Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

International Programs

Mayan Language Institute: Intensive Kaqchikel or K’iche’ Language & Culture Program
A FLAS-eligible ONLINE Program
June 14 – July 23, 2021

Apply Here!
Application deadline: March 5, 2021

Check out the Indigenous Language Learning Community an online database of Kaqchikel and K’iche’ learning resources.

A NOTE ON COVID-19: Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this program will take place ONLINE in Summer 2021.

Information for Enrolled Students
The documents below contain important information for students enrolled in the Summer 2021 Virtual Program. Please review them carefully and contact the Program Manager at sclassum@tulane.edu or (504) 862-8629 if you have any questions.

MLI: K’iche’ Program Overview (includes Course Description, Schedule, and Personnel)
MLI: K’iche’ Basic Syllabus
MLI K’iche’ Orientation Slides

MLI Kaqchikel Course Description, Schedule, and Personnel
MLI Kaqchikel Orientation Slides

MLI Pre-and Post-Program Requirements
Pre- and Post-Program Requirements Orientation Video
Presentation Slides

Admission, Registration, and Billing
Registration and Billing Orientation Video
Presentation Slides

Grades and Transfer Credit
Grades and Transfer Credit Orientation Video
Presentation Slides

Technology Guide
Technology Orientation Video
Presentation Slides

Student Expectations
Student Expectations Orientation Video
Presentation Slides

The Mayan Language Institute is a 6-week program to train students in either Kaqchikel or K’iche’ Maya, two of the most widely-spoken Mayan languages in Iximulew (Guatemala) today. Thanks to the collaboration between U.S. American faculty and Maya teachers, participants can study at the beginning, intermediate, or advanced levels of either language. The program’s highly individualized classes combine language immersion activities, lectures, one-on-one conversations, guest speakers and cultural excursions. The intensive nature of these classes, combined with students’ daily immersion in Maya communities, enables them to enhance their language skills rapidly while interacting with the Indigenous peoples that sustain them.

While Program Directors from Tulane oversee all academic content, the Stone Center partners with the organization Proyecto Linguístico Francisco Marroquín to manage the program’s daily operations. The PLFM is a nonprofit organization that has worked to preserve and strengthen Indigenous languages since 1969, and our association not only puts their resources at our students’ disposal, but also enables the Stone Center to support the foundation’s ongoing linguistic revitalization efforts. Students enrolled in Kaqchikel Maya will spend 6 weeks at the PLFM campus in Pan Q’an (Antigua). Students enrolled in K’iche’ Maya will spend 1 week at the PLFM campus before relocating to Nawalja (Nahualá), a small city in the highlands of Sololá, for the final 5 weeks of the program.

ACADEMICS
Students enroll in one language course and one culture course, each worth 3 Tulane credits. In general, classes meet daily Monday through Friday from 8 am to 12 pm and reconvene at 2 pm for lectures, guest talks, student presentations, etc. The schedule is subject to change to accommodate excursions, special events, speaker schedules, etc.

Courses Offered

Kaqchikel
ANTH 6870: Kaqchikel Maya Culture (3 credits)
AND
ANTH 6840: Beginning Kaqchikel Language (3 credits) OR
ANTH 7570: Intermediate Kaqchikel Language (3 credits) OR
ANTH 7580: Advanced Kaqchikel Language (3 credits)

K’iche’
ANTH 6860: K’iche’ Maya Culture (3 credits)
AND
ANTH 6845: Beginning K’iche’ Language (3 credits) OR
ANTH 6850: Intermediate K’iche’ Language (3 credits) OR
ANTH 6855: Advanced K’iche’ Language (3 credits)

HOUSING

Students enrolled in Kaqchikel Maya will arrange their own housing in Pan Q‘€™an (Antigua) and its surrounding communities. They are encouraged to coordinate with the Program Director to organize homestays with Kaqchikel-speaking families, but the Program Manager can also provide guidance about alternative housing options. Students will be responsible for all meals, with the exception of those incorporated into group excursions and celebrations.

