Frequently Asked Questions Guatemala: Culture and Resistance

Q: What is this trip about?
Study human rights and Mayan cultural identity in the context of Guatemala’s civil war, genocide, and post-conflict transition. In this 11-day seminar, we’ll discover the role art plays in a society that recently came out of nearly four decades of civil war and examine the vast legacy of the Maya, and witness cultural survival strategies in an economic reality where half the population lives in significant poverty.
Highlights include visits to markets and art museums, talks with human rights activists, political and cultural figures, and visits to Guatemala City, Lake Atitlan, Santiago Atitlan, the Ixil region, Chichicastenango, Antigua and the ancient Mayan site at Tikal. The style of this travel seminar is experiential with guided sessions for analysis and reflection.

Q: How much does it cost?
The trip fee is $3600 (in 2014), which includes all program-related expenses while in Guatemala (food, lodging, fees and honorariums, international travel health insurance, transportation – including a roundtrip flight from Guatemala City to Tikal, etc) and roundtrip international airfare from Denver to Guatemala City. CMC tuition, trip cancellation insurance, passport fees, and immunization fees are not included in the course fee.

Q: What do I need to do to register?
There are two courses to register for (make sure you register for both):

  • POS 215: Current Political Issues
  • ART 208: Culture Studies

Q: What if I need to cancel? Can I get a refund of the course fees?
The $3600 trip fee is nonrefundable after December 13th. If you need to cancel after December 13th, it may be possible to recover a portion of your trip fee, but it will depend on the date of cancellation and the portion of your fee that has already been applied towards nonrecoverable costs (such as airline tickets).

Refund of CMC tuition is based on CMC course registration and payment policies (refer to the course schedule or the college catalogue for more information).

Travel insurance is highly recommended to protect your investment! There are many providers of trip cancellation insurance available online.

Q: When is the trip?
Usually during CMC’s spring break in March.

Q: What does the class include besides the trip?
In addition to the trip, we will also have classroom meetings for one hour on Friday mornings starting in late January (time TBA). We are also planning afternoon/evening program for the public to present and discuss our trip (date/time TBA)

Q: Is there any financial assistance available to help defray the travel costs?
Unfortunately, CMC offers very few scholarships for study abroad. There may be some limited opportunities to apply for partial scholarships.

In addition, The Center for Global Education (our travel partners) have some scholarship opportunities.

There are many resources for additional study abroad scholarship opportunities available on the web. Here’s a couple you could try:

Payment plans are also available through CMC. These allow you to spread out the cost of your tuition and fees over several payments. Contact your campus student account representative for details. At the Alpine Campus, contact Linda Westlake at 970.870.4420 or

Q: Do I need a passport? What about health insurance?
You must have a valid passport (with an expiration date beyond six months after return) to participate in this course. If you don’t yet have a passport, you can apply at the Post Office. It costs about $135 and takes four to six weeks, so plan accordingly (rush service is available for an additional $60 fee).

Included in the trip fee, you will be provided with international emergency travel assistance through EIIA/AIG Assist (Educational and Institutional Insurance Administrators) insurance. This insurance provides primary coverage for international emergencies and accidents; you do not need any other type of health insurance for the program. The plan covers Accidental Death and Disability, Repatriation of Remains, Emergency Medical Evacuation and Emergency Travel Assistance. This policy does not cover trip cancellation/interruption.

Q: Do I need vaccinations to travel to Guatemala?
Check with your doctor or the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) regarding recommended vaccinations for travel to Guatemala. There are no required vaccinations, but there are several recommended ones. You may call the CDC at 404/332-4559 or visit their website at

In Steamboat Springs, you can also visit the travel immunization clinic operated by the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurses Association: 970-879-1632 or visit their website for more details at

You should plan on getting your vaccinations at least 4-6 weeks prior to travel.

Q: Do I need to know Spanish?
No. Spanish language is not required to take this course. Translation will be provided during all program-related activities.

Q: Is it safe to travel to Guatemala?
The U.S. State Dept. has determined that, overall, it is safe for Americans to travel to Guatemala, with some common-sense precautions. You can read the U.S. Dept. of State’s travel advisories and consular information sheets at

Our hosts in Guatemala are Guatemalan citizens and are long-time professionals in study abroad programs. They have well-developed procedures to keep us safe and to deal with any emergencies should they arise.

Q: Who’s organizing the trip?
The trip is a partnership between Colorado Mountain College and the Center for Global Education (which is a part of Augsburg College in Minneapolis). You can get more details on CGE programs at

Q: Can I go if I am also taking other classes this semester?
Yes. This is a short-term course, and the classroom meetings are held on Friday mornings to avoid conflicts with other classes. The study abroad portion occurs over spring break, so that there should be minimal conflict with other classes.

Q: What do I need to bring? What should I wear?
As far as clothing and personal items, we will cover this in our pre-trip meetings.

More questions? Please contact:
Bob Gumbrecht (970) 870-4484 /
Cynthia Zyzda (970) 870-4432 /