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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Blue Creek, Belize; La Democracia, Belize; Lake Peten Itza, Guatemala; South Water Caye, Belize
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Program Sponsor: CCSA- Cooperative Center for Study Abroad 
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2020 02/28/2020 ** Rolling Admission 05/21/2020 06/03/2020

** Indicates rolling admission application process.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Course Disciplines: Anthropology, Biology, Earth and Environmental Science, History, Race and Ethnicity, Sociology
Program Description:

Program Details:

Program Base Price: $3,899 - $4,199*
Estimated Airfare: $799 – $999

* All prices are estimates based upon Summer 2019 costs. The final prices will be published on the CCSA website by mid-September 2019. Airfares will be finalized in Spring of 2020.

Scholarships: Yes (see scholarships page)

Program Description:

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.


Photo Gallery:

More Info:

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-related activities and entrances fees
  • All course-related ground transportation
  • Additional cultural program excursions
  • Health and emergency evacuation insurance
  • Program directors and staff on-site 24/7
  • Daily breakfast and some additional meals

Course(s) Offered:

Biology / Earth Science / Environmental Science

Tropical Biology in Belize and Guatemala
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.
Dr. Timothy M. Griffith | 3 Cr. Hrs. | U


Mystery of the Maya
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.
Dr. Gregory Hammond | 3 Cr. Hrs. | U

Sociology / Race and Ethnicity / Anthropology

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
Dr. Daniel Justino Delgado | 3 Cr. Hrs. | U