Students enrolled in K’iche’ Maya will live in homestays arranged jointly by Maya instructors and Tulane and PLFM administrators. In Pan Q‘€™an (Antigua), they will live with PLFM host families; most rooms will be double-occupancy. In Nawalja (Nahualá), they will live with K’iche’ speaking families in the community, and each student will be assigned to an individual family unless otherwise requested. All meals, except lunch on Sundays, will be provided.

EXCURSIONS
Each summer, the Program Directors organize multiple group excursions. These range from short local trips to the marketplace, a milpa (traditional farm), or a weaving co-op, to day trips to pre-Columbian ruins, local landmarks, and conferences. Students often have the opportunity to interact with local leaders and may be invited to participate in Mayan religious and cultural ceremonies. We encourage students come prepared with an open mind and spirit of generosity.

ABOUT PAN Q’AN (ANTIGUA)

Nestled between the Agua, Acatenango, and Fuego volcanos in the department of Sacatepéquez, Pan Q’an, or Antigua, Guatemala is a quaint colonial city with a population of around 45,000 inhabitants, many of them native speakers of Kaqchikel. It was founded in the mid-sixteenth century as the capital of the Spanish colonial government; the strict grid of its cobblestone streets and the stunning baroque architecture of its churches and municipal buildings reflect the Spanish influence. Though the city was largely abandoned after a volcanic eruption provoked the relocation of the Spanish capital to Guatemala City in 1773, it began to grow again in the mid-1800s in response to increased investment in agricultural production, primarily coffee. Today the town, which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is Guatemala’s most popular destination for foreign travelers looking to explore the city’s historic sites, climb the nearby volcanos, or study at one of the many Spanish-language schools. The temperate climate, with average temperatures ranging from lows in the 50s to highs in the 70s make the city an attractive destination year-round.

ABOUT NAWALJA (NAHUALA)

The municipality of Nawaljá (Nahualá in Spanish) is located in department of Sololá, in the western highlands of Guatemala. It sits at an altitude of 7,500 to 8,000 feet and is somewhat cooler than Pan Q’an; temperatures at night may dip down into the 50s, even during the hottest months. The municipality was established beginning in the year 1862 when a dispute among the people of the neighboring town Santa Catarina Ixtahuacan caused a group split off to found a new town. Its vicinity to the main highway through Guatemala has made it possible for Nawaljá to grow and flourish since then. It is unique among towns of a similar size in that almost all of the town’s 6000 inhabitants are native K’iche’ speakers, who use their language in all aspects of their lives. The K’iche’ spoken in Nawaljá, one of the seven major dialects of K’iche’, is distinctive from other K’iche’ dialects for its conservatism. For example, it still uses the “formal pronoun” (la/alaq) and has retained a ten-vowel system. It is fairly easy for students familiar with Nahualeno K’iche’ to branch out into other variants of K’iche’ as well. Many families continue to participate in traditional economic practices: they cultivate land to produce corn for their own use (milpa) and vegetables to sell, and they are involved in the weaving of a variety of textiles and cloth for the Guatemalan and export handicraft market. The women weavers from Nawaljá are recognized as being very skilled at producing huipiles of a fine and high quality. In recent years, the region has begun to change, as it is shaped by widespread migration to the United States and income from remittances has given rise to an Indigenous middle class.

ABOUT MAYA LANGUAGES AND COMMUNITIES

The Mayan language family encompasses approximately 30 different languages currently spoken by communities in Guatemala, Mexico, Belize and Honduras. Iximulew (Guatemala) is home to speakers of over 22 different Maya languages. K’iche’, with approximately one million speakers, and Kaqchikel, with around a half million speakers are among the most widely spoken and along with Mam and Q’eqchi’ are considered part of “The big four.” Between European colonization and the middle of the twentieth century, these languages were sustained primarily within the intimate spaces of home and community. Starting in the1930s, a push for bilingual education began promoting public use of the languages and creating a need for greater standardization of the languages. This trend gave rise to collaboration between missionaries, government agencies, non-profit organizations to train linguists and create pedagogical materials. The PLFM, founded in 1972, was an early and active participant in this literacy campaign, as it trained local Maya language speakers to write and analyze their native languages. It was the alphabet developed by their scholars that was approved by the Second National Linguistic Conference in 1984 and is currently the official orthography for all 22 local Mayan languages.

