HEALTH & HEALING IN GUATEMALA: A SERVICE LEARNING JOURNEY
Faculty Leader: Dr. Kevin Emmons, School of Nursing-Camden
Travel Dates: Spring Break 2020
Class Meeting Times: TBD
Course Number: TBD
Program Cost: Approximately $2,500*
This seminar and international service-learning course introduces students to health and healing in Guatemala, one of many developing countries in the Americas with significant poverty and health disparities. Classroom and field experiences focus on demographic, socio-cultural, spiritual, economic, legal, and political factors influencing population health and healthcare delivery within Guatemala. Three key areas include the following: 1) Mayan history and marginalization as it relates to today’s setting 2) Traditional and Western medical systems and their articulation within the health care system of Guatemala; and 3) Identification of population health needs and progress toward the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 2030).
During the ten-day international service-learning experience, students work among the highland Maya on projects to improve community health while learning about local culture, history and the environment. Examples of these projects included stove construction, health screenings and education, and hands-on seminars with Mayan healers and lay midwives. In addition to the focus on Guatemala, an emphasis will be place on cultural congruence and humility, team building, improving interpersonal relationships and communication, and integrating concepts of inter-professional education.
Additional trip highlights (tentative):
- Visit majestic Lake Atitlan, ringed by volcanoes and among the most beautiful lakes in the world. Travel by boat to the surrounding villages and tour an organic coffee cooperative while sipping Guatemalan coffee.
- Tread over swinging foot and cable bridges, visit a butterfly sanctuary, and zip line over the tree canopy past monkeys, waterfalls, cliffs, and volcanoes.
- Visit the famous Chichicastenango Mayan market, witnessing the processions of Mayan priests and cofradias
- Relax in a volcanic hot spring
- Visit the colonial city of Antigua, a UNESCO world heritage site, with lovely plazas, historic sites and churches, and shopping in the marketplace.
- Spend five days at a retreat center as you complete your service learning projects in villages surrounding the city of Xela, participate in a Maya healing ceremony, learn about traditional medicine, and work closely with an indigenous (native) community to improve their health
- Tour the ruins of the ancient Maya capital city of Iximche.
Students from all majors and levels of study are welcome, and have participated successfully for many years.
Program Cost Includes:
- International health insurance
- Some meals and excursions
Program Cost Does Not Include:
- Passport, visa, or airport entrance or exit fees (if applicable)
- Remaining meals
*Program cost is approximate and subject to change. Program cost is in addition to tuition.