• Sophomore, Junior, Senior
• 2.0 cumulative GPA
• No Spanish proficiency is required for this course, however, students may gain more from this experience with a basic understanding of Spanish.

• Good academic and disciplinary standing


Agronomy, Agricultural and Applied Economics, Biology, Community & Environmental Sociology, Conservation Biology, Environmental Studies, Geography, Global Health, Horticulture, Landscape Architecture, Plant Pathology, Sociology, Spanish

Classroom Language




Program Duration

Mid-May - Late May

Application Deadline(s)

TermApplication Deadline
Summer 2018  12/1/2017
Extended Deadline: 12/15/2017

Future durations will be posted at a later date.

Questions about this program?
Contact a Peer Advisor!

Guatemala, San Marcos La Laguna
UW Community-Based Learning and Sustainable Food Systems in Guatemala

Overview | Academics | Cost | Location | Life Abroad | Student Voices | Apply

The UW Community-Based Learning and Sustainable Food Systems in Guatemala program is offered by the College of Agricultural and Life Science (CALS) in partnership with IAP.

This course takes place during the last two weeks of May in the Western Highlands of Guatemala in a community called San Marcos La Laguna. The program will allow students to acquire and apply cross-disciplinary expertise needed to address important issues pertaining to food systems such as food security, sustainability, resilience to climate change, health, culture, and land ethics.  

Students will learn about indigenous peoples and the rich cultural heritage of Guatemala through interactions with the local people and community. In addition, the program offers UW students a unique opportunity to learn cultural competency through two Community-Based Learning projects, where students will work alongside local community members to reactivate a school garden and to develop a new community garden. Both of these projects are community-identified needs. 

Participants on the study abroad program can apply for one of three internship positions at Las Pirámides in Guatemala.  This four week internship focused on conservation and horticulture will start immediately after the program ends.  For more details, see UW's International Internship Program page for the Sustainable Food Systems Internship.

Learning Objectives

We have overall Goals and Expectations for Study Abroad Participants, covering the personal, academic and professional aspects of study abroad. Additionally on this program, you can:

1) Recognize social, economic, and environmental issues related to food systems and use this insight to find suitable methods to address them.

2) Contrast farming and consumer practices in Wisconsin and Guatemala, and explore their impact on nutrition, food security, health, community and economic development.

3) Integrate ideas, interdisciplinary skills, and global competencies through the analysis of food systems and their impacts on local and global communities.

4 ) Describe relationships between environment, cropping systems and public health.

5) Contribute to communities locally and internationally by engaging in directed studies and public service through internships and Community-Based Learning projects.

6) Develop cultural awareness of self and other.