Field Course in Sustainable Agriculture & Food Security

AGRI 325 (3 credits) was offered in Cuba every summer from 2012 to 2016; we are excited to offer it in Guatemala in 2018!

May 2 - 13, 2018

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 the 13th. Travel time must be planned accordingly.

With a due date for written course work in mid-June 2018


Experience tropical cropping systems, from industrial export crops to traditional Mayan milpa 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.

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

Knowledge of Spanish is an asset but is not necessary.

Accommodations are in hotels, and meals are eaten at restaurants (mostly) or in communities in the field.

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

Get a feeling for the course by watching this student video from 2016 in Cuba. But note that we are going to Guatemala in 2018.


Dr. Julie Major, agr. (Tropical Agriculture)
Professor Hugo Melgar-Quiñonez (School of Human Nutrition)

COST: $1789.41 CAD
(includes all accommodation, meals, and ground transportation for all course-related activities, starting with dinner on May 1st and ending with hotel accommodation the night of May 13)

Cost DOES NOT include: airfare, tuition, immunizations, health insurance and personal expenses


Submit the completed application form and a cover letter explaining your interest electronically to bsc-advisor.agenvsc [at] (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.

A maximum of 24 participants will be chosen after the application deadline. 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 in early February 2018.

Information for IDS students: This course is an approved substitution for the IDS program and can only be counted (due to subject matter and relevance) as a Complimentary Stream course for students pursuing Stream I – Economic Development & Living Standards as well as Stream IV – Environment & Agricultural Resources. Students can also consider taking this as an elective if selected.

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] (Dr. Julie Major)