Latin American Indigenous Language Summer Programs 2021

View or download the program list as a PDF document

Mayan Language Institute (Kaqchikel and K’iche’ Maya)
Tulane University Stone Center for Latin American Studies and
Vanderbilt University Center for Latin American Studies
FLAS Eligible

Location: Antigua and Nahualá, Guatemala

COVID Contingency Plans: A virtual program will be offered if the pandemic precludes travel in Summer 2021. A final decision regarding mode of instruction will be made in Spring 2021.

Dates: June 13-July 24, 2021

Program Summary: The Mayan Language Institute is a 6-week program to train students in either Kaqchikel or K’iche’ Maya, two of the most widely-spoken Mayan languages in Guatemala today. Thanks to the collaboration between U.S. American faculty and Maya teachers, participants can study at the beginning, intermediate, or advanced levels of either language. The program’s highly individualized classes combine language immersion activities, lectures, one-on-one conversations, guest speakers and cultural excursions. The intensive nature of these classes, combined with students’ daily immersion in Maya communities, enables them to enhance their language skills rapidly while experiencing Indigenous cultures firsthand. Students enrolled in Kaqchikel Maya will spend 6 weeks at the PLFM campus in Antigua. Students enrolled in K’iche’ Maya will spend 1 week at the PLFM campus before relocating to Nahualá, a small city in the highlands of Sololá, for the final 5 weeks of the program.

An online version of the program developed in Summer 2020 enables students to study with the same native-speaking instructors they would work with in Guatemala. Classes are held via Zoom Monday-Friday. Visit the program website below for more details.

Program Cost: TBD. Final program price will depend on enrollment and mode of instruction. Tuition will not exceed $5000 and total program costs (which including tuition and housing and/or logistics fees) will not exceed $6500.

Program Website

Application Deadline: Friday, March 6, 2020

Dr. Hannah Palmer, Program Manager
Stone Center for Latin American Studies, Tulane University; +1 (504) 862–8629

Yucatec Maya Institute
Consortium in Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University

Dates: June 21-July 30, 2021

Program location: Location of the program, and whether the program is offered virtually or in-person will be based on COVID-19 restrictions. If virtual, the course will meet from M-F from 10am to 4pm. A decision will be posted by March 1, 2021 at:

Level 1: 2 weeks at UNC-Chapel Hill and 4 weeks in Valladolid, Mexico
Level 2: 6 weeks Valladolid, Mexico
Level 3: 6 weeks Valladolid, Mexico

Program Description: The Yucatec Maya Summer Institute offers three courses (Levels 1-3) in modern Yucatec Maya, a living language spoken by one million people living in the Yucatán Peninsula and northern Belize. Students in the Intensive Yucatec Maya Courses will have the unique opportunity to take a comprehensive look at the Yucatán through a combination of classroom and field activities. Students visit a range of important historic and cultural locations. Trips to archeological and colonial sites as well as other Mayan villages are led by Mayan scholars, who will introduce them to the cultural importance of each site. Mérida, the beautiful capital of the Mexican state of Yucatán, offers its visitors both modern and historic aspects of city life. Valladolid is home to an innovative Maya culture and language program that promotes intercultural learning and trains a new generation of Maya-speaking students. Xocen, situated 12 kilometers southeast of Valladolid, is located in the milpa area of the Mexican state of Yucatán. Xocen is an ancient town that played a key role in the Caste War and was the original home of the Talking Cross. Basic knowledge of Spanish is required.

On site: 5000 tuition and fees and $1500 living expenses (approximately)
Virtual: $3500 tuition and fees (approximately)

Contact: Beatriz Riefkohl Muñiz,

OSEA Intensive Maya Language Program

Location: Pisté, Yucatán, México

Dates: June 6 to July 17 OR June 20 to July 31

COVID Contingency: OSEA will offer a fully remote FLAS-eligible course if the current pandemic conditions prohibit travel and on-site learning.

Program Summary: OSEA offers a six-week, FLAS eligible, Intensive Maya language Program. The course is immersion-based and taught on-site in Pisté, Yucatán, México.

Maya is an Indigenous language spoken in the Yucatán peninsula in México and one of the approximately thirty-two Mayan languages comprising the Mayan language family. It is the only Mayan language whose proper name is Maya. The common Anglophone term, Yucatec Maya, is a scientific jargon term invented by linguists to differentiate the language properly named Maya with other Mayan languages, each of which have their own proper name, and from Proto-Mayan.

In this course students learn to read, write, speak, listen, and converse in Maya. The OSEA Maya course relies on innovative methodologies using video, online, and written resources, including materials created for this course by the professor. Language competencies and proficiencies build on learning cultural knowledge about Maya peoples, histories, and society provided by the course. We focus on Maya conceptualization of time and how these temporalities are integrated into syntactical and conjugational verb forms.

The course uses educational documentaries, Maya language videos created by the professor as well as available on YouTube, and authentic Maya language literature. There are no course prerequisites for Beginning Maya. Spanish is not required for any Maya language course. Intermediate Maya requires a minimum of one year of beginning Maya or two six-week FLAS eligible intensive summer courses (280 contact hours of instruction). Advanced Maya requires a minimum of two years of Maya or three equivalent six-week FLAS eligible intensive summer courses. The program combines undergrad and grad students. The professor accommodates graduate student research specializations in linguistics, anthropology, history, folklore, theatre, comparative literature, and social sciences generally with topical information and language-learning and research activities that are related to the students particular disciplinary and research concerns.

Program Costs:
Tuition: $5000
Homestays and Program fees: $1100

Program Website

Contact: Quetzil Castaneda,