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Mexico & the Caribbean

Mexico & Caribbean

Dates

May 18 – June 8, 2022

Subjects

Intermediate Spanish, African American Studies

Deadlines

Dec. 1: Apply Early & Save $100
Feb. 15: Regular Deadline 

Program Overview

KIIS Mexico & the Caribbean is a three-week program based in Merida, Mexico, and in Puerto Rico. The program begins in Merida, an ideal location to experience a fusion of Mexican, Mayan, and European culture and to explore the wonders of the Yucatán. The region boasts Chichén Itzá, named as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World; Uxmal, a designation UNESCO World Heritage site; pristine beaches; and beautiful nature preserves. For the third week of the program, students travel to Puerto Rico, an unincorporated U.S. territory in the Caribbean. Puerto Rico has been profoundly affected by its relationship with the United States, experiencing both intimate and challenging periods of political relations. Puerto Rico is an exhilarating place, rich in history and culture, and this will be a phenomenal way to meaningfully encounter this country. Students will live with families for the duration of the program enhancing the socio-cultural understanding of the day-to-day life in Mexico and in Puerto Rico and experience social customs and cultural practices. Spanish is not required for this program.

Language Requirement:  No language requirement for AFAM 490/IDST 350 (taught in English). 6 hours of college-level Spanish or equivalent for SPAN 210, 12 hours or equivalent for SPAN 372.

Accommodations: Homestay, 2 people per home. 

OrientationMandatory orientation on Saturday, April 9, 2022 in Bowling Green, KY. See Orientation for more information.

Featured Video

Below are two videos that give you a closer look into what your KIIS Merida-Caribbean experience could be like. The first video is a testimonial of someone who studied abroad in Mexico 15 years ago. It gives a detailed look into how the experience has helped shape the student today. The second video provides insight into homestay families in Merida.

Courses

All courses are 3 credit hours. You may enroll in 1 course.

AFAM 490/IDST 350 Topics: The Black Image in Mexico and the Caribbean

Dr. Thomas Edison

In this introductory course, students will learn of the history and culture of communities of African ancestry in the Caribbean with a special focus on the island of Puerto Rico. The material will be transmitted through readings, lectures, and excursions. The African aesthetic will be explored by analyzing selected works of Puerto Rican scholars and artists. 

SPAN 210 Intermediate Spanish Conversation Abroad

Dr. Itza Zavala-Garrett

This course is designed to develop the vocabulary and communication skills of a student with one year of college Spanish or equivalent, with emphasis on contact with Spanish native speakers. Taught in Spanish.

SPAN 372 Latin American Civilization and Culture

Dr. Itza Zavala-Garrett

This course is a survey of the historical, cultural, and literature background of Caribbean Mexico (Merida) and its people from the Discovery to the present centering on the influence of Mayan cultural heritage in southern Mexico and the Caribbean.

All KIIS course credit is awarded by Western Kentucky University. Prior to your KIIS program, please speak with your home campus academic advisor and/or study abroad office to determine course equivalencies. Grades will be transferred to your home institution in mid-August after the completion of the program. Course offerings are subject to change according to enrollment. For more information, visit Transcripts & Grades.

Program Excursions

Chichén Itzá & Cenote Ik Kil

Chichén Itzá, named as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Students love swimming in the cenote, a beautiful underground swimming hole rich with lush green vines. Cenotes were spiritually important to the Maya, and there are many theories about their significance to death rituals, fertility offerings, and a connection to the underworld.

Loíza, Puerto Rico

Loíza is one of the most culturally rich municipalities in Puerto Rico. It is home to some of the most iconic African-influenced traditions that make up Puerto Rican culture. We will participate in a workshop of how to play bomba, a music genre originated by enslaved Africans, and in a drum making workshop. After which we visit a working art studio to explore cultural memorabilia.

Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

This culturally rich and historic city mingles pastel-colored colonial houses along cobbled streets and shady plazas with cool cocktail bars and renowned Caribbean fusion restaurants. We will visit La Casa Blanca, San Juan Cathedral, the tomb of Ponce de Leon, and the Museo de las Americas. We will explore El Morro and La Fortaleza, the massive fortresses, and stroll along the Paseo de la Princesa promenade.

Ponce, Puerto Rico

Ponce is part of a region known as Porta Caribe, “the Gateway to the Caribbean.” Here in this historically significant town on the southern coast of Puerto Rico, we will tour the neighborhood where the Plena, a music genre born of African roots, was born, and have the opportunity to participate in a musical gathering.

Mercado Lucas de Gálvez

This marvelous local traditional market is the only place where you can buy all the ingredients for the delights of Yucatecan food. Mayan and mestizo people come to town to sell these goods, as well as locally grown fruits and vegetables. You can also find Yucatecan jewelry and affordable beautiful clothes, hand-embroidered and dyed by hand by the Maya of today.

Playa Progreso

Students can visit this beach by public bus. Playa Progreso is a well-known local beach and has long been a crucial link to the world. Its foundation came about due to necessity. During the height of the henequen (sisal) export era, the port town of Sisal (west of Progreso) was the main cargo departure point (Yucatan Today Magazine).

