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Archaeology & Anthropology Field Schools

Central America - Mayan Ethnographic Field School in Guatemala -updated - 2014

Archaeology Field School Location and Dates

Application Deadline
2014-04-16
Start Date 2014-06-01
End Date 2014-06-21



Archaeology Field School Location
Chichicastenango, Guatemala, Central America Our field school is located in the town of Chichicastenango in the spectacular highlands of Guatemala. In the language of the K’iche people the town is called Siwan Tinamit when means “surrounded by canyons”.

Archaeology Field School Tuition and Credits

Sponsoring College/Institution
Department of Anthropology Adelphi University 1 South Street Blodgett 102 dlondon@adelphi.edu anthropology.adelphi.edu/explore/field-research-and-study-abroad/
Academic Credit
3 Credit Hours
Archaeology Field School Tuition
$2700
Archaeology Field School Room and Board
$2150

Additional Information on Tution/Room and Board/Travel Costs
• The undergraduate tuition cost at Adelphi for a 3-credit course is $2700. If you are a graduate student consult Dr. London to arrange graduate credit. • The program fee covering costs in Guatemala is $2150 including insurance • Total estimated cost $4850. Please refer to the Adelphi Center for International Education for program figures. This course fee includes: • Tuition • Room & Board: (In Chichi housing is homestay and you may share a room with other students. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be provided on site while at Chichi.) In Chichi you will live with a Mayan family in a traditional house and may share your room with another student. We will stay in hotels while on the road visiting other parts of Guatemala. • International Health Insurance (for specified program dates) • Ground transportation • Excursions Not Included: • Airfare economy round trip plane tickets to Guatemala varied from $450-$550 last year from major cities in the USA. • Passport (make sure to get a passport early). No visa is required for US and Canadian citizens • Other personal or miscellaneous expenses.

