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Program Description

Study the history of Guatemala's guerrilla war and peace process at the Centro de Investigaciones Regionales de Mesoamerica (CIRMA), a world-class research center in the heart of Antigua, Guatemala. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Antigua is a preserved colonial city. High in the mountains and flanked by volcanoes, its cobblestone streets, parks, fountains and churches are famous for their charm, and the town's cultural, culinary and nightlife scenes are vibrant and fun.

About half of Guatemala's population is Mayan. Twenty-two indigenous languages complement Spanish. In class, you'll study the Marxist revolution and the counterinsurgency that led to genocide against the Maya in the 1980s, and  you will put your ideas into action in an internship in CIRMA's historical archives or in local aid organizations. (No Spanish required.) A three-day excursion to Lake Atitlan in the Kaqchikel and Tz'utujil-speaking highlands will take you to the Mayan highlands. We will visit grassroots groups that work on sustainable development, human rights and education on the shores of this volcano-ringed lake, which has been called the most beautiful in the world.

These two weeks will change your life and illuminate whatever you study, whether it's in the social sciences, humanities or health and human services.

Students interested in beginning an online application should click here.

Tentative Itinerary

Highlights of the program are provided below. Georgia State University and CIRMA reserve the right to alter travel and other arrangements if required by circumstances, but you are protected from any change in price in the unlikely case a change is required.

Please note that class/internship days include internship hours in the morning and class in the afternoon.

April TBD - Pre-departure classes in Atlanta.
May 24 - Arrive in Guatemala. Tour with group leader. Dinner with home-stay families.
May 25 - Sunday morning free. Afternoon historical lecture followed by group dinner.
May 26 - Tour CIRMA, meet directors and register for internship. Afternoon class.
May 27-29 - Class/internship days. Evenings free. Special speaker at CIRMA.
May 30 - Leave for Panajachel, the major Kaqchikel-Mayan-speaking town on Lake Atitlan. Tour town. Group dinner.
May 31 - Boat to Tz'tujil hamlets on the late and tour local grassroots development projects.
June 1 - Leave Panajackel to visit K'iche'-Mayan crafts market in Chichicastenango. Return to Antigua for dinner.
June 2-5 - Class/Internship days, with evenings free. Two local excursions and a special speaker at CIRMA.
June 6 - Final internship session. Goodbye ceremony and fiesta at CIRMA.
June 7 - Free day.
June 8 - Return to the U.S.

Application Deadline

March 3, 2014.

Because program size is limited, early application is strongly advised. Individual interviews may be scheduled with students upon receipt of application.


The program is offered to all undergraduate and graduate students in good academic standing at Georgia State University. Students with limited or no Spanish may intern in CIRMA's Fototeca (historical photographic active). Intermediate Spanish is required for internships in the HIstorical Archive, Social Sciences Library and local organization that aid people with disabilities.

International students at Georgia State who hold F-1 visas must contact the Office of International Students and Scholar Services at 404/413-2070 to discuss possible implications of study abroad for their immigration status.

Credits, Courses and Internship

The seminar provides four credits for HIST 4740, Latin American Revolutions, focusing on Guatemala. Alternative exercises for graduate students are included in HIST 8420 (Seminar in Latin American History, four credits). Students also take a one-credit internship (HIST 4980 or 8680), only waived with special approval. Students intern with CIRMA, or undergraduates  may intern in local organizations serving people with disabilities or malnourished infants.

CIRMA is among the most prestigious research facilities in Latin America. In a colonial mansion with views of three volcanoes, it is home to a Social Sciences Library, a historical archive with more than eight million documents, and the Fototeca Guatemala, a historical photographic archive. Learn more about CIRMA here.


Students will stay in a private room with a host family in Antigua and will receive three meals a day except Sundays. Vegetarian and vegan accommodations are available. Students with documented disabilities who may need accommodations during their study abroad experience should discuss these needs with the Program Director and the Office of Disabilities at the time of application.


Program cost may vary at any time according to currency fluctuations and changing travel arrangements. The program cost is tentatively set at $1,800, PLUS regular Georgia State University tuition and fees and mandatory insurance provided by Georgia State. Insurance for all students costs $27.45. Non-resident/out-of-state students will pay in-state tuition plus a $250 fee in addition to the program cost.

Price Includes:

  • Accommodations with a family in Antigua, including three meals a day except Sundays
  • Ground transportation and excursions fees
  • Transportation to and from the airport in Guatemala City (For those traveling with group)
  • Three-day trip to Lake Atitlan with double or triple hotel rooms, meals and entrance fees
  • Day trip to Chichicastenango, the largest indigenous crafts fair in the Americas
  • Access to Wi-Fi and a small number of PCs at CIRMA
  • Health/Evacuation/Repatriation Insurance
  • Access to all CIRMA research facilities and staff

Price Does NOT Include:

  • Georgia State tuition and fees
  • Round-trip airfare
  • Passport, excess baggage charges and other personal travel expenses
  • Visas for students from nations where they are required (U.S. students will receive a free visa)
  • Personal expenses, including Sunday meals, snacks, laundry and other expenses
  • Local transportation in Antigua
  • Course readings (provided in a photocopied packet for purchase) or Internet access outside of CIRMA

Payment Schedule

March 3, 2014 – $200 deposit with application
March 14, 2014 – $800 payment
April 4, 2014 – $ 827.45 balance
(All payments are non-refundable after March 14)

Please pay for your program deposit by finding the program listing and following the payment instructions listed there. See your Program Director for more information. Please refer to the Academic/Registration calendar for the tuition and fees deadline.

Funding and Scholarships

Georgia State University students are eligible to apply for the IEF Study Abroad Scholarship/Georgia State University Foundation Scholarship and may be eligible to apply for the Global Experience Scholarship. Visit or contact the Office of International Initiatives, Study Abroad Programs at 404/413-2529 for more information.

Contact the Office of Financial Aid at 404/413-2400 for information on how financial aid might apply toward the program.

Students have the option of purchasing an “International Student ID Card” from STA Travel for travel discounts in participating countries. For more information, visit the STA Travel website at


For more information about the program or to submit your application, contact

Program Director: J. T. Way, Ph.D.
34 Peachtree Street, Office 2141
Phone: 404-413-5610