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 Program
June 13 – July 23, 2021

Apply Here!
Application deadline: March 5, 2021

Watch the 2021 FLAS-Eligible Summer Program Information Session.

A NOTE ON COVID-19: Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this program transitioned to an online format for Summer 2020. We hope to return to in-person instruction in Guatemala during Summer 2021. Meanwhile, the Stone Center is closely monitoring the global health situation and making plans to transition to an online learning model if necessary.

The information on this website pertains to the in-person program. For more information on the 2020 online program format, consult the pdf below. While any online 2021 program will not exactly copy the 2020 program, this document should provide some indication of how it may be formatted.

MLI_(Virtual)_Summer2020_Overview-1589464938.pdf

Questions? Contact the Program Manager at sclassum@tulane.edu or (504) 862-8629.

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: TBD
K’iche’: TBD

***Total program price will likely fall between $3,500 (tuition only) and $6,500 (tuition and housing and/or logistics fees) depending on the mode of instruction (in-person or online).

Tuition and fees include 6 Tulane credits, international medical insurance, transportation between the Guatemala City Airport and their housing, group activities and excursions, housing and three meals/day except Sundays (K’iche’ ONLY). Tuition and fees do NOT include airfare to/from Guatemala, passport/visa expenses, personal communication expenses, course materials and supplies vaccinations, laundry, incidentals, housing and most meals (Kaqchikel ONLY).

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

Storytelling in the Language Classroom K-12 Educator Workshop

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This online workshop focuses on books for the Spanish language classroom and highlights interdisciplinary connections for the language, arts and science classrooms. Increase the diversity of books in your school library with these stories from Latin America.

Registration closes on February 12, 2021.

The pandemic this past year has challenged educators in unimaginable ways. Learning environments have been reinvented as teachers constantly struggle to connect with students in meaningful ways. This presentation shows how storytelling can create learning environments that nurture as well as educate.

Storytelling is one of the oldest forms of education, entertainment, and cultural preservation. Given its natural and universal appeal, storytelling can be particularly valuable as an instructional strategy in the language classroom. Attendees will learn how to harness the benefits of storytelling, from creating a more nurturing learning environment that encourages active participation to increasing verbal proficiency among all students.

The presenter, an award-winning children’s books author and teacher, will provide examples from her own books and classroom.

Registration is $10 and includes a copy of a book presented, ready-made lessons to introduce into your teaching, and a certificate of completion. Confirmation of your registration will be sent via email within 2 days to provide access to the Zoom Workshop. Space is limited.

REGISTER TODAY TO RESERVE YOUR SPOT! Deadline to register is February 12, 2021

Sponsored by Tulane University’s Stone Center for Latin American Studies and the Pebbles Center in partnership with the New Orleans Public Library.

For more information, please call 504.865.5164 or email crcrts@tulane.edu.

Laura Anderson Barbata: Transcommunality Exhibit K-12 Educator Orientation

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Join us for an evening with Tom Friel, Coordinator for Interpretation and Public Engagement as he walks through an innovative tool developed to share the Newcomb Art Museum’s latest exhibit, Laura Anderson Barbata: Transcommunality. The program is designed to introduce K-12 educators to Laura Anderson Barbata’s work and focus on specific elements of the exhibit that connect deeply to the K-12 classroom. While the exhibit is open to limited public access, it plans to open to the public and school visits by Fall 2021. Educators from across the country will find this online introduction to Barbata’s work a valuable resource as the virtual exhibit serves as a unique tool for online learning.

Read more about this exhibit from the Newcomb Gallery of Art About the Exhibit page below:

“The process-driven conceptual practices of artist Laura Anderson Barbata (b. 1958, Mexico City, Mexico) engage a wide variety of platforms and geographies. Centered on issues of cultural diversity, ethnography, and sustainability, her work blends political activism, street theater, traditional techniques, and arts education. Since the early 1990s, she has initiated projects with people living in the Amazon of Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago, Mexico, Norway, and New York. The results from these collaborations range from public processional performances, artist books and handmade paper, textiles, countless garments, and the repatriation of an exploited 19thcentury Mexican woman ‘€” each designed to bring public attention to issues of civil, indigenous, and environmental rights.

In Transcommunality, work from five of Barbata‘€™s previous collaborations across the Americas are presented together for the first time. Though varying in process, tradition, and message, each of these projects emphasize Barbata‘€™s understanding of art as a system of shared practical actions that has the capacity to increase connection. The majority of the works presented are costumed sculptures typically worn by stilt-dancing communities. Through the design and presentation of these sculptures, Barbata fosters a social exchange that activates stilt-dancing‘€™s improvisational magic and world history. At the core of this creative practice is the concept of reciprocity: the balanced exchange of ideas and knowledge.

The events of this past year ‘€” from the uprisings across the country in response to fatal police shootings to the disproportionate impacts of Covid-19 among Black and brown communities to the bitter divisiveness of the 2020 presidential election ‘€” have renewed the urgency for Barbata‘€™s multifaceted practice. In featured projects such as Intervention: Indigo, participants from various backgrounds reckon with the past to address systemic violence and human rights abuses, calling attention to specific instances of social justice. In The Repatriation of Julia Pastrana, Barbata‘€™s efforts critically shift the narratives of human worth and cultural memory. The paper and mask works presented in the show demonstrate the impact of individual and community reciprocity, both intentional and organic. Through her performance partnerships in Trinidad and Tobago, New York, and Oaxaca, represented throughout the museum, onlookers are invited to connect to the traditions of West Africa, the Amazon, Mexico, and the Caribbean and the narratives these costume sculptures reflect on the environment, indigenous cultures, folklore, and religious cosmologies.

