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Programs : Brochure
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UVA in Guatemala: Engineering, Public Health & Development
Quetzaltenango, Guatemala; San Lucas Toliman, Guatemala (Education Abroad Programs Program)
Program Terms: Summer
Budget Sheets Summer
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2018 01-MAR-2018 10-MAR-2018 21-MAY-2018 05-JUN-2018
NOTE: If accepted to this program, you must commit to or decline participation by March 15.
Fact Sheet:
Class Status:
1st year, 2nd year, 3rd year, 4th year Minimum GPA Requirement: 2.5
Language Requirement:
none
Open to Non-UVa Students:
No
Housing: With program group Language Courses Offered: No
Language of Instruction: English
Credit Type:
Direct Credit
Program Type:
Faculty led, Island
Tuition Payments Made To:
UVA
Education Abroad Advisor:
Abby Leake
Application Fee:
Yes
Study Abroad Administrative Fee:
No
Subject Area:
Anthropology, Engineering, Global Development Studies, Latin American Studies, Public Health
Program Description:
UVA_Guatemala_masthead
 

Real-world problems are inherently interdisciplinary. Public health and development are deeply intertwined with engineering, and engineering always takes place in a complex sociocultural context. This inter-dependence shows clearly in the challenges that communities face in Guatemala, a country with a rich and deep history, a wildly varied landscape, and incredible cultural diversity. The country has numerous assets (human and natural), but it faces many challenges. Thus, Guatemala presents a fascinating opportunity for students to learn about how Public Health, Engineering, and Community Development intersect in resource-limited environments. We will investigate student-created community projects of the UVA-Guatemala Initiative, and we will compare these with the work of other NGOs to understand better how ethical collaboration can make a difference in people’s lives.

UVA_Guatemala_Jess_teaching_in_truck

Jessica teaching in back of truck

The course focuses on different aspects of Public Health, ranging from infrastructure, health care, potable water, sanitation, the environment, and education, etc. and examines how contextual factors like economy, politics, culture and history (pre-Hispanic Maya, Colonial, and Post-Colonial), and globalization influence those Public Health aspects. Given the transdisciplinarity of Public Health, this program brings together multiple UVA schools-Medicine, Nursing, Engineering, Education, and College of Arts & Sciences. This course is open to all UVA undergraduates, particularly those interested in public health, engineering, global development, Central America, and those considering health-related careers.

Collaboration requires shared experience. To this end, Guatemalan university students will join us for the entire course. We will travel together, work on group projects, and share rooms. This collaboration offers an unforgettable intercultural experience. As we study and learn--using Public Health as a window--we will learn an incredible amount about Guatemala, and its people, and about ourselves. Conversely, the multidisciplinary perspectives of these two fields combine to provide an insightful lens through which to better understand Guatemala and its people.

Spanish language ability is not required, but you will be challenged to advance your Spanish and to use what you already know. All course participants will be offered ten (10) free hours of one-on-one Spanish lessons via a Skype-based collaboration between UVA and Celas Maya Spanish School, with the option to later continue on your own. You may receive extra credit for these lessons, and they will be a great way to develop or to refine your Spanish skills!

UVA_Guatemala_Group_discussion

Small-group dicussion

Location
Guatemala is known as the "Land of Eternal Spring" and the epicenter of the former Mayan empire. Our studies will focus on the communities surrounding stunning Lake Atitlán, as well as the city of Quetzaltenango (also known as Xela), the second most important city of Guatemala.

Conversely, the multidisciplinary perspectives of these two fields combine to provide an insightful lens through which to better understand Guatemala and its people.

 

Accommodations
Students will be housed in a hotel while in San Lucas Tolimán and Xela.

UVA_Guatemala_Student_pose_at_hotel

Students posing in front of hotel

 

Engineering, Public Health, & Development
(STS 3500/GSGS 3120; 3 credits)
A UVA-Guatemala Initiative Program

UVA_Guatemala_Students_faculty_at_lake

Program participants and faculty

Course Information
UVA participants will earn three (3) UVA credits upon successful completion of this program. The program is cross-listed as STS 3500 and GDS 3559. Students will elect which course they register for as part of the application process. Spanish skills will be utilized but are not required.

Cost
The program cost and payment schedule are listed under the "Budget Sheets" link at the top of this page.

Accessibility Statement
The University of Virginia believes in providing reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities on an individual and flexible basis. If you believe that you would require adjustments in order to fully participate in this program, please contact the Student Disability Access Center at 434-243-5180 as early as possible in order to begin this dialogue.

Travel Health Information
Guatemala Health Information (from the CDC)

UVA_Guatemala_colorful_buses

Colorful camionetas

Faculty
Program Director Kent Wayland, kaw6r@virginia.edu, is Lecturer in the Department of Engineering & Society.

Eric Anderson, ewa3a@virginia.edu, is a Lecturer in the Department of Chemical Engineering.

Jessica Ohana González, jessicaohana@gmail.com, is the In-Country Director for the UVA-Guatemala Initiative. She has over a decade’s experience directing non-profits and working in community development. She resides in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala.

David R. Burt, MD, drb5p@virginia.edu, is the Director of the UVA-Guatemala Initiative and an Associate Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine.

UVA_Guatemala_Group_at_end

After a visit to Totonicapán Hospital