Guatemala 2017

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December 9-17, 2017

Watch this awesome informational YouTube video! 

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:

  • 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 to six international elective credits. Undergraduates can earn five to 10 business elective credits. GuateAbroad also satisfies the supplemental activity requirement (Participate in an SU Study Tour to a developing country) for International Economic Development specializations.

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

Who: GuateAbroad 2017 is open to both graduate and undergraduate Seattle University students, as well as Seattle U alumni. Aaron Thornburg will teach INBU 4940 & 5940 (Cultural Intelligence); Randy Massengale will teach MGMT 4940 & 5940 (Extraordinary Leaders Latin Americans).

When: We'll be in Guatemala December 9 - 17, 2017. The on-campus class sessions are 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm, currently scheduled for: October 6 & 20; November 3 & 17; and December 1.

How: Apply online. The deadline for application completion is September 15, 2017. For those accepted to the program, a $175 deposit will be due to Student Financial Services by September 15, 2017.

Cost: The $2,375 fee includes ALL lodging, ALL in-country transportation (including pick-up to & from airport), ALL excursions, language instruction, gifts, and almost all meals. Airfare not included. Guests are welcome, with a cost of $2,500 per person. Non-alumni guests need approval from Professor Aaron Thornburg.

Fall 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.

MGMT 4940/5940 Extraordinary Leaders-Latin America

This course is directed at providing participants with a historical overview of the lives and accomplishments of great leaders in private, public, and religious enterprises and organizations. It examines leaders in context of the principles, philosophies, and tactics they used to accomplish their objectives. Our focus will be leaders from Latin America.

Lake Atitlan
Lake Atitlan
Playing with the local kids
Playing with the local school children.
Picking coffee
Learning about coffee from the source.
A Guatemalan A local "chicken" bus.