Merida Museums

Merida summer program offers additional activities and excursions such as the visit of several local museums: Museo de la canción yucateca, Museo de arte popular, Museo de la ciudad, language exchange in the English Library, Cementerio General, and many more fabulous places and free cultural events.

El Yunque Rainforest, Puerto Rico

We visit El Yunque National Forest. Its name comes from an Indian spirit Yuquiyu or Yokahu, which means "Forest of Clouds". It is the only tropical forest in the US National Forest System, with a diverse and densely populated habitat, and wildlife refuge. El Yunque is one of the most visited attractions on the island. We will end the day at Balneario La Monserrate.

Uxmal Hacienda & Yaxcopoil

Uxmal is a designated UNESCO World Heritage site where students will appreciate Mayan culture, art, and architecture. After visiting Uxmal and the Chocolate Museum, we visit an authentic hacienda. Dating from the late 1600s to the early 1900s, haciendas are Mexico’s equivalent to American southern plantations or mid-western ranches. (Yucatan Today Magazine).

What's Included

Program Cost: $3,525 + airfare

Earn 3 Credit Hours

Group Flight (Required)

Airport Transfers in Mexico & Puerto Rico

Accommodations

Three Meals per Day (Mexico), Two Meals per Day (Puerto Rico)

Groups Excursions & Transport

Security Evacuation Protection

Medical Insurance

Program Director & Faculty
on-site 24/7

To help you budget, keep in mind that you are responsible for the cost of obtaining a passport ($145), one meal per day (in Puerto Rico) + personal expenses (approx. $150-$400 depending on your spending habits), pre-departure (in USA) Covid-19 test and on-site (KIIS location abroad) Covid-19 test to return home, Vaccinations (approx. $150), any class readings/materials, and any fees from your college/university.

Although KIIS tries to foresee all possible expenses in formulating program fees, please note that dramatic fluctuations in foreign currency valuations and/or airline surcharges may affect the total cost of the program.

Required Group Flight

Estimated Cost: $1,000 – $1,100

The group flight is required for KIIS Mexico & the Caribbean. We fly together to Mexico and return from Puerto Rico. The group flight includes an internal flight transfer between Mexico and Puerto Rico. KIIS will purchase the flights for you. The flight cost will be added to your final program fee on April 1. The group flight will depart from Cincinnati or Louisville.

The flight to Mexico arrives on the same day. The return from Puerto Rico arrives in the U.S. on the same day. Visit Flights and Passports & Visas for more information.

Student Voices

Take Your Education Further

Category:

Description

Dates

May 18 – June 8, 2022

Subjects

Intermediate Spanish, African American Studies

Deadlines

Dec. 1: Apply Early & Save $100
Feb. 15: Regular Deadline 

Program Overview

KIIS Mexico & the Caribbean is a three-week program based in Merida, Mexico, and in Puerto Rico. The program begins in Merida, an ideal location to experience a fusion of Mexican, Mayan, and European culture and to explore the wonders of the Yucatán. The region boasts Chichén Itzá, named as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World; Uxmal, a designation UNESCO World Heritage site; pristine beaches; and beautiful nature preserves. For the third week of the program, students travel to Puerto Rico, an unincorporated U.S. territory in the Caribbean. Puerto Rico has been profoundly affected by its relationship with the United States, experiencing both intimate and challenging periods of political relations. Puerto Rico is an exhilarating place, rich in history and culture, and this will be a phenomenal way to meaningfully encounter this country. Students will live with families for the duration of the program enhancing the socio-cultural understanding of the day-to-day life in Mexico and in Puerto Rico and experience social customs and cultural practices. Spanish is not required for this program.

Language Requirement:  No language requirement for AFAM 490/IDST 350 (taught in English). 6 hours of college-level Spanish or equivalent for SPAN 210, 12 hours or equivalent for SPAN 372.

Accommodations: Homestay, 2 people per home. 

OrientationMandatory orientation on Saturday, April 9, 2022 in Bowling Green, KY. See Orientation for more information.

Featured Video

Below are two videos that give you a closer look into what your KIIS Merida-Caribbean experience could be like. The first video is a testimonial of someone who studied abroad in Mexico 15 years ago. It gives a detailed look into how the experience has helped shape the student today. The second video provides insight into homestay families in Merida.

Courses

All courses are 3 credit hours. You may enroll in 1 course.

AFAM 490/IDST 350 Topics: The Black Image in Mexico and the Caribbean

Dr. Thomas Edison

In this introductory course, students will learn of the history and culture of communities of African ancestry in the Caribbean with a special focus on the island of Puerto Rico. The material will be transmitted through readings, lectures, and excursions. The African aesthetic will be explored by analyzing selected works of Puerto Rican scholars and artists. 

SPAN 210 Intermediate Spanish Conversation Abroad

Dr. Itza Zavala-Garrett

This course is designed to develop the vocabulary and communication skills of a student with one year of college Spanish or equivalent, with emphasis on contact with Spanish native speakers. Taught in Spanish.