Archaeology Field School Description


ANT 390 Mayan Ethnographic Field School in Guatemala June 1 – June 21, 2014 - 3 credits Our field school is located in the town of Chichicastenango in the spectacular highlands of Guatemala. In the language of the K’iche people the town is called Siwan Tinamit when means “surrounded by canyons”. There are over a million K’iche Maya many in the municipality of Chichicastenango. Chichi is famous for its hand woven textile market where the K’iche Maya come down from mountain villages every Thursday and Sunday to sell stunning weavings and traditional crafts and cloths. The Chichi market is arguable one of the best in the Americas for buying indigenous weavings. Chichi is a center the Mayan World both culturally and spirituality. Many traditions survive in Chichi that have disappeared in most other Mayan towns in Mexico and Guatemala such as the Palo Volador, dance of the conquistadores and traditional shamanism. In Chichi’s unusual legal system Mayan laws are still enforced in addition to Guatemalan civil law. While Chichi is in the mountains there are still good restaurants, email cafes, stores, pharmacies and cultural attractions. Stretching across a region of Guatemala’s alpine highlands and volcanos, this course explores the dynamic interactions of human societies. Using the Maya as a case study, the bio-cultural adaptations alongside historic and contemporary human influences of various cultural groups will be examined. The focus will be on the K’iche Maya in Chichastenango where students will live with Mayan families for almost two weeks of the three weeks of the course. There will be a hands-on focus on ethnomedicine including Mayan shamanistic spiritual healing, Mayan medicinal plant use, cofradia and others. Students will have the opportunity to develop a personal research project while concurrently learning and testing the theories and practices of anthropology and indigenous issues. This course features living in a Mayan community as well as a series of visits to local communities and activities designed to introduce students to the study and conservation of indigenous culture. Through classes, and personal experiences, students will gain an understanding of the issues that endanger the Mayan culture as well as learn what can be done about it. Concurrently, through course activities, assignments, and individual projects, students will develop practical skills and experience in anthropological fieldwork. A portion of this course will be spent traveling to sites beyond the highlands to appreciate Guatemalan Mayan and Colonial history. We will visit ancient archeological sites, former highland Mayan cities and the beautiful colonial city of Antigua to better understand Guatemala’s indigenous and colonial past. Ethnographic field school courses have the capacity to be attitude changing and sometimes lifetime changing events. You often make friends you keep your entire life as your share unique experiences. Our experienced instructors can greatly improve and facilitate the student experience by careful programing that provides an intimate hands-on glimpse into another culture and world. Besides Professor London your instructors are K’iche Mayan teachers, shamans, and artists. We hope you catch a little of the spiritual energy as you venture back in time. You will also learn about traditional healing techniques, medicinal plants, K’iche language, art, music, and history. You will become immersed in the world of the K’iche Maya and learn by doing things onsite. We will make field trips to other highland towns, visit ancient Mayan ceremonial cities and cities, and spend time visiting the contrasting world of the Spanish conquistadores by visiting the former New World Spanish capital, Antigua, a jewel among preserved colonial towns in the Americas. For details see your syllabus. Our Co-director Taxa Leon is a K’iche Maya and adjunct faculty in the Department of Anthropology. Getting a real and friendly glimpse into the somewhat closed world of the K’iche is made possible through co-director Taxa Leon’s K’iche Maya family of 13 brothers and sisters. The Leon family, who have long fought to bring international understanding for their people will be your hosts. They are a traditional Mayan family who practice Mayan shamanistic religion and live a simple existence in the rural highlands. Taxa’s mother still weaves traditional cloths for her daughters. The Leon’s have an art academy to help young Maya value and preserve their traditional beliefs by painting what they see around them in their own culture. If you are selected for our program you will have the opportunity to live with a Mayan family and understand the joys and challenges of daily indigenous life. Dr. Douglas London is your other co-director and an Assistant Professor of Medical Anthropology on the faculty of Adelphi University. He