Community-Engaged Education in Yucatán


Community-Based Education in Yucatán

Learn about the 2024 program here.

To prepare future educators to affirm and adapt to the increasing diversity among students in U.S. classrooms and to help future teachers contextualize local immigration patterns within a global context, we have created the Community-Based Education in the Yucatán Program. The program is variable credits (1-3) and takes place in Mérida, the capital of Yucatán, a state recognized for peace and safety, and its colonial and Mayan history.

Students will collaborate with teacher education students and faculty at the Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán (UADY), one of the oldest and largest universities in southern Mexico. The university is ranked as one of the top ten public universities in the country.

We will work closely with the UADY’s Facultad de Educación (School of Education). As part of the course, students attend university classes, visit local K-12 schools, and engage in collaborative projects with Mexican pre-service teachers. The program is designed to prepare GSE students to put culturally responsible teaching in action. Participants will reflect on how they experiences may influence how they plan and implement instruction, organize their classroom environments and create a classroom atmosphere that is sensitive and responsive to the needs of the diverse cultural populations in their classrooms, especially those from Mexican backgrounds.

Outside of the classroom, students will participate in excursions designed to experience the culturally-rich environment of the Yucatán, including visiting a preserved 19th century hacienda, Uxmal (a restored, pre-Columbian ruined city of the Mayan civilization), and open-air markets. There are cultural events that include music, dance, and sampling local cuisine.

Proficiency in Spanish is not required to participate in this course. The course will be conducted in English.

The course runs January in Mérida, Yucatán. Program cost includes housing, daily breakfast, excursions, health insurance and some additional meals and program fees. The program cost does not include airfare, some meals, personal expenses, and tuition.

Dr. Mary Curran, Director of Local-Global Partnerships and Professor of Practice in Language Education at Rutgers Graduate School of Education, developed this program with the goal of educating future teachers about classroom environments outside of the U.S. and helping participants design learning environments which are culturally responsive. Dr. Curran lived in Mexico while a Fulbright Scholar and regularly collaborates with many of her colleagues in Mexico.

For more information, contact Dr. Mary Curran at or Ericka Diaz at, or call 848-932-0790.

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