The of violence and discrimination historically suffered by Indigenous peoples, especially during the nation’s civil war (1960-1996), has resulted in a complex relationship between many Maya people and their languages. One the one hand, some remain ashamed to speak them in public or reticent to teach them to their children. On the other hand, decades of activism have led to greater visibility, acceptance, and promotion, at least in the official state rhetoric. Since 2010 the Guatemalan Ministry of Education has required all schools to teach both Spanish and the local Indigenous language, though enforcement and resources remain spotty. Meanwhile, the works of writers, artists, and activists have increased the visibility and respect.

ABOUT THE PLFM

The PLFM was established in 1972 through collaborations between Benedictine friars and the American Robert Gersony to train Indigenous leaders in linguistics so that they might create their own materials. Their first cohort included scholars from the K’iche’, Kaqchikel, and Mam communities and rapidly expanded to include representatives from Q’anjob’al, Akateko, Chuj, Ixil, Awakateko, Jakalteko, Ch’orti‘€™’ Tz’utujil and Q’eqchi’. Nearly 50 years later, the program continues pursuing this mission. It has published dictionaries, grammars, and other pedagogical materials on many Mayan languages. The organization sustains itself by offering Spanish-language classes to foreigners and applying the proceeds to their trainings and publications. The Stone Center is proud to contribute to their work through the Mayan Language Institute.

PROGRAM COST:

Kaqchikel: $4,000 USD (Tuition only)
K’iche’: $4,000 USD (Tuition only)

Tuition and fees include 6 Tulane credits and access to all Tulane online resources including Canvas, Zoom, Howard-Tilton Memorial Library, etc.

FINANCIAL AID

The Mayan Language Institute has been designed to meet all requirements of the federal FLAS grant, which may cover much of the cost. For more information and to see if you qualify, visit the Grants & Funding page of the Stone Center website, or speak with the FLAS coordinator at your university. Note: FLAS applicants should apply separately to the MLI by the posted application due date.

REGISTRATION

All MLI registration will be processed by Stone Center staff. Students will initially be enrolled in one 3-credit Latin American Studies placeholder course, used for billing purposes only. After students’ language placement in Guatemala, they will be enrolled in their respective culture and language courses.

MEDICAL AND GLOBAL RESCUE

The Stone Center will enroll MLI students in a comprehensive study abroad medical insurance policy provided through Geoblue. This insurance is included in the cost of the program. Students are also covered by Global Rescue, an emergency travel assistance program offering medical, personal, and security advice and assistance, as well as emergency evacuation services. After enrollment, students will receive an email with instructions for setting up the GRID app on their phones.

BILLING

Tuition and fees will be charged to student accounts in the late spring. Students are responsible for making sure that the bill is paid in full by the end of the billing cycle on the 15th of the following month. Students can access their account through the Gibson Portal: gibson.tulane.edu.

For FLAS students: The Stone Center works closely with FLAS coordinators at other institutions to apply these grants to student accounts. However, every school has a different policy regarding how it issues the funds: some pay the full bill directly to Tulane, some directly pay tuition to Tulane and issue the living stipend to individual students, and others issue the entire award to students (who must then pay tuition and housing/logistics fees). Each student is ultimately responsible for making sure that his/her bill is paid in full and on time. If you have questions or problems or potential issues please contact the Program Manager.

REFUND AND CANCELLATION POLICY

If a student withdraws from the program at any point between acceptance and departure, the student forfeits their deposit plus any additional expenses that the Stone Center cannot recover from program providers. Prior to 15 days before the program start date, a student may submit a written withdrawal request to be considered for a refund of up to 75% of the program fee (deposit excluded). Refund requests received less than 15 days before the program start date will only be eligible for a maximum of 25% refund of the program fees (deposit excluded). Students withdrawing after the program start date will not be eligible for any refund.

ACCESSIBILITY AND ACCOMMODATIONS

The MLI is a strenuous program that challenges its participants physically, emotionally, and academically. Nevertheless, the Stone Center is committed to making all its programs accessible to all students. Persons requiring special facilities or accommodations should notify the Program Manager as soon as possible. All effort will be made to accommodate their needs, but students should be aware that reasonable accommodation may be required.

