance fees
-Cultural activities
-Volunteering supplies and donations to service projects
-Full-time in-country staff support and translators

Not included in program fee (approx $1,000): Round trip flight to Guatemala City (from Philadelphia or NYC); passport fee, visa (if applicable), emergency evacuation insurance, $200 for miscellaneous/ spending money

Payment schedule:
-Advance payment $500 + $25 application fee due with application
-Final payment due Oct 31st: $800
*All payments are non-refundable. If student is not accepted or program does not run for unexpected reasons, payments will be refunded.

No visa is required for US citizens. Other nationalities should check on the Guatemalan Embassy website for details.

Housing & Meals: During week 1, students will live together. During week 2, students will live with Guatemalan host families. Meals of traditional Guatemalan food will be provided during both weeks.

On-site Program Partners

Casa Xelaju is an intensive language school which provides accredited individual instruction, cultural activities, field trips, and homestays. The school has been operating for more than 25 years, and according to its website, its mission is threefold: “to provide the best language and cultural education possible to its students; to provide the best economic environment for its teachers and staff; and to support local communities with projects to fight poverty through education.”
EntreMundos “is a registered Guatemalan non-profit association that promotes positive social change by supporting and strengthening communities and non-governmental organizations in Guatemala. This is achieved through capacity building workshops and training; the publication of a free bimonthly, bilingual magazine (in Spanish and English) about development and human rights issues in Guatemala; and operating a volunteer placement program, connecting volunteers, both international and local, with community projects and NGOs. As an NGO committed to the projects with which we work, the proceeds from your participation go directly back to serving the organizations and communities of Guatemala.

Dates / Deadlines:
There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
This program is currently not accepting applications.
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