Guanajuato, Mexico

Creating Change Through Solidarity

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Information for term Creating Change Through Solidarity

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

Rolling Admissions

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Dates: Jun 10 – 30, 2018 (3 weeks)

Application Deadline

Rolling Admissions

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Dates: Jul 8 – 28, 2018 (3 weeks)


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Learn about innovative approaches to community development.

Your journey will take you to the colorful mountain state of Guanajuato, it’s capital city, and to the rural highland communities surrounding it. Considered the cradle of Mexican Independence, Guanajuato has bared witness to countless events in Mexican history spanning from the Spanish empire, to the Mexican Revolution, and beyond. This region is known for being sunny, pleasant and very safe, with a refreshingly relaxed pace.

Here you’ll see the real face of hard-working Mexican communities as you visit local schools, engage with local teens, and work on innovative projects that empower women and help children. You might find yourself working in fragrant purple fields with one of our main partners, The Lavender Project, or helping with the cooperative’s line of hand-made products. Alongside locals you’ll harvest lavender from the fields, prepare and finish soap products, sort lavender flower, and lend a hand with weeding and composting. A percentage of their profit goes back to the local community, so you can see the entire mission-based business process come full circle.

Through CIEE you’ll have access to a host of unique service projects and micro-businesses. You’ll work alongside groups spearheading incredible transformations in rural towns hit hard by the economic instability associated with a population in flux, as community members come and go with the demands of migrant work. By rolling up your sleeves you’ll learn first-hand about the complex strands that form the fabric of Mexican society.

Through meaningful contact with host communities, you’ll gain context for the impact of your work. Together with CIEE leaders and peers, you’ll take visits to historic and cultural sites such as important museums, pyramids and participate in ancient rituals such as a traditional temezcal.  You’ll also spend time in the amazing capital of Mexico City, one of the largest, most cosmopolitan, and culturally rich cities in the world. Through meaningful discussions, you’ll examine both the challenges facing Mexican society and the rich cultural heritage on which it is built.

  • Leadership

    An appreciation for the complex challenges associated with migrant work

  • Service

    Greater empathy for migrant workers and their families, as well as those who strive to help them

  • Certificate

    A Certificate of International Service Learning (50+ hours)

Location & Culture

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The student experience begins with a two-week stay in the capital city of Guanajuato. A picturesque city of small plazas, colonial-era buildings featuring pastel-colored facades, and alleys that wind around steep hillsides, Guanajuato is the perfect introduction to Mexican history and culture. This conservative, provincial city of more than 130,000 is ripe with historic and cultural significance and has been a designated UNESCO World Heritage site for 30 years. Home to the Universidad de Guanajuato, the city offers a peaceful, yet lively, setting to live, study, and play.

The final week of the program will take students to the small town of La Colorada. Just outside the city of Dolores Hidalgo, birthplace of Mexican Independence, students will experience firsthand the life in an agricultural community. Among fields of lavender flowers and nopal cacti, students will learn how our partner organization is meeting the challenges of an ever-changing economic and political reality. 

Throughout the program students will have a unique chance to experience a variety of contemporary Mexican settings through immersive homestays and guided cultural experiences. Local families will play host in both Guanajuato and La Colorada. Excursions to the colonial towns of San Miguel de Allende and Dolores Hidalgo and to the megalopolis of Mexico City will provide students with a multidimensional view of Mexican society.

Daily Life

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Daily Life

"Lunch took place in the home of Marissa, a kind mother of one of the fellow graduates who generously invited the entire group over for a feast. The lunch included vegetables and rice with Mexican classics like mole and carnitas...."

Learn more about daily life on this program.

View the program blog

  • Housing

    Carefully Screened Host Family

  • Local Support

    24/7 Support from your CIEE program leader and in-country CIEE staff members


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Sample Activities 

  • Stroll the back alleys of Guanajuato while being serenaded by local troubadours
  • Prepare local dishes, such as nopales and tortillas, in a rural community
  • Play soccer with local peers
  • Enjoy cultural events like Ballet Folklorico in Bellas Artes and Lucha Libre wrestling in Mexico City
  • Explore the depths of historic silver mines, once the source of the Spanish Empire’s wealth and power

Download a sample itinerary.

Dates & Fees

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Dates & Fees


  • No previous language experience required.
  • Program open to all current high school students: Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors. 
  • For scholarship eligibility requirements, please check our Scholarship page.

Application Fee



Application Due

Start Date

End Date


Summer Session I 2018 3 weeks Rolling Admissions Jun 10, 2018 Jun 30, 2018


Summer Session II 2018 3 weeks Rolling Admissions Jul 8, 2018 Jul 28, 2018


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