has spent many years working with Mayan indigenous groups directing non-profit aid organizations. While on the faculty of medicine at Harvard University he founded his own non-profit foundation and mental health clinic to help Guatemalans. Dr. London also has worked for the United Nations and other international health organizations in Africa and Latin America for 15 years. Jose Maria Tol – Shaman teacher for the Maya Ethnographic Field School Known as “Chema” he is an active and sought after Shaman in the Chichicastenango community and has his own ceremonial sites, traditional sauna and other spiritual resources close by. It takes many years of tutelage under an established Shaman to get the bara (ceremonial staff) such as Chema possesses that marks you as a Kiche’ Maya Shaman. Shamans are typically born under a certain sign in the Mayan calendar. Chema is the author of the Kiche’ Mayan calendar used by most Maya in Chichi. We will work with Chema in understanding Mayan spirituality by engaging in it through participant observation of activities such as fire ceremonies in many locations. Dates: All students will arrive June 1, 2014 by airplane in Guatemala City. You must arrive on this date as we depart to Chichi early the next day. Students extending their stay in Central America beyond the program dates or arriving earlier than the program starts need to let us know a month in advance of the program start date.. We will meet you at the airport and then transport you to a close by hotel in Antigua and the next morning you will be transported to Mayan territory in the “altiplano” highlands with towering volcanoes, pine covered mountains, stunning lakes and traditional villages with a mirage of languages and colorful clothing. You will move into your indigenous home in Chichi. We will have an orientation and Mayan party welcome. We expect you to attend all classes and class expeditions during your stay. The experience will end June 21st when you leave from Guatemala City or Antigua. Applying to the Anthropology Field school program: ANT390 Mayan Ethnographic Field School: Judging from the response this year, the program will be popular and will fill quickly and there are only openings for 10 students. The first step is applying on the Adelphi website - Center for International Education. The syllabus can be found here. https://adelphi-sa.terradotta.com/index.cfm?FuseAction=Programs.ViewProgram&Program_ID=27425 Program Costs: ANT390 Mayan Ethnographic Field School - Summer 2014 • The undergraduate tuition cost at Adelphi for a 3-credit course is $2700. If you are a graduate student consult Dr. London to arrange graduate credit. • The program fee covering costs in Guatemala is $2150 including insurance • Total estimated cost $4850. Please refer to the Adelphi Center for International Education for program figures. This course fee includes: • Tuition • Room & Board: (In Chichi housing is homestay and you may share a room with other students. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be provided on site while at Chichi.) In Chichi you will live with a Mayan family in a traditional house and may share your room with another student. We will stay in hotels while on the road visiting other parts of Guatemala. • International Health Insurance (for specified program dates) • Ground transportation • Excursions Not Included: • Airfare economy round trip plane tickets to Guatemala varied from $450-$550 last year from major cities in the USA. • Passport (make sure to get a passport early). No visa is required for US and Canadian citizens • Other personal or miscellaneous expenses. • AU's $150 Study Abroad Fee. • Textbooks You will purchase your own round-trip ticket since students are coming from all over North America and thus everyone’s flight plans will be unique. Covered in your program fee are tuition, lodging, meals while in Chichi. Breakfasts and hotels are provided on the overnight trips. You will have two weekends to explore the local area yourself and we will provide breakfast Saturday AM and dinner Sunday PM these weekends. Students will be responsible for paying for any extra activities they chose to do. We will send a letter explaining what you will need to bring with you and other details to students accepted into the program. While on the road away from Chichi you will be in hotels but while in Chichi you will be living with a branch of Taxa’s very welcoming Mayan family in their homes. You may room with another student. This is a homestay course and a cultural adventure where you won’t always get all the conveniences you do at your home in North America. Best regards and we hope to welcome you to our Mayan family, For any questions you are welcome to contact: Douglas London PhD Assistant Professor of Medical Anthropology Dept. of Anthropology Adelphi University 1 South Street Blodgett 102 dlondon@adelphi.edu

