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NWC News Desk

NWC opens Field Studies class to Guatemala in May

Posted January 27, 2011

POWELL, Wyo. -  The public is invited to explore the Latin American country of Guatemala through a field studies class offered at the end of the Spring Semester at Northwest College.

Participants will fly into Guatemala City May 22 and then travel to the historic city of Antigua for a two-week immersion in the Spanish language and Guatemalan cultures.

Each student will experience the Guatemalan culture first-hand with their own host family while working on language skills during morning classes at the Coined Language Institute on weekdays.

Some of the afternoons and evenings are reserved for visits to cultural and historic sites, natural wonders and museums. Popular options include climbing a volcano, taking Salsa classes, exploring the Santo Domingo and Capuchinas ruins, plus visiting a coffee plantation and a women’s weaving cooperative.

Students will have free time the other afternoons and evenings to explore the area, spend time with their host families, or simply enjoy life in this quaint city.

One of two weekend excursions will take the class to Tikal, the lost kingdom of the Maya and the site of the largest collection of Mayan ruins ever excavated. A World Heritage site, Tikal covers over 300 square miles of prime rainforest and ancient ruins, home to a rich variety of flora and fauna, including spider and howler monkeys, ocelots, jaguars and almost 250 bird species.

Another weekend is spent in the city of Panajachel and Lake Atitlan, often described as “the most beautiful lake in the world.” The trip includes visits to several villages across the lake and the chance to see native people who make their livelihoods on the lake. This weekend also features opportunities to join a bike tour from village to village or a canopy tour and to check out the night life in area discos.

The class meets several times prior to the trip to prepare students for the journey. Discussion will focus on what to expect while traveling, the language and culture, safety, packing, and more.

Community members are invited to join the class for credit or just audit it for pleasure.

Deposits are due soon to reserve a spot in the class. For information, e-mail Mary Ellen Ibarra-Robinson or call 307-754-6430.