Exploring Wellness in the Yucatan: Wellness 389G

4 credit hours

This course provides an opportunity to explore the concept of wellness in the Yucatan, Mexico. Students will explore the seven dimensions of wellness and learn how this model fits into the Yucatecan culture. Students will stay in a restored mansion which was the private residence of a former governor and will explore the city of Merida as well as participate in day trips to Mayan ruins, nearby pueblos, and Cancun. Course breakdown is three meetings during the second semester to prepare for the experience; one week of pre-departure on-line assignments; two weeks in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico; and a final week of post-trip on-line assignments to further share, discuss, journal, and reflect upon the experience.

Field study, cultural activities, and excursions are an integral part of exploring wellness in the Yucatan. Most of the expenses for most excursions are covered by the program fee. Some program activities might include:

  • Visits to Mayan ruin sites (Chichen-Itza, Ek-Balam, Uxmal)
  • Excursion to and opportunity to swim in a cenote ( freshwater-filled limestone sinkhole)
  • Excursions to surrounding haciendas, colonial towns, and villages (Izamal, Maní, and Teabo)
  • Salsa dance lessons
  • Tour of the city of Merida
  • Interaction w/ local college students
  • Interaction w/ local residents, families
  • Community service opportunities
  • Visit to Cancun

(Waldorf College reserves the right to alter trip destinations and itineraries.)

Q & A

Why should I take advantage of this study abroad experience?

Under Waldorf College’s new Vision, one area of emphasis is active and applied learning, in which international study is included. This course provides the opportunity for students to have a study abroad experience, to explore wellness in a cross-cultural setting, and to explore their own wellness in relation to another culture.

This course serves as elective credit in fulfilling College requirements. Furthermore, it fulfills the Waldorf College core curriculum GLOBAL requirement necessary for graduation.

Am I eligible to participate? Do I have to be a Wellness major? Do I have to know Spanish?

You do NOT have to be a Wellness major. All current Waldorf College students are eligible to register and participate in WEL 389G.  Spanish-speaking skills are helpful but not required.

Where is Merida, Yucatan, Mexico?

Merida, the capital of the state of Yucatan, is located in the Yucatan Peninsula, close to the coast and approximately four hours from Cancun.

Merida is known as the White City, one of the most tranquil and safest cities in Mexico. With a population of about 1 million people, it is a unique combination of both colonial and cosmopolitan cultures. Originally known as the Mayan city of T’ho, Merida was founded in 1542 by the Spaniard Francisco de Montejo. In the conquest, the Spaniards dismantled all the pyramids and used the huge stones as the foundation for the Cathedral San Idelfonso, the oldest cathedral on the American continent.

Where will we stay in Merida?

Located in a residential area of Mérida, the house in which we will stay is a restored mansion which was the private residence of a former governor. Students will be housed with up to four students to a room. The house also offers living and dining areas, a reference library, classroom space, and wireless internet access.