By encouraging diverse collaborators to resist homogenization and deploy the creative skills inherent to authentic local expressions and their survival, Barbata promotes the revival of intangible cultural heritage. Transcommunality horizontally values the systems of oral history and folklore, spirituality, and interdisciplinary academic thought that shape Barbata‘€™s engaging creations, celebrating the dignity, creativity, and vibrancy of the human spirit.”

REGISTER HERE

An Evening with Multi-Award Winning Author Elizabeth Acevedo

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REGISTER FOR THE ZOOM WEBINAR HERE.

Join us for an evening with Elizabeth Acevedo. Acevedo presents her third book, Clap When You Land, and discusses her writing process and performance background. The discussion will be followed by a reading.

Poet, novelist, and National Poetry Slam Champion, Elizabeth Acevedo was born and raised in New York City, the only daughter of Dominican immigrants. She is the author of Clap When You Land, (Quill Tree Books, 2020); With the Fire On High, (Harper, 2019); the New York Times best-selling and award-winning novel, The Poet X. (HarperCollins, 2018), winner of the 2018 National Book Award for Young Adult Fiction, the 2019 Michael L. Printz Award, and the Carnegie Medal; and the poetry chapbook Beastgirl & Other Origin Myths. (YesYes Books, 2016), a collection of folkloric poems centered on the historical, mythological, gendered and geographic experiences of a first-generation American woman. From the border in the Dominican Republic, to the bustling streets of New York City, Acevedo’s writing celebrates a rich cultural heritage from the island, inherited and adapted by its diaspora, while at the same time rages against its colonial legacies of oppression and exploitation. The beauty and power of much of her work lies at the tensioned crossroads of these competing, yet complementary, desires.

This online program is free and open to the public. It is part of our ongoing series of public engagement programs with Latinx writers that explore Latin America, race, and identity. Read more about Acevedo’s work in this recent article from The Atlantic.

Sponsored by the Stone Center for Latin American Studies and the Newcomb Institute.

REGISTER FOR THE ZOOM WEBINAR HERE.

For more information, please email crcrts@tulane.edu or call 504.865.5164.

Global Read Webinar Series Spring 2021

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The Stone Center for Latin American Studies coordinates the annual CLASP Américas Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature and is excited to collaborate with other world area book awards on this exciting online program. Join us this spring 2021 as we invite award winning authors to join us in an online conversation about social justice, the writing process and an exploration of culture and identity across world regions. This annual Global Read Webinar series invites readers of all ages to join us as we explore books for the K-12 classroom recognized by world area book awards such as the Africana Book Award, the Américas Award, the Freeman Book Award, the Middle East Outreach Council Book Award, and the South Asia Book Award.

Each webinar features a presentation by an award-winning author with discussion on how to incorporate multicultural literature into the classroom. Be sure to join the conversation with our webinar hashtag #2021ReadingAcrossCultures.

REGISTER FOR THE SERIES HERE

SPRING 2021 SCHEDULE – Read more about the program here.
All webinars are at 7:00 PM EST.

  • January 12 – The Américas Award highlights the 2020 Honor Book, The Moon Within by Aida Salazar
  • February 3 – The Children’s Africana Book Award highlights the 2020 book award winning, Hector by Adrienne Wright
  • March 11 – The Middle East Outreach Award presents 2020 Picture Book award winner, Salma the Syrian Chef by Danny Ramadan, illustrated by Anna Bron
  • April – Freeman Book Award, a project of the National Consortium for Teaching Asia will present a book TBD.
  • May 13 – South Asia Book Award presents The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani

REGISTER FOR THE SERIES HERE

All sessions are free and open to the public. All times listed refer to Eastern Standard Time (EST). Sponsored by the Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs, the South Asia National Outreach Consortium, the Middle East Outreach Council, and African Studies Outreach Council, The National Consortium for Teaching about Asia.

Reading Latina Voices Online Book Group for High School Educators

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This spring 2021 we invite all K-12 educators to join us once a month in an online book group. This past year has been a challenging one for everyone but especially K-12 educators. Sign up and join us as we explore the stories of women confronting identity as Latinas in the United States. Tulane University’s Stone Center for Latin American Studies, AfterCLASS and the New Orleans Public Library partner to host this online book group. The books selected are recognized by the Américas Award and focus on the Latina experience. The group begins with the work of award-winning author and poet, Elizabeth Acevedo who will speak in a unique online format on March 23rd presented by Tulane University’s Stone Center for Latin American Studies and Newcomb Institute.

You have the option of registering in two methods:

  • A) $15 includes your own complete set of books for the series mailed to your home;
  • B) Free – you find your own copies of the books at your local library.

REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS JANUARY 29, 2021

Reading Schedule – Thursdays at 6:00 PM CST

  • February 11 – Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo
  • March 18 – The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
  • April 15 – American Street by Ibi Zoboi
  • May 13 – The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano by Sonia Manzano

Sponsored by AfterCLASS and the Stone Center for Latin American Studies at Tulane University and the New Orleans Public Library.

Central America, People and the Environment Educator Institute 2021

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This summer educator institute is the third institute in a series being offered by Tulane University, The University of Georgia and Vanderbilt University. This series of institutes is designed to enhance the presence of Central America in the K-12 classroom. Each year, participants engage with presenters, resources and other K-12 colleagues to explore diverse topics in Central America with a focus on people and the environment.

While at Tulane, the institute will explore the historic connections between the United States and Central America focusing on indigenous communities and environment while highlighting topics of social justice and environmental conservation. Join us to explore Central America and teaching strategies to implement into the classroom.

Additional details and registration will be available in the early spring 2021. For more information, please email dwolteri@tulane.edu or call 504.865.5164.