Senses: A Transformative Adventure on the Mexican Yucatan Coast, May 2023

Mayan tradition speaks of only four human senses: Sight, Taste, Hearing, and Smell. Interestingly, touch is not seen as a “sense” but is instead distinguished as a fundamental source of understanding; one cannot fully understand something without first experiencing its contact in their life.

This class offers participants the ability to not only utilize their four senses in new and exciting ways but also to understand how the “touch” of these experiences can help them re-examine self-imposed limits for personal growth.

Each day (or night), students will be transported from the hotel to a different Eco-Park location where they will have the opportunity to take part in experiences meant to challenge different aspects of the human condition. While all experiences are safe, they are—for a variety of physical or mental reasons—challenging.

Each evening will end with time for self-reflection and a group dinner to process the events of the day.  The order of each day’s experiences has been specifically curated to encourage individual growth and examination of personal virtues.

“Growth begins at the end of your comfort zone.” – Neale Walsch

Location: Yucatan Coast, Mexico (see Map)

Trip Dates: May 14-21, 2023 (with pre-trip meetings on 5/8 and 5/10)

Course: PSY 1004: Psychology of Human Relations

Tuition: See current in-district, in state and out of state CMC Tuition Rates

Program Fee: $4,000 for shared room. The program fee and tuition are eligible to be covered by financial aid. Single accommodations available for additional fee. Program fee does not include tuition or airfare.

Application Deadline:
Final Application Deadline: February 1, 2023
For possible late application information, please contact Chris Harnden:

Download the Study Abroad Mexican Yucatan Coast Application

Download the Study Abroad Financial Aid Request Form


What is this study abroad experience about?

Travel has a way of helping people break from their normal habits and get out of their comfort zone to see things from a new perspective.

Utilizing the Mayan wisdom of “Understanding Through Experience,” this course offers participants a culturally immersive opportunity to challenge their own perceptions while examining core tenants of psychology including: cognition, attention, emotional intelligence, motivation, relationships, and resilience.

Applying an Experience Before Learning model, participants will spend time experiencing a variety of safe, but challenging, adventure-based activities before identifying the psychological lessons in connection to human behavior. Participants will also encounter traditions, folklore, art and food in a culturally rich location sure to be a memorable and life changing course. A few highlights include: sensory eco-park, cave tubing, mud river crossing, night zip-lining, snorkeling, unique dining, and beach fire reflections.

Are there course credits associated with this course?

Yes! You can choose to earn credits with PSY 1004 - Human Relations (3 credits). Community members may also use the course audit option to join the experience.

Can community members, CMC faculty/staff, or others who are not degree-seeking students participate?

Absolutely! Anyone can participate through credit or audit options. Participants must be a current CMC student or complete the CMC admission application process to register for this course.

FAQ How much does it cost?

The all-inclusive trip fee is $4000. This includes all expenses while in Mexico (transportation to/from the Cancun (CUN) airport, lodging, all meals, all program transportation in Mexico, all course activities/materials, safety equipment, all activities, all adventure excursions, all eco-park admissions, health and trip cancellation insurance, etc.).

Airfare, CMC tuition, and other miscellaneous fees (passport fees, immunization fees) are not included. To offer travel flexibility, students will purchase their own roundtrip airfare to Mexico.

The instructors will provide a recommended flight itinerary for the trip. Do not purchase flights until you are told to do so by the instructors.  

Is there a deposit? When is that due?

There is a $1000 nonrefundable deposit due at the time of application submission.

Please contact Patrick Gilliland, CMC Student Accounts Representative, at or 970-870-4420 for payment details.

The remainder of the course fee will be billed to your student account and can be paid by payment plan or in full before May 1, 2023.

What do I need to do to participate?

Complete the short application form and return it to Chris Harnden at

Don’t delay, participation in this course is limited to 14 participants. Once your application is accepted, we will enroll you in the course. Be sure you will be able to attend all class meetings (see below) and participate fully in all pre-trip and post-trip assignments and activities.

  • A moderate level of physical fitness is required for participation in this course.
  • Periods of prolonged walking on sand/jungle/uneven surfaces and river/ocean swimming will occur most days.
  • Many physical disabilities cannot be accommodated in Mexico.
When is the trip?

The course trip begins and ends at the hotel in Mexico. The hotel provides a direct shuttle service to and from the Cancun International Airport (CUN) every 30 minutes.

The course trip begins May 14 and ends May 21. Participants are responsible for booking their own airfare to/from Cancun.

Feel free to lengthen your travel before or after the course trip dates at your own expense.

Are there class meetings in addition to the trip?

Yes! In addition to the trip, we will have class meetings: May 8 and 10 11a.m.- 1p.m. These class meetings are critical for trip preparation and attendance is required.

We may also collectively decide to have a debriefing or special event following the trip.

Can students from any CMC campus participate?

Yes! Students from any CMC campus are welcome. Distance options (via Canvas and Zoom) will be available for all pre-trip class meetings.

What if I need to cancel? Can I get a refund for the course fees?

Course fees are non-refundable unless CMC or our partner group in Mexico cancel the entire program. Refund of CMC tuition is based on CMC course registration and payment policies (refer to the course schedule or the college catalog for more information).

Airfare purchases are subject to the airline’s refund policies. Part of your course fee includes emergency trip cancellation insurance, which may provide reimbursement of course fees under some circumstances as set out in the insurance policy.

Is there any financial assistance available to help defray the travel costs?

This course is part of the generally transferable state curriculum, and the tuition may therefore be covered by financial aid. The $4000 course fee is also eligible for coverage by financial aid.

There is also information on financial resources, CMC payment plans, and some scholarship opportunities at Study Abroad/Financial Resources.

Do I need a passport?

Yes! You must have a valid passport (with an expiration date beyond three months after your return) to participate in this course. If you don’t yet have a passport, you can apply at the Post Office. It costs about $145 and takes four to six weeks, so plan accordingly (rush service is available for an additional fee). You can find additional information on applying for a U.S. passport at the U.S. State Department.

What about health insurance? Or Trip Cancellation Insurance?

Travel health insurance (including emergency evacuation, repatriation, and quarantine) and Trip Cancellation coverage are provided by CMC and included in the trip fee. You’ll be provided with policy details prior to departure.

Do I need vaccinations to travel to Mexico?

Full COVID vaccination is required by CMC to participate in this course. You will have to provide your vaccination information to the CMC Registrar. Check with your doctor or the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) regarding additional recommended vaccinations for travel to Mexico.

Other than COVID- 19, there are no other required vaccinations, but there are several that are recommended. Visit the CDC website for more info. You should plan on getting these recommended vaccinations at least 4-6 weeks prior to travel.

Is it safe to travel to Mexico?

The U.S. State Dept. has determined that, overall, it is safe for Americans to travel to Mexico, with some common-sense precautions. Please read the U.S. Dept. of State’s travel advisories and consular information sheets.

Who’s organizing the trip?

The trip is a partnership between Colorado Mountain College and a partner organization based in Cancun Mexico that specializes in all-inclusive and highly immersive educational adventure experiences.

The hotel facility will act as our primary location during the trip. Representative/s from our partner group in Mexico will accompany our class during all excursions and trip activities.

What do I need to bring? What should I wear?

Needed clothing and personal items will be covered in our pre-trip meetings. A comfortable swimsuit and water shoes capable of extended periods of walking are a must (not flip flops).

More questions?

Please contact:

Dr. Chris Harnden