Special Programs

Cemanahuac offers special trips and programs throughout the year. Check back here for upcoming programs.

 George Mason University Mexico Trip

January 4 to 14, 2017
Walls or Bridges? Will Fear Trump Friendship? The Future of U.S. – Mexico Relations
This study abroad program presents an ideal opportunity for students from the School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs as well as other interested individuals to explore some of the most consequential policy problems facing Mexico and the US today.  Indeed, Mexico offers perhaps the richest international experience possible to students of public policy and government, regardless of their specific areas of interest and expertise. More info here.

Contact us for more information and to enroll.

Study at Cemanahuac during Holy Week

April 9 to 16, 2017

In Mexico, Easter is a nationwide spectacle of pageantry, reverence and celebration lasting throughout Holy Week. Planning for Holy Week starts with months of anticipation and festivities including passion plays, fervent processions, and altar displays taking place all over the country.cactuspenitentes

Since the mass conversion of the indigenous peoples to Catholicism in the 16th century, Semana Santa (Holy Week) – a reverent observance of the last days of Jesus, and Pascua – a celebration of the resurrection – have become the most important religious holidays in Mexico next to Christmas. As with most Mexican celebrations, Semana Santa combines the country’s strong Spanish heritage with elements of its Prehispanic past. For generations, pilgrims and tourists alike have journeyed to Mexico to witness the festive yet reverent Semana Santa.

The solemn festivities usually begin on Palm Sunday (April 9) commemorating the day that Jesus arrived to Jerusalem prior to his crucifixion. As the biblical passage goes, palm branches and clothing were spread in his path, and today, reenactments often include these elements. Holy Thursday (April 13) commemorates the day of the Last Supper, marked by nationwide visits to seven temples, designated churches in each town or city. Good Friday (April 14) marks the day that Jesus was crucified on the cross, with most Christians fasting on this day and reenactments of the crucifixion taking place all over the country. Easter Sunday (April 16) is a day for celebration, commemorating the day of Jesus’ resurrection, featuring music, dance, and cultural activities.

Continuing Cemanahuac’s dedication to introducing our students to the fascinating and rich culture of Mexico, our students will participate in several of the most interesting and unique Holy Week activities in our area of Cuernavaca.romansoldiersBV

— Earlier in the week, we’ll go to the public markets to see the palms, the special foods, and the statues which mark this religious time of the year.  Churches will hold extra services.

On Holy Thursday, Cemanahuac will lead a field study trip to the silver city of Taxco to one of the most moving religious ceremonies in the country, as we observe the solemn procession of the penetentes, the men and women who show their faith and penitence by inflicting pain on themselves during this most holy week — an ancient tradition dating to the middle ages and introduced to Mexico from Spain almost 500 years ago.  Many other processions with the faithful of all ages are going on in the city in the early evening.

Good Friday is a national holiday, and no Spanish classes will be held, but there is much to see of a cultural nature.  The school will lead a field study trip to the village of Buenavista, where our Rural Studies program takes place.  In Buenavista, the entire village, men, women, children and the smallest babies will begin a procession at the village church and wind their way, by candlelight, through the cobblestone streets.  Some will carry crosses, some will carry statues, and some will merely walk together with their families and friends in the quiet evening procession.

It is impossible to sum up the feelings of our students as they participate in these events.  Each of these observances are among the most memorable religious events our students have experienced over the years, and each reflects the rich culture and religious heritage of Mexico.


Cultural Competency in the Spanish Language Classroom

July 2 to 16, 2017
Cemanahuac will offer special two-week programs for teachers emphasizing the development of cultural competence among students in Spanish language classes, including the following innovative elements:
— Language training for teachers in small classes at each teacher’s level of Spanish proficiency, honing in on specific concerns and problems in the classroom. These teacher programs are designed for non-native speakers to maintain and improve their communicative skills (vocabulary, pronunciation, language level, etc.), with 20 hours per week of Spanish classes and workshops in the afternoon.
— Afternoon workshops to produce culturally-available realia, with ample opportunities to create digital and video moments for use in teaching Spanish
— Guided visits to educational and artistic sites, presenting information on the fascinating history and culture of Mexico, with discussion about inclusion of this information in the classroom and ample time for hands- on crafts and games.
— A family living experience, all meals included, extending the Spanish language learning into the afternoon and evening.

More information here.



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