Urban and Rural Development in Yucatán,
Urban and Rural
Development in Yucatán, Mexico is an intensive seven-week program focusing on
field-based research. The program is designed for advanced undegraduate and
perhaps MA students in several disciplines (geography, anthropoogy, planning,
political science, etc.). Classroom activities will be conducted in English;
however intermediate to advanced Spanish is recommended for program
participants. During the first two weeks, students will attend daily lectures
and take part in excursions and other field-based activities designed to expose
them to the reality of life in urban and rural areas of southern Mexico.
Initially, students will focus on the culture, history, environment and economy
of southern Mexico. Subsequently, students will turn their attention to the
theory and reality of sustainable development using Yucatán as a living
laboratory. During this first part of the program discussions will be led by WMU
and University of Yucatán faculty. During Weeks Three to Six, students will
carry out field research under the close supervision of WMU and local faculty
mentors. In general, students will work in small groups or individually to
collect and analyze data. During the final week of the program, students will
complete data analysis and write up their results as a 10 to 15-page research
paper. Subsequently, students will present their results formally at a public
forum sponsored by WMU, the University of Yucatán and Department of Urban
Development of the city of Mérida.
program will be based in Mérida, Mexico, a city of about 800,000 inhabitants
located in the northern part of the Yucatán Peninsula. Due to its location and
history, Mérida offers a unique living laboratory in which to gain hands-on
experience studying the problems associated with urban and rural development in
Latin America. The program will be housed in downtown Mérida at the School of
Anthropology of the Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán. Students will also
participate in several excursions and field trips throughout southern Mexico
during their seven-week stay.
participants will be housed with local families during their stay in Mérida.
Students may opt to live on their own or with another WMU student. Lodging also
The WMU program fee is $2400.
This fee includes application fees, insurance, field trips, local
transportation, tuition (3 credits), lodging costs and meals. The program fee
does not include airfare.
For more information, contact Dr. James Biles
at WMU Geography.
James J Biles
Western Michigan University