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS
Both Tulane and non-Tulane students at the graduate and undergraduate levels are encouraged to apply. Applicants must be degree-seeking students at their home institutions and in good academic standing with a GPA of at least 2.5. Spanish-language proficiency is strongly recommended.

Application: studyabroad.tulane.edu/index.cfm?FuseAction=Programs.ViewProgram&Program_ID=10237

Components
  • General Student Information
  • Current Transcript
  • Personal Statement (approx. 500 words)
  • Faculty Recommendation
  • Proof of Valid Passport
  • $50 non-refundable deposit (WAIVED for FLAS applicants who contact the Program Manager at sclassum@tulane.edu)

Application Deadline: Friday, March 5, 2021

Questions? Contact the Stone Center Program Manager for Special Programs
Hannah Palmer
Phone: (504) 862 – 8629
Email: sclassum@tulane.edu
100 Jones Hall, Tulane Uptown Campus

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Upcoming Events

Teach Central America: Exploring Garifuna Culture

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REGISTER HERE
Sign up by Friday, September 24 to get a copy of the up and coming book Wild Tongues Can’t Be Tamed which explores the Latinx diaspora.

In honor of Teach Central America Week (October 4 – 10, 2021), Tulane University presents in collaboration with Vanderbilt University and the University of Georgia an educator workshop exploring the diversity of Central America. Over the course of three years, we have produced annual summer teacher institutes to enhance the teaching of Central America at the K-16 level. We are excited to continue the professional development series by providing this online panel open to K-16 educators of any subject area.

There are currently over 600,000 Garifuna around the world. Central America has the highest population; 100,000 in Honduras and 8,000 in Nicaragua, which was one of the last settlements in 1912. Guatemala has a small, isolated population which has retained much of the original culture. The United States has the second highest population, with about 100,000 residing in New York City. There are also populations in Chicago, Louisiana, and California. The number in the US increases every year as more people leave Central America. The Carib populations in Central America have almost entirely vanished, so the Garifuna are now considered the last descendants of the Amer-Indian tribes in South America.

Join us Thursday, October 7th for a discussion with three Garifuna writers/artists leading a discussion on Garifuna culture and identity through performance, writing, food and more. Join the conversation to explore new resources and perspectives to incorporate into your teaching on Central America. Participants in this program will explore Garifuna identity through the work of the three writers and cultural scholars. Janel Martinez, Saraciea Fennell and Isha Sumner. Participants will receive a copy of the up and coming WILD TONGUES CAN’T BE TAMED on a first come, first serve basis. Sign up by Friday, September 24 to guarantee your copy. REGISTER HERE

Janel Martinez is a writer and the founder of the award-winning blog, Ain’t I Latina? an online destination celebrating Afro-Latinx womanhood. The Bronx, NY native is a frequent public speaker discussing media, culture and identity, as well as diversity at conferences and events for Bloomberg, NBCU, SXSW, Harvard University and more. She’s appeared as a featured guest on national shows and outlets, such as BuzzFeed, ESSENCE, NPR and Sirius XM, and her work has appeared in Adweek, Univision Communications, Oprah Magazine, Remezcla and The New York Times. The Honduran-American has been nominated for the 20th Annual Rosoff Award in the 20-Something Category and won the Afro-Latino Festival of New York’s Digital Empowerment Award and, in 2018, was recognized at City Hall by the New York City Council, the Black, Latino and Asian Caucus and the Bronx Delegation to the NYC Council for her contributions as a woman of Garifuna descent. Her work will be included in the forthcoming YA anthology, WILD TONGUES CAN’T BE TAMED, which will be published in November 2021 by Flatiron Books.

Isha Sumner immigrated to the US at the age of 15, the foundation of her Garifuna ethnicity and culture remains central to her identity and sharing that has been a major part of her life for the past 25 years. As a professional Garifuna dancer, Isha was a member of the International Folkloric Garifuna Ballet of Honduras, which toured throughout Honduras & Europe in the early 1990s. From 1995-2000, she was a member of Wanichagu, a Garifuna dance company based in NYC, and performed at the likes of Lincoln Center and Harvard University. Isha’s passion to perform onstage transitioned to more formal acting and included a featured appearance speaking Garifuna in Law and Order: Special Victims Unit in 2007. In 2016 she completed her Associate‘€™s Degree in acting at William Esper School in Manhattan. With a continued passion to share and preserve her own Garifuna culture, Isha has dedicated much of the past 5 years to documenting Garifuna cuisine in Weiga, Let’s Eat.

