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BELIZE STUDY ABROAD -Summer 2019 – English 5 Critical Thinking (Merritt College)

June 5 - June 15

Faculty Leader: Egbert Higinio (Merritt College)

1) ONLINE APPLICATION/$800 DEPOSIT (Deadline Extended to March 1, 2019): Register Here – Please select: BELIZE (June 5-15, 2019) – Merritt College English 5 (Critical Thinking) – Egbert Higinio (ehiginio@earthlink.net) – Please include copy of passport with deposit payment

2) Informational Meeting:

Merritt Community College Campus (Room M-211) | 12500 Campus Drive | Oakland, CA 94619

Monday, March 4, 2019 from 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM (PST)



Financial Aid Checklist for Study Abroad – Apply online at FAFSA.GOV for the 2018/19 application period


Peralta Colleges Foundation Scholarships (Application Deadline March 1, 2019)

Start a GoFundMe Page Here


COLLEGE/CLASS: Merritt College – English 5 Critical Thinking  – Summer 2019- Course #TBD – 3 TRANSFERABLE units

DATES: June 5 – June 15, 2019 (10 days in Belize), June 17-July 26 (on campus at Merritt College to complete 3 Transferable credits of English 5)

COST: $1,980 (Includes Flight*, Lodging, Meals, Transportation and Activities/Excursions)
*Flight cost subject to change based on fluctuation rates as of February 15, 2019 when all remaining flight costs are due.

Additional Expenses not included (paid separately): Travel insurance, passport (if you do not have one already), and enrollment fees for English 5 Critical Thinking (Course #TBD) (3 units).


December 14, 2018: $100 Deposit (non-refundable) – with copy of Passport
January 18, 2019: 50% of Remaining Flight Costs due – $350 (non-Refundable)
February 15, 2019: All Remaining Flight Costs due- $350 (non-Refundable)*Flight cost subject to change based on rates on this date
March 15, 2019: 50% of on-ground expenses due – $590 (50% of all on ground expenses collected may be refunded if cancelled by April 26, 2019 at 11:59pm (For example, if a student cancels after submitting this payment but before they submit any other on-ground expenses, their refund amount would be $295 out of the $590 they paid.)
April 17, 2019: Remaining on-ground amount due – $590 (50% of all on ground expenses collected may be refunded if cancelled by April 26, 2019 at 11:59pm (For example, if a student cancels after submitting this final on-ground payment, their refund amount would be $590 out of the $1,180 total paid for on-ground. $800 for flight is non-refundable)

No Refunds will be provided after April 26, 2019 at 11:59pm.

All cancellations must be sent in writing via email to Drew Gephart at dgephart@peralta.edu. Cancellations are effective on the date and time they are received. A student must still submit their cancellation in writing to receive a refund, even if they miss a payment deadline. 50% of all on-ground expenses may be refunded if cancelled by April 26, 2019 at 11:59pm. Deposit and cost of flight are non-refundable.

$100 Deposit and Recurring Payments made by check to “Linden Travel”, subject “Belize Study Abroad”, and turned in person or mailed to:

Peralta Community College District
Office of International Education
333 East 8th Street
Oakland, CA
c/o Drew Gephart

Please include copy of passport with deposit payment.

CONTACT INFORMATION: Drew Gephart (dgephart@peralta.edu) / 510-587-7834 and Egbert Higinio (ehiginio@earthlink.net) / 408-603-5681



Belize City – view from Swing Bridge

COLLEGE/CLASS: Merritt College – English 5 – Critical Thinking (3 Units) Summer 2019- Course #TBD

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This study abroad trip in Belize will feature contemporary social issues facing the only democratic English speaking country in Central America. Students will earn 3 units of English 5 – Critical Thinking, upon completion of the course at Merritt College following the trip.


