• Guatemala 2017
  • Guatemala 2017
  • Guatemala 2015



You are invited to spend a semester experiencing the colorful culture and beautiful landscape of Guatemala! This Central American country has a population of just over 15 million people. Many Mayans continue to live in small, rural villages, dress in colorful traditional clothing and speak one of 22 indigenous languages. Guatemala is still recovering from 36 years of “civil war” called La Violencia (the violence); Peace Accords were signed in 1996.

Our experience will investigate the integration of ancient Mayan culture and modern life. You will see the ways in which wealth and power are unequally distributed. You will learn about La Violencia and efforts to heal the wounds of that painful experience. You will spend time in the capital city, Guatemala City, and in rural areas, particularly near beautiful Lake Atitlan. You will experience bustling markets full of locally-made crafts, visit cooperatives and learn about how those crafts are made, visit Ancient Mayan ruins, eat local foods, practice Spanish and learn to appreciate rural life and work during a home-stay. 

Bluffton students will live with Guatemalan families in Guatemala City and take Spanish classes at CASAS (Central American Study and Service) program affiliated with the Guatemalan Mennonite Church.  In addition, you will have classes about Guatemalan history and culture and about making peace.  A volunteer field experience will give you the experience of a second Guatemalan community and an organization working to better the lives of the people in the community. 

While prior Spanish study is encouraged, it is not a requirement to participate in this semester experience.

Elaine Suderman, Asst. Director of Cross-cultural Programs
Cross-cultural Program Office
College Hall second floor