Area residents are invited to explore the Maya civilization during a field studies trip offered at the end of the spring semester, May 7-17, through the Northwest College Anthropology Department.
The trip is organized and led by Greg Smith, NWC associate professor of anthropology, who has conducted archaeological research in the Maya area since 1994, and Diego Kraidelman, who has organized numerous international trips for Northwest College.
Those who wish to attend will fly into Guatemala City Monday, May 7, and travel to the historic colonial city of Antigua where the group will have the opportunity to visit the native Maya people of today.
After visiting the National Museum of Archaeology in Guatemala City, the tour group will fly to Flores, a small city located in the tropical rainforest of northern Guatemala. From Flores, students travel to the famous Maya archaeological site of Tikal. The group will spend two days at this United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization World Heritage Site. In addition to its iconic architecture, which is more than 1,000 years old, Tikal is famous for its wildlife including howler monkeys and rare bird species such as scarlet macaws and toucans.
Following the journey through Tikal, the group will enter Belize to visit Xunantunich, a less visited Maya archaeological site, and continue to the small town of Hopkins located on the Caribbean Sea.
In Hopkins, students will have a free day in which they can relax on the beach or choose to pay extra for activities such as scuba diving or zip lining through the jungle. The group returns to the U.S. from Belize City Thursday, May 17.
Before the trip, a class will meet once a week during the spring semester to prepare students for the journey. Discussion will focus on learning about the ancient Maya and practical topics such as what to expect while traveling, language, safety, food and more.
All are invited to join the class for credit or simply audit it for pleasure.
The cost of the trip is $3,000; however, there may be scholarship opportunities available. Deposits are due as soon as possible to reserve a spot in the class. For additional information, email Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 307-754-6131.