A banner showing three photos from the Guatemala trip in 2023: a smiling local woman holding a stick smiles, a group of students pose for a selfie on a bus, the courtyard of an ancient building

AGRI 325 Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security in Guatemala is taught in odd-numbered summers. The course will next be offered in summer 2025.

View an album of photos taken by the 2023 group

"This course doesn't only provide you with a deep understanding of sustainable agriculture & food security, it also allows you to discover a country through a truly unique lens combining diversity in local cultures and landscapes." 

(Maxime Lakat, B.Com candidate)

Experience tropical cropping systems, from industrial export crops to subsistence agricultural systems, through interactions with local field professionals, farmers, community members and professors. Assess the impact of these systems on food security and the environment in Guatemala. Enjoy visits to Antigua Guatemala, ruins of an ancient Mayan city, and more!

This is a 3-credit intensive course, and you will travel and/or attend lectures/field visits on each day of the course. Knowledge of Spanish is an asset but is not mandatory, all discussions are translated.

Help will be provided to find a credited McGill internship placement, if you would like to stay in Guatemala after the course.

“AGRI 325 was an amazing opportunity to gain exposure to the study of agriculture and food security in context. In fact, the experience compelled me to study environmental law. This course has given me invaluable perspective that I will always carry with me in my work in the environmental field.”

(Giovanni Antonucci (B.A. Environment McGill, J.D. Candidate Syracuse University College of Law)

The course is developed and offered in collaboration with Universidad Rafael Landívar.

  1. Teaching Staff:
    Dr. Julie Major, agr (Tropical Agriculture)
    Prof. E. Miezah Kwofie (Bioresource Engineering)

  2. Cost: $1,720 CAD in summer 2023
    Includes all accommodation, meals, and ground transportation for all course-related activities, starting with hotel accommodation the night of May 1st and ending with hotel accommodation the night of May 13. Accommodations are in hotels (2-3 per room with bath), and meals are eaten at restaurants (mostly) or in communities in the field
    Cost DOES NOT include: airfare, tuition, immunizations, health insurance, travel from and to the airport in Guatemala City, and personal expenses
  3. Funding:
    • McGill students may apply for a need-based bursary to help cover the program cost.
  4. To Apply:
    • Complete the application form online and email a cover letter explaining your interest electronically to bsc-advisor.agenvsc [at] mcgill.ca (Dr. Julie Major).
    • Your cover letter should be no longer than 1 page, and explain your motivation to participate in the course, and your preparedness for intensive travel and living with a group for 2 weeks.
    For non-McGill students only: include a legible copy of your academic transcript, with your application documents.
  5. Applications are considered on a rolling basis. Applications for the summer 2025 offering will open on 1 November 2024, and the deadline to apply will be January 15, 2025, but all new applicants will be placed on the waitlist whenever 24 offers to participate have been made. 
    • A maximum of 24 participants will be chosen.
    • Once students are given an offer to participate, they will be asked to register for the course and a non-refundable 500$ deposit will be charged upon registration. The balance of the fee will be due by the end of February 2025.
    • You must be present in Guatemala City first thing in the morning on May 2nd, and the course will end in Guatemala City on the evening of May 13th. Travel time must be planned accordingly.
    • Due date for written course work in mid-June 2025

Information for IDS students: This course is an approved substitution for the IDS program and can be counted as a Complimentary Thematic course in the IDS programs (Major, Minor, Honours and Jt Honours).

As Arts students, if you are considering taking this course, you should note that this course is considered outside Arts and of Science. There is a Faculty of Arts restriction on how many courses you are allowed to take outside of Arts and Science. Please see here.

bsc-advisor.agenvsc [at] mcgill.ca (Dr. Julie Major)

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