Locations. Located in 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.

School of Global &
International Studies

Student Travel Solutions Yucatán
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What is Ethnography?
What is Service Learning?

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Program Locations and Field Sites

              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



Pisté Home Base Community

OSEA is located in the Maya community of Pisté, Yucatán, México. Pisté is a small yet somewhat "cosmopolitan" town of approximately 5,000 persons that forms the central hub and service center of the tourism economy of the nearby archaeological ruins and tourism destination of Chichén Itzá. There are more than a half dozen smaller towns and villages – including Yaxuna, Xocempich, Xkalacoop, Yokdzonot, Popolá – that form the socioeconomic and political periphery of Pisté-Chichén. These villages are often much more traditional in the sense of greater incidence of monolingual Maya speakers, greater reliance on traditional agricultural production for the household economy, more dependence on traditional cultural activities, and underdeveloped urban infrastructure. These communities have been connected to Piste as the social, economic and cultural center of the region for over thirty years.

Click here for more information about the community of Piste on the OSEA website

Locate Piste on Googple Maps



Chichén Itzá and Pisté
Chichén Itzá: 7 Wonder of the World and UNESCO World Heritage Site
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.



Maya Riviera: Playa del Carmen and Tulum

The course includes several days in the Maya Riviera region, primarily Playa del Carmen and Tulum, the two most dynamic tourism destinations in the region.  In Playa del Carmen, student gain first hand experiential knowledge of tourism through participant observation of tourism activities in this location and to understand the geography of tourism marketing and consumerism.  In Tulum, we will participate in a workshop with different types of tourism agents – Tulum county government officials, private sector hotel owners, state level tourism agents and the Quintana Roo news media. 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. 

Read about Maya Riviera on wikipedia

Read About Playa del Carmen

Check out the Locogringo.com Tulum beach cam

Sian Ka'an, UNESCO World Ecological Heritage Site



Posada Olalde

A posada is similar to the European concept of pension. It is a family owned and operated small hotel with no more than a dozen or so rooms.

The Posada Olalde is owned by the Olalde family, Dona Monica. Her son Victor Olalde and daughter Lourdes Olalde run the hotel on a daily basis. Victor is a tour guide at Chichen Itza. He speaks Maya and Spanish, and self taught himself English, German and a little bit of Japanese. Breakfast will be eaten in the posada and lunches are eaten as a group in one of the small family run loncherias.

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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