Diego Rivera Mural in Detroit

Mexican Social Movements in Their Own Context: Mexico Profundo

Location: Chiapas and Oaxaca, Mexico
Faculty: Margaret Cerullo, professor of sociology and feminist studies (CSI)
Course Number: CSI-272S
Departure Date: May 28, 2017 Return Date: June 11, 2017 (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 Oaxaca and Chiapas Mexico designed to study Spanish (and mayan tsotsil for those fluent in Spanish) along with an activist introduction to current Mexican politics and social struggles. The program begins with one week in Oaxaca city where students will be associated with Universidad de la Tierra, becoming oriented to Mexico via interaction with their host families, talks, and visits to museums and other sites. We will then move to Chiapas for two weeks where students will spend a week in San Cristobal in an onsite social and political history of the region, “Chiapas against the grain.” For the final week, students 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, Spring 2017), another course equivalent, or background in Latin American/Latin@ Studies. In addition, 2 semesters of Spanish is recommended.


Short-term field course eligibility requirements (for Hampshire and non-Hampshire students)

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

Since this course will take place largely in the Spanish language, which is very demanding for those whose Spanish is not fluent, requirements are participating in all classes and other activities and writing weekly reflection papers and a self evaluation. Guidelines for the weekly reflection papers will be provided, with prompts. Students will also have the opportunity to complete a paper or an art project after the course ends for evaluation and inclusion in their Division II portfolios, or as an Advanced Learning Activity for their Division III’s.

Cumulative Skills

Understand and incorporate multiple cultural perspectives on intellectual or artistic subjects

Program Itinerary 

US-Mexico City, Sunday, May 28, 2017
Mexico City-Oaxaca, Sunday May 28, 2017
Oaxaca – Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas, Sunday June 4, 2017
Chiapas-Mexico City-US, Sunday June 11, 2017

Travel Plans

Students will arrive individually to the Mexico City airport on May 28 and will make their way to the national airline that the group will take to Oaxaca City. The group will fly together from Mexico City to Oaxaca that same day. On June 11, the group will fly back to Mexico City airport from San Cristobal, where students will connect to flights to the U.S.

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

Housing Arrangements

In Oaxaca City, students will stay with families who are members of social movements and associated with Universidad de la Tierra. These are families with previous experience hosting foreign students. In Chiapas, they will spend one week (and weekends) at Junax in San Cristobal, a hostal that hosts volunteers in Zapatista projects. They will spend one week, Mon-Fri, in the Zapatista community of Oventic living in rustic dormitories.

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 the global education office:

Heather St. Germaine

Questions regarding the academic content or itinerary should be directed to the faculty director:

Margaret Cerullo


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