Yucatán: Languages, Cultures & Histories
Program Dates: Sunday, June 2, 2024 (arrival date) - Sunday, June 23, 2024 (departure date)
Holy Cross Faculty: Bridget Franco (Spanish) and Hannah Abrahamson (History)
This short-term Spanish-language program will focus on indigenous history and culture in Mexico, specifically in the historic city of Mérida and the broader Yucatán peninsula. Students will stay with local host families. This program is designed for students at the intermediate Spanish level or higher with an express interest in a cultural immersion experience in Latin America. This requirement includes students who will be at the 200 level (or above) Spanish course at Holy Cross as well as heritage Spanish speakers. Students will take a daily Spanish-language class, five days/week through the Universidad de Mérida's Centro de Idiomas. Afternoon and weekend activities include experiential learning opportunities focused on the culture and history of Indigenous Yucatec Mayan populations in the region.
In the diverse and tranquil city of Mérida, approximately 1 in 10 inhabitants speak Yucatec Maya, and 65% of the people who live in the state of Yucatán identify as Indigenous. The Yucatán Peninsula has dozens of Maya archaeological sites, historical museums, and cultural centers. Within the city proper, Mérida has a variety of cultural centers and museums with exhibitions about traditional and popular music, art, crafts, history and culinary traditions. Some highlights include Gran Museo del Mundo Maya de Mérida, Regional Museum of Anthropology, Museum of Popular Art, and Palacio de Música. Mérida is situated in a prime are of the Yucatán peninsula from which students will travel to the ancient ruins of Chichén Itzá, the UNESCO world heritage site of Uxmal, the Museo of Cacao (Choco-Story Museum), pristine cenotes, the bioreserve near Celestún, and pueblos mágicos and the beaches of nearby Progreso.
Universidad Marista de Mérida:
Universidad Marista de Mérida (UMM) is a private, Catholic university, similar in size to Holy Cross with approximately 2,500 students and 400 faculty members. As a Marist educational institution, the UMM shares many of the values infused in Holy Cross's mission and vision. The university's motto, "Ser para servir" (Live to Serve), reflects a service-oriented mission similar to Holy Cross that values diversity, tolerance and respect for others. The campus is located on the outskirts of the urban center of Mérida, easily accessible through public transportation or the university's bus/shuttle services. Virtual Tour of Campus: https://www.marista.edu/recorrido-virtual.
Homestays with local families offer a unique and beneficial way to increase students' cultural and linguistic immersion during a short-term program. Host families live in the suburbs near the university campus, about 10-20 minutes away, with shuttle service to/from campus.
Costs: The estimated cost of this 3-week program is approximately $5,200.00. This includes tuition, housing, meals, local transportation, excursions and cultural activities. NOT INCLUDED: round-trip airfare, passport expenses, personal expenses, Covid-19 testing fees (if necessary) and meals. Very limited financial aid is available for this program.
Applications: Open Thursday, 1 February 2024 via the online application portal at sa.holycross.edu and close at midnight on Thursday, 15 February 2024.
Further information: Contact Holy Cross Professors Bridget Franco at firstname.lastname@example.org, Hannah Abrahamson at email@example.com, or Tammi Valeri at firstname.lastname@example.org, call the Office of Study Abroad at 508-793-3082, email email@example.com or visit the Office of Study Abroad in Smith Hall 216.
DATES AND PRICES SUBJECT TO CHANGE