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  • Locations: Antigua, Guatemala
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Program Description:
Guatemala Summer

Mayan Language Institute

Kaqchikel or K'iche'  Maya

June 22 – August 3, 2024

Application Deadline: Friday, March 1, 2024



Program Overview

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

The Kaqchikel program takes place in Ciudad Vieja, a town about 5km outside of Antigua. 

The K'iche' program takes place in Xela (aka Quetzaltenango), the second largest city in Guatema


Courses Offered

ANTH 6870: Kaqchikel Maya Culture (3 credits)
ANTH 6840: Beginning Kaqchikel Language (3 credits)
ANTH 7570: Intermediate Kaqchikel Language (3 credits)
ANTH 7580: Advanced Kaqchikel Language (3 credits)
ANTH 6860: K’iche’ Maya Culture (3 credits)
ANTH 6845: Beginning K’iche’ Language (3 credits)
ANTH 6850: Intermediate K’iche’ Language (3 credits)
ANTH 6855: Advanced K’iche’ Language (3 credits)

Housing and Meals

Students will live in homestays with families living near classroom facilities. While not all families may speak Kaqchikel or K'iche',  all maintain Indigenous cultural practices. Students will have private bedrooms with basic furnishings, bedding, and towels. They may share a bathroom with other students or members of the host family. All homes are equipped with wifi and potable water.

Host families will provide breakfast and dinner on weekdays and 3 meals/day on the weekends. Students will share lunch with instructors and administrators in the classroom facilities during weekdays. 


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 Mayan 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 to students come prepared with an open mind and spirit of generosity.


Total cost: $7,250
Tuition: $5,000
Housing and Logistics Fee: $2,250

Tuition and fees include 6 Tulane credits, international medical insurance, housing, all meals, transport and costs associated with excursions. Tuition and fees do NOT include airfare to/from Guatemala, transportation to/from teh Guatemala City Airport, passport/visa expenses, personal communication expense, vaccinations, laundry, incidentals.

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. Non-Tulane Students should speak with the FLAS coordinator at your university.

Tulane students are encouraged to reach out to about possible funding sources.




Registration and Billing

Students will receive admission decisions within 3-4 weeks of the application deadline. Once admitted, they will be asked to pay a program deposit of $50 to secure their spot (this deposit will be waived for FLAS applicants who contact From there, all 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.

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 according to the policies outlined on the Accounts Receivable website. Students can access their accounts through the Gibson Portal:

Refund and Cancellation Policy

If a student cancels their reservation in the program less than 60 days prior to the Program start date, Tulane will charge a cancellation fee according to the following Cancellation Fee Schedule.

  • Withdrawal or cancellation from 31 to 59 days prior to the Program start date - the cancellation fee is $500 plus all non-recoverable costs.
  • Withdrawal or cancellation from 1 to 30 days prior to the Program start date - the cancellation fee is 50% of the published Program fee or the total amount of non-recoverable costs, whichever is higher.
  • Tulane will be entitled to retain the entire Program fee for withdrawals or cancellations occurring on or after the Program start date.
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.

Medical Insurance and Travel Emergency Assistance

The Stone Center will enroll MLI students in a comprehensive study abroad medical insurance policy provided by Geoblue. This insurance is included in the cost of the program. Tulane provides students with travel emergency assistance through Crisis24. Information about this program is available on the Tulane Global website.

Applicant Eligibility

Both Tulane and non-Tulane students at the graduate and undergraduate levels are encouraged to apply. Applicants must have a GPA of at least 2.5 and hold a passport valid for at least six months following the program end date.

Application Materials

General Student Information
Current Official Transcript
Personal Statement (approx. 250-350 words)
One faculty recommendation 
Proof of Valid Passport
Proof of Covid-19 Vaccination
General Releases and Waivers

Contact Information

If you have questions or would like more information, visit the Mayan Languages Institute webpage or contact the Stone Center for Latin American Studies:

Phone: (504) 862 - 8629
100 Jones Hall, Tulane Uptown Campus

This program is currently not accepting applications.