Experience two countries in one program: Belize and Guatemala.
In Belize experience a tropical rainforest and coral reef just miles apart. Study the fascinating biological features that characterize these systems and observe the interactions between humans and their environment. In the rainforest see iguanas howler monkeys and leaf cutter ants while gaining insight into the Mayan culture and its use of medicinal plants. On the coral reef the longest in the Western Hemisphere swim with brilliantly colored reef fish among the diverse assemblage of corals sponges and other invertebrates.
In Guatemala spend time in the village of Flores on Lake Peten Itza and connect science and medicine of pre-Columbian Mayan civilization to our modern challenges at one of the largest archeological sites in the region. Guatemala portion subject to change.
Group air transportation is available from Nashville, Tennessee to Belize. Round-trip air transportation from other cities MAY be considered on a case-by-case basis at an additional cost. Ground transportation from/to Belize Airport and between program sites is provided.
The price of this CCSA program includes:
Participants will reside in 4 different accommodation sites throughout Belize that include multi-bedded rooms in field stations, cabins, and dormitory facilities. The Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center offers comfortable dormitory style accommodations, which are equipped with hot and cold showers, restrooms, wash house and study area. All rooms have 110V outlets, ceiling or standing fans and fresh linen is provided. Blue Creek is a small Mayan Village offers rustic cabins, which vary in size and accommodate 2 to 10 individuals. There is no furniture, drawers or closets. Bathrooms with toilets and showers (water pumped directly from the creek) are located in a central common building. Virtually everyone bathes in the creek (with swimsuits) using biodegradable camp soap. South Water Caye offers a dorm with bunk beds and restrooms with showers and hot and cold running water. Participants will need to pack bed linens and towels, as they are NOT provided at Blue Creek and South Water Caye. In Guatemala students will lodge at the Gringo Perdido Ecological Inn on Lake Peten Itza.
Course Description: Study examples of Earths most diverse ecosystems by exploring both tropical rainforests and a coral reef in Belize. At Blue Creek Field Station you will live and work within a primary rainforest surrounded by a wealth of biodiversity ranging from large buttressed trees to howler monkeys. While on South Water Caye part of the longest coral reef in the Western Hemisphere you will study reef structure mangrove forests and grass beds while swimming among brilliantly-colored reef fish and corals. The program will also include time in Guatemala and a tour of Tikal a UNESCO World Heritage Site depicting ancient Mayan civilization.
Course Description: As archaeologists came to re-discover the Maya sites of Central America they speculated about their origins noticing their similarities to other human civilizations from beyond the Americas. In this introductory-level ndergraduate course we will compare the ancient cultures of Mesopotamia Asia Europe Africa and the Americas leading up to the moment of sustained contact between the eastern and western worlds. Visits to the Belize Zoo Blue Creek field station and South Water Caye will help illustrate the conditions of early societies while trips to Tikal (Guatemala) and Lamanai and or Xunantunich (Belize) will allow us to examine the growth of complex societies.
Afro-Belize: Slavery Indigeneity Colonialism Race and Culture
Course Description: This class provides participants with a unique learning opportunity to engage in ethnographic research among the mixed race descendants of African slaves Europeans and indigenous peoples of Belize. By observing daily life in food markets and neighborhoods interviewing a variety of community members and visiting indigenous ruins and museums students will be able to directly engage with history and interpret current Afro-Belizean society. We will explore interdisciplinary critical theories of race colonialism and culture to understand Belizes racial and social structures. Doing in-depth on-site research in such a sociologically fascinating society will provide students with an unforgettable introduction to ethnographic studies in a beautiful tropical environment.
NOTE: This course MAY be operated as a separate program—in locations different from those listed in the program description. A determination will be made by mid-September 2019.
Prerequisite: Introductory Social Science/Humanities course