Saraceia Fennell is a Brooklyn born Black, Honduran writer from the Bronx and the founder of The Bronx is Reading, and Honduran Garifuna Writers and Friends. She is also a publicist who has worked with many award-winning and New York Times bestselling authors. Fennell is board chair of Latinx in Publishing, and on the Advisory Board for People of Color in Publishing. Her forthcoming anthology WILD TONGUES CAN’T BE TAMED will be published by Flatiron Books in November 2021. For more information visit SaracieaFennell.com and follow her on social @sj_fennell.

Co-sponsored by the Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latinx Studies at Vanderbilt University.

Sign up by Friday, September 24 to get a copy of their latest book Wild Tongues Can’t Be Tamed.

REGISTER HERE

Kaqchikel Language Table

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Join Kaqchikel learners and speakers at all levels to practice your language skills at this bi-monthly conversation table. Hosted by expert instructor Mtro. Gonzalo Ticun (aka Sotz Aq’ab’al), the Oct. 8 session will focus on the creatures that share our homes and lives. Bring your favorite animal friend to join the discussion.

Link to join: https://tulane.zoom.us/j/93988469399?pwd=bkk3eDIzOEhQVjVEV1ZxTHFDTnJvQT09

This event is co-sponsored by the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the University of Kansas.

Americas Award 2021

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CLASP founded the Américas Award in 1993 to encourage and commend authors, illustrators and publishers who produce quality children’s and young adult books that portray Latin America, the Caribbean, or Latinx in the United States, and to provide teachers with recommendations for classroom use. CLASP offers up to two annual book awards, together with a commended list of titles.

Américas Award 2021 Fall Program:
Celebration of Children’s and YA Latin American and Latinx Literature with the Library of Congress
Zoom Webinar Hosted by the Hispanic Reading Room at the Library of Congress
Monday, October 11, 2021
6:00pm-7:30pm EDT

Join the Hispanic Reading Room at the Library of Congress and the Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs (CLASP) in a virtual celebration of children’s and YA Latin American and Latinx literature. Hear from authors and illustrators amplifying stories and voices from across Latin American and Latinx communities. We invite families, educators, and students to take part in this unique celebration during Hispanic Heritage Month.

This live virtual program will feature award-winning authors Angela Burke Kunkel (Digging for Words: José Alberto Gutiérrez and the Library He Built), Aida Salazar (Land of the Cranes), and Yamile Saied Méndez (Furia).

Register here

Kaqchikel Language Table

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Join Kaqchikel learners and speakers at all levels to practice your language skills at this bi-monthly conversation table. Participants in the Oct. 28 session will get the chance to read the short story “Ri töp chuqa’ ri kär”/“The Crab and the Fish” alongside its author, Mtra. Magda Sotz (aka Ixkamey).

Link to join: https://tulane.zoom.us/j/93988469399?pwd=bkk3eDIzOEhQVjVEV1ZxTHFDTnJvQT09

This event is co-sponsored by the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the University of Kansas.

Kaqchikel Language Table

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Join Kaqchikel learners and speakers at all levels to practice your language skills at this bi-monthly conversation table. Nov. 12 is game day with Mtro. Edy Rene Guaján (aka Lajuj B’atz’)! Come prepared to play along and laugh.

Link to join: https://tulane.zoom.us/j/93988469399?pwd=bkk3eDIzOEhQVjVEV1ZxTHFDTnJvQT09

This event is co-sponsored by the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the University of Kansas.

Kaqchikel Language Table

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Join Kaqchikel learners and speakers at all levels to practice your language skills at this bi-monthly conversation table. It’s the holiday season on Dec. 2. Join Mtro. Marco Antonio Guaján (aka Mokchewan) to compare your favorite holiday celebrations.

Link to join: https://tulane.zoom.us/j/93988469399?pwd=bkk3eDIzOEhQVjVEV1ZxTHFDTnJvQT09

This event is co-sponsored by the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the University of Kansas.