Albers School of Business and Economics
Study Abroad

Guatemala Study Abroad

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    June 27 - July 6, 2015

    Click here for an informational PowerPoint from our Summer 2014 trip!
    Read a first-hand account of the December 2014 trip! 

    Guatemala provides us a rich platform to explore complex social issues, effects of fair-trade practice, sustainable business dilemmas, and the plight of women and other marginalized communities in the region. We will have real experiences with the Guatemalan people and businesses – both micro and MNCs. We will immerse ourselves in the San Juan la Laguna community, staying with local families, and we will help them to acquire and install much-needed ‘micro-tunnels’ for their agriculturally dependent economy. We will lend a hand in planting crops for their next yield, and share what business and operational knowledge we have. We will collaborate with the shared vision of advancing the common good.

    Guatemala is the most populous country in Central America with a GDP per capita roughly one-half that of the average for Latin America. Almost 55% of the population is below the poverty line, yet their unemployment rate is roughly half that of the United States. Our trip will be based in La Antigua, which is recognized and protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, and is one of the most charming cities in Central America. We will also experience the bustle of Guatemala City, as well as excursions to neighboring areas such as: Izabal, Lake Atitlan, and more. GuateAbroad 2015 offers two courses illuminating Latin American business cultures, commercial environments, politics of Central America, and the economy of Guatemala and neighboring countries. To enhance what we learn, we will be visiting Guatemalan companies such as:

    • Cerveceria Centroamericana – We will see first hand the procedural and operational strategy of a leader in the Guatemalan beer Industry through a company tour of Cerveceria Centroamericana.
    • Uxibal - Started by a UW graduate, Uxibal positively impacts women throughout Guatemala through their fashion products, which are made by local artisans & 100% hand-crafted. Daily life is a struggle for women of indigenous Mayan descent but Uxibal looks to change this with their market-driven solution to improving the quality of life for women and provide otherwise absent opportunities.  
    • Ecofiltro Company – An Antigua based company, and World Bank Marketplace Award winner for sustainability in both 2003 and 2004, Ecofiltro was named one of the world’s Top 50 Small and Medium Enterprises by infoDev, an international association sponsored by the World Bank.
    • De la Gente - Through its unique business model, De la Gente provides coffee farmers - and their families - the necessary skills, knowledge, and tools, to help create sustainable and profitable businesses with long-term viability.

    What: Graduate students can earn three credits (one course) or six credits (two courses) of international and general elective credits. Undergraduates can earn five credits (one course) or 10 credits (two courses) of business credit. Guate2015 also satisfies the undergraduate International Economic Development requirement to participate in an SU sponsored Summer Education Abroad Course to a developing country.

    Where: Guatemala City, La Antigua (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Izabal, Lake Atitlan

    Who: GUATE2015 is open to both graduate and undergraduate Seattle University students, as well as Albers alumni. Aaron Thornburg will teach INBU 4940 & 5940; Meenakshi Rishi will teach ECON 4940 & 5940.

    When: June 27 – July 6. The application process is open now. The deadline for application completion is March 30, 2015. A refundable $500 deposit should be made to Student Financial Services beginning February 15. Once paid, please bring the deposit receipt to the Albers front desk to have them record and file it with the Guatemala participants.

    Cost: The $1,975 fee includes all lodging, private bus transportation (including pick-up from airport to hotel and back), all excursions, language instruction, gifts, and most meals. The price for alumni is $2,200 and non-alumni guests is $2,400. Non-alumni guests must get approval from Aaron Thornburg before applying.

    Spring/Summer Quarter Courses

    INBU 4940/5940 Cultural Intelligence and Global Business Communication

    In this course, we are interested in the subtle but crucial role that culture takes in creating relationships with business colleagues and clients across languages, cultures and borders. Guatemala certainly has its own identity and particularities, but it also shares a great many values with many of the 20+ Latin American countries, which account for almost 10% of the global population. We will take a hands-on approach to the challenges found in business communication across cultures, specifically Latin American culture, including: team and individual communication, as well as face-to-face versus virtual communication. Emphasis will also be placed on how communication differs cross-culturally in leadership roles.

    ECON 4940/5940 Central American Development Economics

    After 36 years of Civil War, the 1996 Peace Accords removed major obstacles to foreign investment, and since then Guatemala has pursued important reforms and macroeconomic stabilization. Despite being the most populous country in Central America, the per capita GDP is close to one-half the average of all Latin American and Caribbean nations. Agriculture dominates over one-third of the labor force, and over 10% of the national GDP. Yet despite a strong agricultural sector, more than half the population lives below the national poverty line and over one in 10 Guatemalans live in extreme poverty. In this course, we will increase our awareness of the developmental problems in both Guatemala, as well as the neighboring Latin American countries. We will also examine the role politics can play on the economy, and the effects they may have on the different populations and demographics of a Latin American country such as Guatemala.

  • Hill of the Cross, Antigua
  • Santa Clara Convent, Antigua
  • Information Sessions

    Information Sessions

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