Quintana Roo, Mexico

The Maya Zone: Indigenous Latin America

Quintana Roo, Mexico

Winter 2024: January 4 - 22, 2024

Quintana Roo, Mexico January 2017

Program Flyer

Program Description

During the 16th century the Spanish encountered some of the most advanced civilizations including the Maya of Mexico and Central America. Disease and political conquest, however, rendered the Maya powerless and invisible.  This study-abroad program will integrate student learning through a pedagogical framework of cultural exchange that will make the Maya once again visible by allowing students to interact with modern day Maya communities, hear and learn Maya as a spoken language and participate in traditional Maya celebrations as practiced throughout the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. Students will also visit the ancient Maya cities of Tulum and/or Uxmal as well as the Museum of Maya Culture in Chetumal, the capital of Quintana Roo.  In visiting these unique sites students will learn to appreciate difference and allow them to recognize—and then dismiss—stereotypes they may have held  about Mexico’s indigenous populations and see the Maya as part of a connected community of global citizens. Students from all majors are encouraged to apply.

Faculty Director

Brian Montes is an Assistant Professor in Latin American and Latina/o Studies at John Jay College, City University of New York. He received his BA in Anthropology from the State University of New York at Cortland and holds a doctorate in Anthropology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  His research, teaching, and writing are grounded in U.S. Latino/a studies, Latin American Studies and Maya studies, with particular interest placed on the lived experience of race & ethnicity within Latin American and Latina/o ethnic groups. Other areas of specialization include Latin American and Latina/o social movements, memory, critical race theory, indigenous rights, Latina/os in the United States, and Maya (Yucatán) identity. His current project examines the memory, through discourse and performance, of Yucatán’s Caste War from the perspective of the native indigenous Maya within the municipality of Felipe Carrillo Puerto in Quintana Roo, Mexico.  


Information Sessions

Information sessions will be held from 1:40-2:55 (community hour), via Zoom. Click HERE to join.

  • Thursday, October 19
  • Thursday, October 26
  • Wednesday, November 1
  • Tuesday, November 14


Undergraduate Course

LLS 227: Indigenous Latin America (3 credits): This course provides an overview of the diverse indigenous populations of Latin America. Through the interdisciplinary study of culture, history, and politics, students will learn and analyze topics such as the historical construction of race and gender, globalization, assimilation, nationalism, cultural citizenship, and ethnic revitalization. Students will explore the cultural and historical commonalities that bring the region of Latin America together, as well as learn about the specific variations across the region and within nations. The challenges of being “Indian”, will be discussed and how these problems are confronted within these native communities will be addressed.

Course Syllabus


  1. 2.5 GPA
  2. Sophomore standing or higher   


Applications are either available from the Office of International Studies & Programs (Haaren Hall, Suite 530), or here.

Application Deadline: Friday, November 17

However, qualified applicants will be admitted on a rolling basis until places are filled. Thus, due to limited places, students are encouraged to apply early.

Please note: An application fee of $50.00 is due at the time of application. Money orders, personal checks and cash are accepted. Applications will not be accepted if incomplete.

Program Cost

Estimated Program Fee: $2,200.00**

**Subject to change. Includes double occupancy homestay  accommodations, most meals, international health insurance, excursions and transportation on-site associated with program. Does not include tuition, airfare, some meals, personal expenses & excursions, etc.

Cost breakdown for Mexico winter 2024 program.

John Jay College Tuition and Fees
Undergraduate Tuition and Fees

Financial Aid & Scholarships

Students should make an appointment with the Financial Aid Office, at their home College, to discuss the applicability of their financial aid to this program. 

More information on scholarships and funding can be found on our Study Abroad Funding page.

JJC students can contact Michael Scaduto for more information regarding the JJSAS, and general scholarship opportunities, at 212-237-8872 or email at mscaduto@jjay.cuny.edu.


Program Notes

  • Housing: Students will stay in double-occupancy homestay accommodations.
  • Fluctuating exchange rates and other fees may lead to program cost changes.
  • Program cost is based on a minimum number of participants for the program.
  • Students should discuss applicability of financial aid with the Financial Aid office.
  • All CUNY students must meet with their study abroad advisor to be sure the proper e-Permit registration process is followed.
  • All non-CUNY students are encouraged to apply early, to be sure there is ample time to apply and register for classes at John Jay College. Please contact OISP for more information regarding the application process. Please note: Tuition rate per credit is different for non-CUNY students. More tuition information can be found here: http://www.jjay.cuny.edu/undergraduate-tuition-fees
  • Refund Policy: Payment of the program deposit indicates the student understands and agrees to the Office of International Studies & Program’s payment and refund policies.  Students who withdraw from a John Jay College program after confirming participation, but before the program begins, will lose the non-refundable deposit and any unrecoverable costs: students will be refunded 50 percent of program fees 30 days prior to the program start date, and 25 percent of program fees 14 days prior to the program start date. After the start of the program, no refunds will be provided, and the student is responsible for all program fees. If the program fee is not paid in full, there will be a hold placed on her/his CUNYfirst account.
  • For faculty-led programs, tuition refunds will be granted following the College’s policies.  For more information, please visit: http://www.jjay.cuny.edu/understading-your-financial-obligation.
  • College-based funders retain the right to recoup funds from the student account if the student does not follow rules of the CUNY Travel Waiver & Release Form, uses the funds for other purposes, or withdraws from the program. Students must understand that they are responsible for full payment of the amount owed to the department.
  • The Office of International Studies and Programs (OISP) has the right to modify or cancel the program, including  changes to the program dates, costs, scheduled visits, program itinerary, etc., as dictated by economic and/or political situations, etc.
  • Students are responsible for purchasing their own airfare, and for their itinerary. Due to possible changes in program dates/itinerary information, students are not to purchase airfare until prompted by OISP.
  • Students are encouraged to apply early, due to limited space.
  • Information is tentative, and subject to change*, **program cost(s), syllabi, *dates, etc.


Health Information for Travelers to Quintana Roo

It is important to be aware of the health information provided by the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention. All vaccines should be up to date, and it is important to check the vaccines and medicines list and visit your doctor (ideally, 4-6 weeks) before your trip to get vaccines or medicines you may need. Ask your doctor what vaccines and medicines you need based on where you are going, how long you are staying, what you will be doing, and if you are traveling from a country other than the US.

More information can be found on the Center for Disease Control website.

Please note that all travelers:

Should be up to date on routine vaccinations while traveling to any destination. Some vaccines may also be required for travel.

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Routine vaccines Make sure you are up-to-date on routine vaccines before every trip. These vaccines include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot.

Please note that most travelers:

Get travel vaccines and medicines because there is a risk of these diseases in the country you are visiting.

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Hepatitis A CDC recommends this vaccine because you can get hepatitis A through contaminated food or water in Mexico, regardless of where you are eating or staying.
Typhoid You can get typhoid through contaminated food or water in Mexico. CDC recommends this vaccine for most travelers, especially if you are staying with friends or relatives, visiting smaller cities or rural areas, or if you are an adventurous eater.

For More Information:

Prof. Brian Montes, Department of Latin American and Latina/o Studies (Academic Inquiries)

Ken Yanes, Dep. Director
212-484-1339, kyanes@jjay.cuny.edu

Daniel Braslavsky, Study Abroad Coordinator
212-887-6105, dbraslavsky@jjay.cuny.edu


Office Location & Mailing Address:
Office of International Studies & Programs
John Jay College, CUNY
524 West 59th Street
Haaren Hall, Suite 530
New York, NY 10019 USA