SPAN 372 Latin American Civilization and Culture

Dr. Itza Zavala-Garrett

This course is a survey of the historical, cultural, and literature background of Caribbean Mexico (Merida) and its people from the Discovery to the present centering on the influence of Mayan cultural heritage in southern Mexico and the Caribbean.

All KIIS course credit is awarded by Western Kentucky University. Prior to your KIIS program, please speak with your home campus academic advisor and/or study abroad office to determine course equivalencies. Grades will be transferred to your home institution in mid-August after the completion of the program. Course offerings are subject to change according to enrollment. For more information, visit Transcripts & Grades.

Program Excursions

Playa Progreso

Students can visit this beach by public bus. Playa Progreso is a well-known local beach and has long been a crucial link to the world. Its foundation came about due to necessity. During the height of the henequen (sisal) export era, the port town of Sisal (west of Progreso) was the main cargo departure point (Yucatan Today Magazine).

El Yunque Rainforest, Puerto Rico

We visit El Yunque National Forest. Its name comes from an Indian spirit Yuquiyu or Yokahu, which means "Forest of Clouds". It is the only tropical forest in the US National Forest System, with a diverse and densely populated habitat, and wildlife refuge. El Yunque is one of the most visited attractions on the island. We will end the day at Balneario La Monserrate.

Uxmal Hacienda & Yaxcopoil

Uxmal is a designated UNESCO World Heritage site where students will appreciate Mayan culture, art, and architecture. After visiting Uxmal and the Chocolate Museum, we visit an authentic hacienda. Dating from the late 1600s to the early 1900s, haciendas are Mexico’s equivalent to American southern plantations or mid-western ranches. (Yucatan Today Magazine).

Merida Museums

Merida summer program offers additional activities and excursions such as the visit of several local museums: Museo de la canción yucateca, Museo de arte popular, Museo de la ciudad, language exchange in the English Library, Cementerio General, and many more fabulous places and free cultural events.

Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

This culturally rich and historic city mingles pastel-colored colonial houses along cobbled streets and shady plazas with cool cocktail bars and renowned Caribbean fusion restaurants. We will visit La Casa Blanca, San Juan Cathedral, the tomb of Ponce de Leon, and the Museo de las Americas. We will explore El Morro and La Fortaleza, the massive fortresses, and stroll along the Paseo de la Princesa promenade.

Loíza, Puerto Rico

Loíza is one of the most culturally rich municipalities in Puerto Rico. It is home to some of the most iconic African-influenced traditions that make up Puerto Rican culture. We will participate in a workshop of how to play bomba, a music genre originated by enslaved Africans, and in a drum making workshop. After which we visit a working art studio to explore cultural memorabilia.

Mercado Lucas de Gálvez

This marvelous local traditional market is the only place where you can buy all the ingredients for the delights of Yucatecan food. Mayan and mestizo people come to town to sell these goods, as well as locally grown fruits and vegetables. You can also find Yucatecan jewelry and affordable beautiful clothes, hand-embroidered and dyed by hand by the Maya of today.

Ponce, Puerto Rico

Ponce is part of a region known as Porta Caribe, “the Gateway to the Caribbean.” Here in this historically significant town on the southern coast of Puerto Rico, we will tour the neighborhood where the Plena, a music genre born of African roots, was born, and have the opportunity to participate in a musical gathering.

Chichén Itzá & Cenote Ik Kil

Chichén Itzá, named as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Students love swimming in the cenote, a beautiful underground swimming hole rich with lush green vines. Cenotes were spiritually important to the Maya, and there are many theories about their significance to death rituals, fertility offerings, and a connection to the underworld.

What's Included

Program Cost: $3,525 + airfare

Earn 3 Credit Hours

Group Flight (Required)

Airport Transfers in Mexico & Puerto Rico

Accommodations

Three Meals per Day (Mexico), Two Meals per Day (Puerto Rico)

Groups Excursions & Transport

Security Evacuation Protection

Medical Insurance

Program Director & Faculty
on-site 24/7

To help you budget, keep in mind that you are responsible for the cost of obtaining a passport ($145), one meal per day (in Puerto Rico) + personal expenses (approx. $150-$400 depending on your spending habits), pre-departure (in USA) Covid-19 test and on-site (KIIS location abroad) Covid-19 test to return home, Vaccinations (approx. $150), any class readings/materials, and any fees from your college/university.

Although KIIS tries to foresee all possible expenses in formulating program fees, please note that dramatic fluctuations in foreign currency valuations and/or airline surcharges may affect the total cost of the program.

Required Group Flight

Estimated Cost: $1,000 – $1,100

The group flight is required for KIIS Mexico & the Caribbean. We fly together to Mexico and return from Puerto Rico. The group flight includes an internal flight transfer between Mexico and Puerto Rico. KIIS will purchase the flights for you. The flight cost will be added to your final program fee on April 1. The group flight will depart from Cincinnati or Louisville.

The flight to Mexico arrives on the same day. The return from Puerto Rico arrives in the U.S. on the same day. Visit Flights and Passports & Visas for more information.

Student Voices

Take Your Education Further

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