Our program balances academic engagement with critical scholarship on key topics relating to social and occupational justice with applied research and practice and the study of Spanish. Students study Spanish one-on-one with individual instructors at their own level and pace for a minimum of 9 hours per week. In the case of students who are assessed as fluent Spanish speakers, alternate programming in Mayan languages will be made available. Living in a home stay increases language fluency and understanding of Guatemalan culture. Both the student home stays and Spanish instruction are organized through our partner Tecun Uman Spanish School.
Students participate in three weekly core seminars on topics that will provide important contextual information and theoretical perspectives through which we can query the current status and potential for advancement of social and occupational justice in Guatemala. These seminars will include lectures presented by field school faculty, discussion of academic literature, and first-hand engagement with Guatemalan films and case studies. Students will be asked to read one or more academic articles prior to seminar sessions. Field school students will also have the opportunity for weekly interactions with Guatemalan scholars and policy advocates through guest speakers, who will be drawn from Guatemalan universities, human rights organizations, and international NGOs and governmental agencies.
Through Project Groups, students engage first-hand with research and practice in the promotion of social and occupational justice through working with the field school’s partner NGOs and other collaborators. Each Project Group combines students from both anthropology and occupational therapy backgrounds and will be supervised by field school faculty, providing students the opportunity for individualized mentorship in field methods.