Summer in Guatemala 2014: HD 497 Research & HD 495 Field Experience

guatemalan girls

Program Highlights: 

Travel to the beautiful Guatemalan highlands of Panajachel and partake in a community-based project with the local indigenous population.  Organized in 2005, Mayan Families has partnered with US non-profit organizations and students to seek collective solutions to the economic and social devastation following war and floods.  Community development projects include early education, computer literacy, elderly care, medical/dental services, environmental quality, and more.  See Mayan Families for more information at

During your time abroad you will: 

  • Identify and observe cultural and context factors relevant to pain research
  • Attend sites and events to learn about their importance in the culture
  • Assist with delivery of curriculum in preschool and/or middle school
  • Develop and deliver arts & crafts project with students
  • Assist with vocational class for young adults
  • Assist with Elderly Feeding Program
  • May have the opportunity to work on home environment project

Dr. Eliza Bigham, Program Director of CSUSM's Department of Human Development, will be your program leader for HD 497 and HD 495 in Guatemala.  Don't miss out on this awesome opportunity to engage with the local community and learn about research while performing a service project!

Academic Calendar: 

July 7 - August 9, 2014 (July 8-28 on-site in Guatemala; July 30-August 8 Online & Tuesdays 12:30-6:40 pm on CSUSM campus)

Academic Focus:

HD 497:  Applied Research in Human Development    

HD 495:  Field Experience in Human Development

mayan ruins

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOS) for this course

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. To summarize how quantitative and qualitative methods used in the field of human development
  2. To use these methods to create a basic research project on a topic in the field of human development
  3. To explain the general process behind study findings they encounter in research articles

Students will be required to complete the Human Subjects Online-Guided Training and attend two mandatory pre-trip Cultural and Research Overview Sessions before the course begins on July 7th. There will be one class on campus, 3 weeks traveling in Guatemala, and 2 weeks back in the classroom on campus.

Optional Spanish Course Available.  This course will be subject to an additional $944 in Extended Learning fees. 

Language of Instruction:

English.  No knowledge of Spanish or Latin American culture assumed.


  • Class level:  Students with upper-division standing by end of Spring 2014
  • GPA:  2.75 and above; good academic standing

Units: nebaj market

4 units HD 497 or 3 units HD 495 through CSUSM's Extended Learning


Hotel & dormitory accommodations

Estimated Cost:

Global Education program Fees: $1,500 (includes shared accommodation, medical insurance, and excursions to Antigua, Panajachel, and Chichicastenango)
Estimated Extended Learning Fees: $1,233 (for HD497 which is 4 units) or $932 (for HD 495, 3 units)
Estimated Meals & Personal Expenses:  $250-$400
Estimated Airfare:  $750 - $1,000 (If you have not purchased tickets, contact Dr. Bigham ( for flight information ASAP)
Total Estimated Cost: $3,733 – $4,130

To Apply:

  1. Fill out the application below and return to Global Education, Craven 3200 with your $300 non-refundable deposit ASAP.  Only cash or checks made payable to CSUSM will be accepted.  Space is first come, first served.
  2. Final payment of $1,200 is due no later than Thursday, May 1 to the Office of Global Education.  Only checks made payable to CSUSM will be accepted.
  3. Attend the pre-departure orientation held by your faculty leader to get acclimated to program goals and features.

Guatemala Summer Term Application: