Field Trips. Tourism Field Trips Chichen Itza & Piste / Sustainable Community Tourism is an IU CLACS Service Service Learning Program in Yucatan. Indiana University Bloomington / taught by Quetzil Castaneda. Anthropology. Heritage Service Learning Field Study Abroad / Summer Study Abroad / Heritage Development Studies, Tourism Studies. Field School. Field Study Abroad. Mexico. community action research, participatory research, participatory anthropology, New Seven Wonders of the World. Mexico, Chichen Itza.

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Tourism Field Trips and Educational Excursions

              IU Service Learning in Yucatán

6 week course Summer Session, 6 credits

LTAM L-426 / L-526, Offered Through IUB Office of Overseas Study,Indiana University Bloomington

Combined Undergraduate & Graduate course



Field Trips

The on-site component of the course consists of work conducted in the community of Pisté and field trips to a variety of different types of tourism destinations.  The field trips are crucial for students to gain a direct experiential understanding of different types of tourism, the kinds of tourists that consume these experiences, the structures of socioeconomic and political power that regulate and create these destinations, and the ways in which communities are integrated into tourism as participants or labor and thus the effects that these different types of tourism processes have on communities.  Throughout our field trips we ask who are the Maya and what do they have to do with tourism  — in terms of their participation in the making of tourism, as symbols for marketing and consumerism, and recipients of benefits.  Students write reflective essays on determined  topics at each location which are visited for the educational purposes defined in this course syllabus.

Field Trips:  The exact field trip locations, durations, activities, accommodations, and meals are dependent upon enrollment and available budget.  The program director reserves the right to change activities, field trips and planning as dictated by various contingency factors.

Playa del Carmen and Maya Riviera

Tourism Cultures. On arrival in Cancun airport the group is immediately transported to Playa del Carmen for two nights. Our time in Playa is 80% course related based in participant observation in various of the tourism activities of this location, which includes a virtually non-stop night life to suit a variety of nationalities and life-style choices, beach culture, and endless shopping/eating consumerism. Every day is punctuated with structured activities and reflection essays on topics such as: what is international tourism, beach culture, the relationship of Maya peoples and communities to mass tourism, consumerism and heritage, tourism experiences. There will be a guest presentation by someone from the tourism industry or from the town government. Half day on Sunday is free – open recreational time.


Chichén Itzá and Pisté
The archaeological site of Chichén Itzá is major tourism destination receiving between 1.6 and 2.2 million tourists a year.  Our visit to Chichén includes a tour of the site as a heritage tourism destination in which the politics of heritage, the contemporary economic struggles and issues of ownership of cultural property are explored.  There will be opportunity to visit Chichén on more than one occasion; a second trip is devoted to a presentation by the authorities that administer and regulate both tourism and heritage at Chichén.  This UNESCO World Heritage site is located three kilometer walking distance from Pisté.

Find Chichen and Piste on Google Maps


Eco-Tourism Adventures — visit cenotes at Yokdzonot, Ikkil, Dzitas, Dzitnup, Yaxuna
There are no rivers in the Yucatan Peninsula instead there are Cenotes: beautiful ecological formations based in the limestone geology. Using Pisté as the home base we have day trip excursions to nearby to ecotourism destinations to experience and assess zip line, swimming, canoe, snorkeling, and diving recreation. We will visit  One or more students can be placed with these organizations.

Day Trips to Cenotes from Piste on Google Maps

About cenotes in Lonely Planet

A listing of Cenote Tourism Attractions

Cenotes on TripAdvisor

Mérida, la Ciudad Blanca and Colonial Heritage Tourism
There is one day trip to Mérida, which is the colonial heritage destination of the Yucatán peninsula. The city of Mérida has created a tourism strategy of having tourism activities every single night of the week 365 days of the year. Our trip is scheduled for either a Thursday night to experience the traditional Yucatec folklore and dance presentation or on Sunday to experience the full day party in the park of Mérida en Domingo in which a 6 block area downtown is converted to street dancers, music, and celebration.


Program Content Program Logistics

⇒ Service Learning Projects  

⇒ Program Cost  

⇒ Program Locations 

⇒ Eligibility & Requirements 

⇒ Program Lodging and Meals 

⇒ Application Process 

⇒ Field Trips and Tourism Attractions 

⇒ Student Travel Info 

⇒ Community Partners 

⇒ Program Calendar & Schedule 

⇒ Course Syllabus   

⇒ Teaching & Research Facility  

⇒ Program Director & Staff / Faculty  

⇒ Travel Safety & Security in Yucatán  


This Service Learning experience will make THE difference in your life

Visitors to Service Learning in Yucatan Program, starting November 2, 2014

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