Mayan Language Institute
Kaqchikel or K'iche' Maya
June 22 – August 3, 2024
Application Deadline: Friday, March 1, 2024
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 Guatemala.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org). 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: http://gibson.tulane.edu.
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.
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.
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.
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
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