Learn the real story about the end of the Mayan calendar in 2012 and experience the sacred Mayan fire ritual with Nobel Laureate Rigoberta Menchú Tum as your guide. The University of Colorado Denver Communication Department and the PeaceJam Foundation have joined forces to offer UCD students the opportunity to participate in a service learning project in Guatemala working with the grass roots RMT Foundation created by the Nobel Peace Laureate. Students will perform at least 25 hours of service per week with the Foundation and its Education Center located on Lago Atitlán by working on projects that assess human rights, inclusiveness, meeting indigenous peoples' needs and effectiveness of current political communication strategies. In addition, climb a volcano, visit Mayan ruins, spend time in beautiful colonial Antigua and immerse yourself in the beauty of Guatemala and richness of its people.
Learn more about the projects students worked on during Maymester 2012 in UCD's Spotlight Story:
A "Nobel" Cause in Guatemala
Yes, in Salamanca, Spain during my undergrad. After I
graduated I went back to Spain for nine months.
Not just Communication students should go abroad – every
student should. It looks great on a resume because it shows maturity. Studying abroad profoundly changes lives. It
expands your knowledge base, helps you make different life choices about your
career and goals, and helps you understand more about own your identity. Any
study abroad experience is fabulous.
Guatemala falls at bottom position for GDP in Central
America, has some of the highest poverty, is 6th in world for malnutrition, has
one of the most corrupt governments, and people are some of the nicest I've
ever met. They wake up every day, and show the world they have smile on their
face. Students learn how privileged they really are.
The subject matter - Genocide – is happening in so many
places in world. It is important to see what it means. I can hold students'
hands and show them. I don’t know why, but I can. And that is very important.
They never learn what you want them to! The goal is to understand
what happened in the country and how the United States was involved. It is a
part of U.S. history they may have never learned. But what students really gain
is a profound sense of what it means to be an American, or a Guatemalan, and
how vastly different it is.
We watch the film "Granito" a documentary on the
genocide in the 80s. After, we visit with anthropologists and students are
allowed into the laboratory where they actually examine bones. This experience
has a profound effect. Students are asked to be respectful, and asked to share
their knowledge of the genocide, which many people don’t even know happened.
They become representatives.
The food! We have Carmen, a Guatemalan woman who cooks for
us, and she loves to share the food with students. It’s something we experience
together. It's a community event.
There’s only about 100! Guatemalans are probably one of the
most respectful people I’ve ever met – which is an amazing in light of the poverty.