Guatemala Purple

Guatemala Courses — May 26 to June 17

All law students must enroll in four (4) semester units of credit.

The Central American Migration Corridor — two (2) units, graded

  • Professor Raquel Aldana, McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific
  • Language — Taught in Spanish

At least three significant migration waves characterize the journey north for thousands of Central Americans. The first, provoked by Guatemala’s bloody 36-year civil war, involved thousands of political asylum seekers in Mexico and the United States. In the second wave, natural disaster displaced thousands of environmental and economic refugees. Most recently, in the third wave, primarily women and children are fleeing Central America’s largely private violence when their own governments refuse or are unable to protect them. This course focuses on the social and legal disruptions produced by these waves of migration in the receiving nations, with a focus on Mexico and the United States. Students study and critique the responses of the sending and receiving nations to the phenomena of mass Central American outmigration.

Lawyering Across Borders — two (2) units, graded

This course will prepare students with basic and intermediate Spanish proficiency to represent Spanish-speaking clients in the U.S. legal system or to work in Spanish on transnational matters involving Latin America. The class will allow students to practice legal skills in Spanish, such as client interviewing, and client counseling, through simulations and group exercises. Class discussion will be in English and Spanish with exercises in primarily in Spanish. For McGeorge students only, this course meets the law school’s professional skills course requirement.

This course meets the professional skills course requirement for McGeorge students.

Environmental Protection and International Law in Latin America (2) units

  • Professor Annecoos Wiersema, University of Denver, Sturm College of Law
  • Language — Taught in English

This course will examine critical issues in the relationship between environmental protection and international law in Latin America, with a primary focus on case studies in Guatemala and other Central American countries. The class will explore the relationship between human rights and environmental protection, the role of indigenous peoples and land tenure questions in environmental protection, biodiversity and forest conservation, and the relationship between free trade agreements and countries’ right to permanent sovereignty over their natural resources. These themes will be explored by focusing on case studies that include disputes about mining, forest conservation to address climate change, protected natural areas, and biodiversity protection.

Spanish Language Academy — no law school credit

All students will be enrolled at the Spanish Language Academy, a leading Spanish language school. Each student will have an individual tutor for two hours per day. Typically the tutor will work with the students on Spanish conversation and grammar. Language lessons will correspond with each student's individual goals and proficiency level. This unique opportunity is included in the program fee.


Contact Ly Lee, Summer Abroad Programs Coordinator
McGeorge School of Law
3200 Fifth Ave.
Sacramento, CA  95817
Email | Phone: 916.739.7021 | Fax: 916.739.7363