Archaeology Field School Additional Information

Archaeology Field School Type
Mayan Ethnographic Field School
Time Period
June 1-June 21
Field School Setting/Conditions
While on the road away from Chichi you will be in hotels but while in Chichi you will be living with a branch of Taxa’s very welcoming Mayan family in their homes. You may room with another student. This is a homestay course and a cultural adventure where you won’t always get all the conveniences you do at your home in North America.
How is the project area accessed each day
Road
What is the daily schedule for the field school
Dates: All students will arrive June 1, 2014 by airplane in Guatemala City. You must arrive on this date as we depart to Chichi early the next day. Students extending their stay in Central America beyond the program dates or arriving earlier than the program starts need to let us know a month in advance of the program start date.. We will meet you at the airport and then transport you to a close by hotel in Antigua and the next morning you will be transported to Mayan territory in the “altiplano” highlands with towering volcanoes, pine covered mountains, stunning lakes and traditional villages with a mirage of languages and colorful clothing. You will move into your indigenous home in Chichi. We will have an orientation and Mayan party welcome. We expect you to attend all classes and class expeditions during your stay. The experience will end June 21st when you leave from Guatemala City or Antigua.
Number of years this Archaeology Field School has been in operation
Adelphi Anthropology Field schools have operated for more than 10 years
Is there a professional certification for this field school
Adelphi University and the Department of Anthropology is certified by the State of New York as an institution of higher learning
Directors and Instructors
Our Co-director Taxa Leon is a K’iche Maya and adjunct faculty in the Department of Anthropology. Getting a real and friendly glimpse into the somewhat closed world of the K’iche is made possible through co-director Taxa Leon’s K’iche Maya family of 13 brothers and sisters. The Leon family, who have long fought to bring international understanding for their people will be your hosts. They are a traditional Mayan family who practice Mayan shamanistic religion and live a simple existence in the rural highlands. Taxa’s mother still weaves traditional cloths for her daughters. The Leon’s have an art academy to help young Maya value and preserve their traditional beliefs by painting what they see around them in their own culture. If you are selected for our program you will have the opportunity to live with a Mayan family and understand the joys and challenges of daily indigenous life. Dr. Douglas London is your other co-director and an Assistant Professor of Medical Anthropology on the faculty of Adelphi University. He has spent many years working with Mayan indigenous groups directing non-profit aid organizations. While on the faculty of medicine at Harvard University he founded his own non-profit foundation and mental health clinic to help Guatemalans. Dr. London also has worked for the United Nations and other international health organizations in Africa and Latin America for 15 years. Jose Maria Tol – Shaman teacher for the Maya Ethnographic Field School Known as “Chema” he is an active and sought after Shaman in the Chichicastenango community and has his own ceremonial sites, traditional sauna and other spiritual resources close by. It takes many years of tutelage under an established Shaman to get the bara (ceremonial staff) such as Chema possesses that marks you as a Kiche’ Maya Shaman. Shamans are typically born under a certain sign in the Mayan calendar. Chema is the author of the Kiche’ Mayan calendar used by most Maya in Chichi. We will work with Chema in understanding Mayan spirituality by engaging in it through participant observation of activities such as fire ceremonies in many locations.
Specialized skills you will have the opportunity to learn
There will be a hands-on focus on ethnomedicine including Mayan shamanistic spiritual healing, Mayan medicinal plant use, cofradia and others. Students will have the opportunity to develop a personal research project while concurrently learning and testing the theories and practices of anthropology and indigenous issues. This course features living in a Mayan community as well as a series of visits to local communities and activities designed to introduce students to the study and conservation of indigenous culture. Through classes, and personal experiences, students will gain an understanding of the issues that endanger the Mayan culture as well as learn what can be done about it. Concurrently, through course activities, assignments, and individual projects, students will develop practical skills and experience in anthropological fieldwork. Course Learning Goals • Students will experience the daily life of indigenous societies in Central America. Students will expand their understanding of indigenous culture and history • Students will become versed in key areas of research and writing in Central American anthropology though readings, lectures, assignments and hands-on fieldwork projects. • By the end of the course students will be able to apply an anthropological perspective to Central American indigenous social problems in education, health, economic and social inequality by learning through the eyes of people from the cultures that we will study. • Students will learn to identify cultural assumptions underlying the perception of social norms in many different settings through assignments and discussions that question societal norms that are taken for granted in the United States

Will there be additional organized activities?
A portion of this course will be spent traveling to sites beyond the highlands to appreciate Guatemalan Mayan and Colonial history. We will visit ancient archeological sites, other highland indigenous villages such as the the Nebaj region, former highland Mayan cities and the beautiful colonial city of Antigua to better understand Guatemala’s indigenous and colonial past.
Will there be additional organized activities?
Visits to Mayan healing specialists (comadronas, curanderas, hueseros) ceremonial saunas etc. Participating in Mayan art and weaving, foods, music and dance. Visits to the Chichicastenango indigenous Sunday market, churches, museums, archeological sites etc. Visits to the indigenous villages around beautiful Lake Atitlan and other indigenous communities such as the Ixil communities. Study of (1) Mayan medicinal plants and spiritual treatment, (2) the Mayan calendar, the Pop Wuj (the sacred book of the K’iche discovered in Chichi), (3) anthropological aspects and using the K’iche language (4) understanding the recent war in the highlands and its affect on Mayan culture. Students will delve into ethnomedicine and gain in knowledge, and understanding of Mayan ethnomedical treatments.
Is travel restriced during free time?
No, the student will have some weekends and evenings of free time to relax and enjoy Guatemala

Archaeology Field School Contact Information and Website

Field School Website: https://adelphi-sa.terradotta.com/index.cfm?FuseAction=Programs.ViewProgram&Program_ID=27425

Field School Contact Information



Prof. Douglas London Department of Anthropology Adelphi University 1 South Street Garden City, NY 11530

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Field School Contact Website: https://adelphi-sa.terradotta.com/index.cfm?FuseAction=Programs.ViewProgram&Program_ID=27425


  
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