Mexico, Chiapas - San Cristóbal de las Casas

Chiapas:  Social Movements, Spanish Language, Solidarity

On Campus: CD Mod Spring 2023
Off Campus: Tentative May 20 - June 17, 2023

Program Highlights:

  • Study in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, a vibrant mountain city in the Mexican southeast.
  • Understand the practice of accompaniment as a tool for addressing injustices and expanding perspectives.
  • Explore historical and contemporary indigenous rights and autonomy.
  • Propel your Spanish language skills through small-group Spanish language classes and 1:1 tutoring while in Chiapas.
  • Experience daily life in San Cristóbal de las Casas living with a host family. 

 While abroad, you will….

  • Spend each morning in small-group language courses taught by experienced language teachers at Instituto Jovel.
  • Hone your Spanish skills through private 1:1 language tutoring, twice weekly.
  • Explore daily life in San Cristóbal de las Casas, checking out cafes, open air markets, parks, and historic sites.
  • Immerse yourself in Chiapas by living with a local host family - sharing meals, conversation, and daily life.
  • Explore the history of the catholic church in Chiapas at the Samuel Ruiz museum.
  • Learn more about maya spirituality in a day trips to Chamula and Zincantan. 

Explore more Mexico, Chiapas - Embedded Program details on CSBSJU-Global Portal.

Course & Program Information

Course Name: Chiapas: Social Movements, Spanish Language, Solidarity

Course Number: HISP 357

Credit Number: 4

Integrations Curriculum Designations: Global Engagement (GL) and Human Experience (HE) with Thematic Encounter- Justice

Major/Minor: meets as an elective for HISP major and minor

Pre-requisite: HISP 211 or approval from instructor

Course Description:

At the heart of this course and short-term study abroad program are the language and intercultural learning opportunities afforded by an immersion experience in Chiapas, in the Mexican Southeast. Through small-group intensive language instruction, 1-1 tutoring, a homestay experience and on-site engagement, students will expand their language proficiency and global perspectives. The course will begin with an on-campus seminar organized around the practice of accompaniment, or "walking with" in solidarity, as embodied by Bishop Jtatik Samuel Ruiz. We will study indigenous struggles for rights along with the role of international solidarity networks. We will explore a poetic Maya Tsotsil worldview and its relationship to contemporary social problems and the natural world. Once in San Cristóbal de las Casas in Chiapas, students will apply that on-campus learning as context for deeper engagement in language class, field trips to related sites and individual and group reflection.

Program Cost & Financial Considerations

Students on an embedded program will pay an education program fee in addition to the cost of attendance for the semester. All program fee information is found in the “Financing your Experience-Short-term” brochure found on the Financing Study Abroad  website.   You will also find  more information about what is included and not included in the program fee on theCSBSJU-Global Portal.  

Students should plan early for a successful study abroad experience. Financial aid and scholarships may be available to help with program costs, but must be searched out well in advance.   


Students will live one to a family with a local host family.  Three meals a day will be provided by the host family.

Program Director Information

Roy Ketchum is Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies and Latino-Latin American Studies. His teaching and scholarly interests have focused on contemporary Argentina, the Mexican Southeast and Guatemala and are shaped by social justice perspectives and the creative dimensions of social movements. He directed the semester program in Guatemala four times along with the inaugural embedded program in Chiapas, Mexico in 2022.

E-mail: [email protected]