Past and Present Mexico 

Study Abroad Course

Dr. Antonio de la Cova

Office: Sycamore Hall 043
Hours: 11AM-Noon  M-W
Phone: 855-4745

COURSE OBJECTIVES: Provides a survey of past and present Mexico in close conjunction with an intense study abroad week, visiting the city and state of Veracruz. Explores varoius Olmec and Totonac archaeological sites, follows the Hernan Cortes conquest route, and examines a Mexican War battlefield.

COST: Students will pay approximately $838 for round-trip airfare from Indianapolis, and triple hotel lodging with breakfast for one week, in addition to normal tuition for a four-hour credit course. The course will be limited to no more than ten students.

READINGS: You are expected to read the texts assigned to this course, and the articles and links on the Olmecs, Totonacs, Hernan Cortes, and the Mexican War

The texts available in the bookstore are:

Jaime Suchlicki. Mexico: From Montezuma to the Fall of the PRI. (2001)
Michael D. Coe and Rex Coontz. Mexico: From the Olmecs to the Aztecs. (2002)

GRADING: Your grade will consist of writing an academic journal (40%), a research paper (40%), and giving a final presentation (20%) to our academic community.

RESEARCH PAPER: Choose your own topic related to this course. Eight to ten pages in body length, typed, double-spaced, with standard margins. Include at least three citations from the Latin American Studies web page. A late paper will lose ten points. Turn in a paper copy and one on disk or by e-mail.

ACADEMIC JOURNAL: Will comprise of your class lecture notes and daily annotations during the study abroad week in Mexico. It will analyze and evaluate your learning experiences in Yucatan, as they relate to the course lectures and the reading assignments. The journal will be periodically evaluated overseas for its academic content, and must be turned in as a final typed version.

CLASS SCHEDULE: Wednesday, March 6, 13, 20, 27, in preparation for intense study abroad week in Mexico. Then on Wednesday, April 24, in preparation for final presentation in May.

March 19 - Readings: Coe, Chapts. 1-3; Mexico, pp. 1-52. Documentary: God, Gold and Glory.
March 26 - Readings: Coe, Chapts. 4-5; Mexico, pp. 53-106. Documentary: Independence to the Alamo
April     2 - Readings: Coe, Chapts. 6-8; Mexico, pp. 107-156. Documentary: Battle for North America.
April   16 - Readings: Coe, Chapts. 9-10; Mexico, pp. 157-203. Documentary: Revolution and Rebirth.

Saturday, April 19 - Arrive in the afternoon at Veracruz. Check into the hotel and visit the Plaza de Armas, Cathedral, and experience the regional Jarocha and Marimba music, the birthplace of "La Bamba." Prof. de la Cova will lecture on Mexican religion and the Cristero Rebellion.

Sunday, April 20 - Rise at 6:30 a.m. daily. After breakfast, drive to Xalapa, on the route followed in 1847 by the invading U.S. Army during the Mexican War. Visit the Xalapa Anthropology Museum. Tour and have lunch at the El Lencero Hacienda of former Mexican President General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. Then visit the battlefield of Cerro Gordo and the ruins on Santa Anna's Manga de Clavo Hacienda, overlooking the historic National Bridge. Return to Veracruz for dinner. Prof. de la Cova will lecture on the Mexican War and its consequences.

Monday, April 21 - Visit the Veracruz Naval Museum and the Spanish fortresses of San Juan de Ulua and Baluarte de Santiago, which contains the "Jewels of the Fisherman"colonial gold treasures. Enjoy a fast food lunch by the bay. Prof. de la Cova will lecture on the Spanish colonial era and the 1914 nine-month occupation of Veracruz by U.S. troops.

Tuesday, April 22 - Drive two hours to the Olmec sites at San Lorenzo, Tres Zapotes, and the Santiago Tuxtla Regional Museum. View the Olmec stela at the Angel R. Cabada municipality and the Olmec basalt quarry in the Tuxtla mountains. Prof. de la Cova will lecture on the Olmec culture.

Wednesday, April 23 - View the 1519 ruins at Villa Rica, the first European settlement in the North American continent. Tour the nearby Totonac center of Quiahuixtlan, where Hernan Cortes made an alliance with ten tribes against the Aztecs. Lunch in Veracruz and a visit to Las Atarazanas colonial garrison. Prof. de la Cova will lecture on the Spanish conquest of Mexico.

Thursday, April 24 - Drive three hours to the Totonac ruins at El Tajin and Cuyuxquihui. Lunch at El Tajin and visit the El Tajin Museum. Prof. de la Cova will describe Totonac culture, engineering, and architecture.

Friday, April 25 - Visit in La Antigua the colonial church, the 1803 cavalry lancers' garrison of General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, and the ruins of the Hernan Cortes house. Tour the Totonac ceremonial center of Cempoala. Prof. de la Cova will discourse on modern Mexico.

Saturday, April 26 - Return flight to Indianapolis at 7:10 AM