(Mexico) Mexican Social Movements in Their Own Context

Location: Chiapas and Mexico City, Mexico
Faculty: Margaret Cerullo, professor of sociology and feminist studies (CSI)
Course Number: CSI-272S
Departure Date: June 1, 2016 Return Date: June 22, 2016 (dates are tentative)
Course Fee (tentative): $2,950 + airfare (see information about additional expenses and financial aid below)

Course Summary

This program is a three-week intensive course in Mexico City and Chiapas, Mexico designed as an activist introduction to current Mexican politics and social struggles. The program begins with one week in Mexico City, where students will live with families involved in the Frente Popular Francisco Villa (an urban social movement) while studying Spanish and becoming oriented to Mexico via interaction with their host families and charlas, as well as visits to museums and other sites. The program will then move to Chiapas for two weeks. The group will spend one week in San Cristobal, learning the social and political history of the “dual city” (indigenous and mestizo) and its surroundings in vivo. For our final week, students will live in a Zapatista autonomous community, Oventik, in the highlands, near San Cristobal. There, participants will live as guests of the Zapatistas and in solidarity with their movement. They will have an extraordinary opportunity to encounter Zapatista practices of autonomy and Zapatista political visions while continuing their study of Spanish, or beginning Tsotsil if their Spanish is fluent.  


Zapatismo (fall 2015 or previously) or a background in Latin American/Latin Studies and 2 semesters of Spanish; or by instructor’s permission.


Short-term field course eligibility requirements.

Financial Information

Short-term Field Course Finances and FundingImportant information about fees, payments, and financial aid.

Course Fee

Approximately $2,950 includes tuition, accommodations, in-country transportation, all meals, course activities, and events.

Additional Expenses (costs not included in the course fee)
Approximately $1,000 to include airfare, U.S. transportation to and from airport, and personal expenses 

How to Apply

Short-term field course application deadlines and instructions.

Full Course Description

Evaluation Expectation for Students

Participants are expected to engage actively with and in the Spanish language on a daily basis. Participants will also actively participate in all classes and activities, and will be expected to write weekly reflection papers and a course self-evaluation. Guidelines for the weekly reflection papers will be provided, with prompts, by the instructor. I will also require an oral history with one of the activists they encounter on the trip.

Cumulative Skills

Understand and incorporate multiple cultural perspectives on intellectual or artistic subjects

Program Itinerary 

Travel from U.S. to Mexico City, June 1, 2016
Mexico City-Chiapas, June 8, 2016
Chiapas-Mexico City-U.S., June 22, 2016
Mexico City-U.S., June 22, 2016

Travel Plans

Participants arrange individually to arrive at the airport in Mexico City on June 1, where they will be picked up and transported to their homestay. On the morning of Sunday, June 22, the group will fly from Chiapas to the Mexico City airport, where they will connect to their individually arranged flight back to the U.S. Students will be informed of the optimal arrival and departure times to/from Mexico City once course participation in confirmed to enable coordination.

All transportation costs in Mexico, including the group flight to and from Chiapas, are included in the course fee.

Housing Arrangements

In Mexico City, the group will stay with families who are members of the Frente Popular Francisco Villa in their community. In Chiapas, the group will stay in rustic dormitory-style accommodations in the Zapatista community of Oventic; In San Cristobal accommodations will be provided in a hotel or hostel.

Predeparture Preparation

The prerequisites for this course will be play a significant role in students’ preparation. There will also be 1-2 group orientation sessions prior to departure, detailing logistics, protocols, and expectations, and preparing students for what they will experience in terms of living conditions, the shock of poverty, and the challenges of solidarity. In addition, there will also be a separate required session with GEO to discuss information and resources related to health, safety, and travel.


Questions about the application process or financial aid should be directed to Heather St. Germaine in the global education office at geo@hampshire.edu or 413.559.5542.

Questions regarding the academic content or itinerary should be directed to Margaret Cerullo at mcerullo@hampshire.edu.


Stay In Touch
With The Global Education Office (GEO)
Snail Mail
Global Education Office
Hampshire College
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002
Phone + Email
Fax: 413.559.6173