Guatemala 2024

September 6-15, 2024

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.

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 2024 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 3 to 6 international elective credits. Undergraduates can earn 5 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. And GBUS 4940 counts towards the GBUS 3200 requirement!

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

Who: GuateAbroad 2024 is open to both graduate and undergraduate Seattle University students, as well as Seattle U alumni. Aaron Thornburg will teach GBUS 4940 & 5940 (Leading with Cultural Intelligence); Tanner Humiston will teach MGMT 4940 & 5940 (Cross-Cultural Negotiation Skills).

When: We'll be in Guatemala September 6-15, 2024. There will be four total on-campus class sessions, likely taking place in late April, May, and early June.

How: Apply online. For those accepted to the program, a $200 deposit will be due to Student Financial Services.

Cost: The $2,650 fee ($200 deposit + $2450 remainder) 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, but guests are welcome!

Spring/Summer Quarter Courses

GBUS 4940/5940 Leading with Cultural Intelligence

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 Cross-Cultural Negotiation Skills

Building positive relationships is essential for successful negotiations, collaboration, and partnerships. To build those relationships, we need to understand and appreciate values, behaviors, and communication styles that span across cultures and those that are culturally specific. Using Guatemala as the stage to explore, this course will develop our cross-cultural negotiation skills with a focus on understanding the impacts that history and tradition have on the partnerships that drive economic, technological, and social development.

Guatemala: Lake Atitlan
Lake Atitlan
Playing with the local kids in Guatemala
Playing with the local school children.
Students picking coffee in a Guatemalan coffee field
Learning about coffee from the source.
A Guatemalan A local "chicken" bus.