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Study the life and culture of the Highland Maya (Deadline: March 26, 2010)

Ethnographic Field School in Highlan Guatemala

6 undergraduate credits in anthropology

May 25–July 8, 2010 (two days on-campus, six weeks abroad)

Maury Hutcheson, Ph.D.

Program cost: $2,380 (includes roundtrip airfare) plus applicable VCU tuition[1]

Based in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, this six-week program will provide students with a comprehensive overview of Mayan indigenous life in Guatemala, past and present, including opportunities for individual and group research through participant observation, attendance at cultural events, lectures on selected topics, and excursions to museums and major archaeological sites, dating from the earliest days of the Olmec/Maya transition to the contact-era capitals that were toppled by the Spanish conquistadors. Highland Guatemala provides an ideal setting in which to explore different topics such as cultural pluralism, religious conservation and change, local responses to globalization and cultural revitalization movements. Students will gain practical experience in a variety of ethnographic research techniques as well as the ethical dimension of anthropological fieldwork while exploring historical continuities and transformations in Mayan culture and religious practice, especially in response to economic globalization and tourism. Students live with Guatemalan families. Course instruction is in English, but incorporates individualized one-on-one tutoring in Spanish. The program is well suited for students in anthropology, international studies, history, and religious studies. Interethnic relations between the Maya and their non-indigenous Ladino neighbors will be a special focus of this year’s program.

The international program fee of $2,380 includes the following:

  • Roundtrip airfare
  • All accommodations
  • All meals while living with Guatemalan families
  • Study visits and cultural excursions
  • Ground transportation
  • On-site program director support
  • Application fee and deposit
  • International Student Identification Card

Registration deadline: March 26, 2010

For more information, and to apply, visit the program website at:

[1] Out-of-state students who participate in faculty-led VCU Study Abroad programs are eligible for a 40 percent discount on the regular out-of-state tuition costs.