Welcome to the web site for Furman’s Latin America study abroad program! Here you will find itineraries, photos, and descriptions of past trips as well as information regarding future trips. Our current plan is for this program to go every Fall term, starting in Fall 2008. Please contact Dr. Steve O'Neill, History Department, with any questions regarding future programs.


The trip has embarked on the fourth version in Fall 2008 since the inception in Spring 2004. Prior to Fall 2008, the program had gone three times, Spring 2004, Spring 2006 and Spring 2008. All three of those programs were led by Drs. Erik Ching (History) and Cleve Fraser (Political Science). With the change to the semester calendar starting in 2008, the program underwent some modifications, such as adding two more faculty for a total of four and one more course, bringing that total also to four. However, the core principles of the program remained the same; students were in the country for 9-10 weeks, traveled continuously and were presented with constant and demanding learning opportunities, particularly in an experiential framework.

For the inaugural flight in Spring 2004 we traveled to Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Cuba. Shortly after we returned that May, the US government increased travel restrictions to Cuba making us one of the last short-term, non religiously affiliated study group to make it under the old restrictions. We hope for the program to return to Cuba again in the future. On this program, as with the other two, the curricular foci were comparative revolutions (History), comparative democratization (Political Science) and indigenous peoples' relations with the state (Interdisciplinary Studies). We had 17 students and were out of the country for 68 days.

In Spring 2006, we replaced Cuba with Nicaragua and added a few days of R&R in Belize during Easter holidays. We retained our inclusion of Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador. The curricular foci and duration of the program remained much the same, as did the number of students. As we did in 2004, while in Mexico we traveled to Mexico City to Oaxaca and then on the Chiapas to study the Zapatista uprising.

In Spring 2008, we followed the same basic itinerary and programming agenda as that of Spring 2006. One change was that we stayed longer in Oaxaca in order to focus on the 2006 "APPO" social protest movement. To do so, we decided not to include Chiapas as part of the program.

In Fall 2008, Drs. Ching and Fraser continued to be involved in the program. Joining them was Drs David Gandolfo (Philosophy) and Laura Thompson (Biology). Drs. Ching and Fraser taught their comparative revolutions and democratization courses, but Drs. Gandolfo and Thompson added Latin American philosophy and Environmental Science to the slate of courses. Another change was that no one faculty member was with the program the entire time as in the past. Instead the faculty rotated in and out over the duration of the roughly 62 days in country. Furthermore, unlike in the past, the students were on campus at Furman for two weeks of classes prior to departing and than another three weeks of classes after we returned. The timing of the Fall trip did not coincide with the Easter holidays, so we did not have the added stop in Belize. Otherwise, the program remained much the same.

On all past programs and foreseeable for future programs we will work closely with the Center for Global Education out of Augsburg College in Minneapolis, MN. They have study centers or on-site staff in Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Namibia (In Southern Africa). They specialize in educational programming for study abroad, either short term,like ours, or their own long-term semester programs. Furman has a long-standing working relationship with CGE on both this trip and the Africa program.

Take a Google Earth Tour or Choose the Program Year Above for Details of our Trips.