Course Details

Program dates


Travel dates


Course credits

Total credits: 5


Gigi Berardi

Professor, Department of Environmental Studies and author, FoodWISE
AH 204

Mexico has one of the world’s most accomplished food heritages: corn, tomato, avocado, squash, pinto beans, cacao, and more. In San Miguel de Allende (Guanajuato state), we study locally-sourced foods as part of Mexico’s diverse culinary history. One highlight of the experience is service learning—to understand challenges of neoliberal policy and programs, and to participate in meaningful change through action research. Study and travel focuses on Mexican history (from colonialism to neoliberal reforms, land reform, revolution, capitalism, and narco-corruption), export agriculture and groundwater extraction, migration, and organizing and empowerment: community-led solutions and models. Business and sustainability practices are highlighted.

Program start date is the first day of summer quarter classes, however the majority of pre-trip work will be assigned in August.

Program Highlights

Pyramids tour in Mexico




  • All meals, lodging, and transportation included.
  • Guanajuato gold and silver mine (pending permissions),
  • Guanajuato dam and park,
  • introductory meetings at Cafetal,
  • colonial architecture tours,
  • Via Organica Ranch with three-night stay,
  • cooking workshops,
  • Spanish classes,
  • Guanajuato pyramids,
  • Charco del Ingenio (Botanical gardens),
  • production of traditional and ceremonial tortillas with the women of el llanito,
  • field water quality monitoring;
  • round table on regional water issues with local communities,
  • tour of spirulina viva’s production farm (spriluna blue algae production),
  • Atotonilco 500-year old UNESCO world heritage site and cornerstone of the Mexican independence revolution,
  • service learning in northern Guanajuato state: Pozo Ademado Community Center/CODECIN.




Program (2017) images:




large plan in Mexico




people with hard hats on in silver, gold mines in Guanajuato, Mexico




Expectations of Participants

Activities include visits to museums and cultural sites, as well as participating in water catchment preparation in a village. With or without reasonable accommodations, must be able to: walk for several hours at a time in warm weather, climb stairs, and stand for some periods.
Estimated Walking 1-2 hours/day
Estimated Sitting 1-2 hours/day
Refrigeration is available except for during times of travel in a bus.


group of students in Mexico