In Belize, experience a tropical rainforest and coral reef just miles apart. Study the fascinating biological features that characterize these systems and observe the interactions between humans and their environment. In the rainforest, see iguanas, howler monkeys and leaf cutter ants while gaining insight into the Mayan culture and its use of medicinal plants. On the coral reef, the longest in the Western Hemisphere, swim with brilliantly colored reef fish among the diverse assemblage of corals, sponges, and other invertebrates.
In Guatemala, spend time in the village of Flores on Lake Peten Itza and connect science and medicine of pre-Columbian Mayan civilization to our modern challenges at one of the largest archaeological sites in the region.
Travel together with faculty, staff and other participants from your CCSA program with our group travel. CCSA will purchase a airline ticket from select U.S. cities on your behalf. The airline cost will be included in your final bill from CCSA. In addition to the flight, you will also receive transport to/from the accommodation in the destination city and the airport.
You can check our currently available departure cities on our departures page CCSA highly recommends this option for those new to international travel.
roundtrip ground transportation between airport and the accommodation site.
CCSA faculty and staff to guide you through the immigration and customs process.
* All prices are estimates based on summer 2019 costs. Final pricing will be published on the CCSA website by May 2020.
Not required for U.S. citizens for less than a 3-month stay. Non-U.S. citizens are responsible for obtaining a visa as needed.
Program Dates May 21, 2020 —June 03, 2020
(13 days) Base Price
$3,899 - $4,199*
$799 – $999 (estimated additional cost based on recent airline prices)Enrollment Status: OPEN
February 28, 2020 ($100 application discount if received by February 14)Scholarships: OPEN Due March 06. See our scholarships page
Biology / Earth Science / Environmental Science
Tropical Biology in Belize and Guatemala
Course Description: Study examples of Earths most diverse ecosystems by exploring both tropical rainforests and a coral reef in Belize. At Blue Creek Field Station you will live and work within a primary rainforest surrounded by a wealth of biodiversity ranging from large buttressed trees to howler monkeys. While on South Water Caye part of the longest coral reef in the Western Hemisphere you will study reef structure mangrove forests and grass beds while swimming among brilliantly-colored reef fish and corals. The program will also include time in Guatemala and a tour of Tikal a UNESCO World Heritage Site depicting ancient Mayan civilization.
Prerequisite: One course in biology or consent of instructor.
Course Description: As archaeologists came to re-discover the Maya sites of Central America, they speculated about their origins, noticing their similarities to other human civilizations from beyond the Americas. In this introductory-level undergraduate course, we will compare the ancient cultures of Mesopotamia, Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Americas, leading up to the moment of sustained contact between the eastern and western worlds. Visits to the Belize Zoo, Blue Creek field station, and South Water Caye will help illustrate the conditions of early societies, while trips to Tikal (Guatemala) and Lamanai and/or Xunantunich (Belize) will allow us to examine the growth of complex societies.
Prerequisite: Writing skills commensurate with an introductory-level undergraduate course.
Afro-Belize: Slavery, Indigeneity, Colonialism, Race, and Culture
Course Description: This class provides participants with a unique learning opportunity to engage in ethnographic research among the mixed race descendants of African slaves, Europeans, and indigenous peoples of Belize. By observing daily life in food markets and neighborhoods, interviewing a variety of community members, and visiting indigenous ruins and museums, students will be able to directly engage with history and interpret current Afro-Belizean society. We will explore interdisciplinary critical theories of race, colonialism and culture to understand Belize’s racial and social structures. Doing in-depth, on-site research in such a sociologically fascinating society will provide students with an unforgettable introduction to ethnographic studies in a beautiful tropical environment.
NOTE: This course MAY be operated as a separate program—in locations different from those listed in the program description. A determination will be made by mid-September 2019.
Prerequisite: Introductory Social Science/Humanities course