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  • Locations: Oaxaca, Mexico; Teotitlan, Oaxaca, Mexico;
  • Program Terms: Fall Semester
  • Restrictions: Augsburg applicants only
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Program Description:

Day of the Dead Web Banner '17

This practicum is associated with multiple courses and highlights meanings and expressions of health, illness, caring, and healing transculturally.  The focus of this practicum is on the cultural traditions found in Oaxaca, Mexico with specific attention to the Zapotec traditions honoring El Dia de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead).  This faculty-led practicum will introduce students to fundamental skills of Transcultural Nursing.  The travel dates are chosen to offer students the opportunity to experience El Dia de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead) in which communities celebrate and grieve the loss of departed family and community members.  The rituals of the Day of the Dead are meant to lovingly remember relatives and give a sacred honoring to human existence.  Emphasis is on the meaning of rituals and the healing of ceremonies.  Students are offered a wide variety of experiences to learn from the people of Oaxaca how health and healing are created and sustained in community.  There is an interesting emphasis on both death and birth during this practicum, as Oaxacans easily see the thin space (or veil) between life and death.

For more information about this program, please contact the faculty leaders:
Dr. Deb Schuhmacher:
Dr. Lisa Van-Getson:

Fast Facts

Program Dates: October 25-November 2, 2018
Credits: 2
Faculty & Staff:  Dr. Deb Schuhmacher and Dr. Lisa Van-Getson
Academic Calendar: Fall Semester 2018
Language of Instruction:  English
Local Currency: Mexican Peso
Population of Mexico: 127.5 Million



NOTE: Practicum participants must complete both course registration and registration with Augsburg's Center for Global Education and Experience by August 27, 2018.

Sample of Program Activities

  • Tour of the city of Oaxaca
  • Market experience to observe and participate in the complex informal economy of open markets.  Obtain essential components for the ofrendas (altars for Day of the Dead).
  • Experience the healing ritual of a Temaxcal by a Zapotec healer
  • Dialogue with a nurse midwife about the tensions and pressures to have C-sections versus home births with a midwife.  Explore the indigenous ways of home birthing.
  • Learn strategies employed by community organizers in Oaxaca who work with marginalized persons
  • Dialogue with author and educator Gustavo Esteva to discuss the local context of Oaxaca and how local people keep the "soil" of their lives rich and deep, within the local context of traditions and rituals which give life meaning.  The power of "health as community" is explored.
  • Visit markets to experience Day of the Dead celebrations and expressions within a very local indigenous context
  • Visit various cemeteries in the village and the city to view El Dia de los Muertos celebrations
  • Explore Monte Alban, the ancient ruins of the Zapotec empire, and hear the cosmology story of the Zapotec people and their understanding of health, use of resources, and life in community
  • Experience a Limpia as a healing ritual using local medicinal plants
  • Experience a homestay with women from a Weavers Cooperative to learn firsthand of thee complex strategies utilized by marginalized women to provide for their families and support health in their homes, while preserving the ancient traditions of Oaxacan weaving
  • Create personal ofrendas to celebrate and honor departed family within the student/faculty group
  • Observe and enjoy the vast artful expressions of the Day of the Dead celebrations (murals, parades, parties, special foods, costumes, decorations, etc.)

Day of the Dead Cemetery

Housing and Meals

Students will be staying at Hotel Casa Arnel in Oaxaca City, Mexico.  Three meals a day in Mexico are included in the program cost.  Food purchased in airports in transit to and from Mexico is the responsibility of the student.

Program Cost

*In-country Costs            The range will be between $2,801 (8 students) and $2,134 (12 students) 
**Estimated Airfare        $1,000
CGEE Scholarship          ($500)

* Program cost will vary depending upon the number of students enrolled in this practicum.  In-country costs include lodging, meals, ground transportation, on-site programming, translation, and international health insurance.  In-country costs do not include tuition.
** This is a flight best estimate; flight costs may fluctuate (lower or higher) depending on market conditions.

Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.