Wed, June 5: Belize City
• Fly from OAK, Arrive to Belize City, Belcove Hotel (info@belcove.com) attn.-Ashley, Welcome
Dinner, Evening Lecture: “Introduction to Belize City Party Politics”, Mr. Glen Tillett from St John’s College,
journalist and former Editor of Amandala; Belize’s national newspaper.
Thurs, June 6: Belize City
• 9-10:30am Evan X, Editor and Founder of Amandala Newspaper. Lecture: “History of UBAD and the Black
Power Movement in Belize” 10:30-12pm Adele Ramos, former Asst. Editor of Amandala Newspaper”
• Lunch 12-2pm•2-4pm Beach Front Walking Tour – Belize City•4-5:30pm Virginia Echols (United Black
Association for Development) •“The importance of Literacy, Library and Liberation.”•6pm Dinner•Evening event if
possible at the Bliss Center for Performing Arts
Friday, June 7: Belmopan
• 9:30 am Morning Lecture in Belize City Lecture: “African Heritage of Belizean Music” Ms. Gina Scott•
University of Belize in Belmopan• Lecture “Myths about Slavery in Belize” Dr. Joseph Sampson• Campus Tour•
Traditional Dinner at the Belize Women’s Collective in Hopkins (1st in the country)
Sat, June 8: Hopkins
• 10 am Community Service Day •Evening Garifuna Drumming Lesson
Sun, June 9: Hopkins/Dangriga
• Garifuna Day! Dangriga •10 am Visit Pen’s Artist Studio Introductory Garifuna Dance activity w Pen
Lunch with Pen •1 pm Visit a Black owned Cassava Family Farm; Critical review of traditional technology and
possibilities for improvement•3 pm Garifuna Museum Lecture: “Garifuna History, Culture, and Spirituality;” How
does cultural preservation serve as resistance and identity.
Mon, June 10: Hopkins
• Tobacco Caye day trip for fun in the sun, snorkeling etc. •Hopkins Day Garifuna Festival!
Tues. June 11: Mayan Village/Mountains
• Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve •Hiking •Waterfall•Caves•Swimming holes •Lecture “Understanding
Indigenous Land, Rights and Politics in Belize”
Wed, June 12: Mayan Mountains
• Morning Lecture: “African Transitions: From the US to Belize”•Free day for nature exploration and activity
Thurs, June 13: Orange Walk District
• Lamani Mayan Temples Educational Tour: Guided • Lecture: The Demise of the Sugar based Industry/
Economy. Which way to turn? • Guided River Boat Ride
Fri, June 14: Belize City
• Free Day in Belize City • Good Bye Group Dinner•Reflection: What did you learn? How has your
understanding of African people, culture, and current challenges expanded?
Sat, June 15: Depart to Oakland

FACULTY BIO: Egbert R. Higinio is a graduate of San Jose State University and possesses an MA in Philosophy. He lectures part-time English composition and philosophy at Merritt and San Jose Evergreen colleges. He enjoys writing and travelling to explore different topics for his philosophical lecture papers. As a member of the Caribbean Philosophy Association (CPA), his approach to critical reasoning adopts CPA’s motto “changing the geography of reason.” Mr Higinio has written a few philosophical pieces in travel magazines and international conferences, some which can be viewed on the web.   As an Afro-caribbeanist, Mr Higinio wishes to share the struggles of his ancestry’s (Garifuna / Black Carib) to teach critical thinking with a focus  on use of language, logic, and aesthetics.  On this back-drop, his lectures include raising awareness about global issues that concerns and addresses social justice challenges, that studies race relations while exploring discussions related to liberation theories and humanity.  Mr. Higinio has participated in two study abroad projects with Merritt College colleagues from other departments and wishes to continue taking students to more and diverse “study abroad” courses.

All students participating in this program will need to complete the following:

  1. Pre-Travel Study Abroad Information Form
  2. Enroll in the course associated with this program through Merritt College (Course # coming soon for English 5– Summer 2019)
  3. Check with the Financial Aid Office to see if you are eligible for Aid and review this Financial Aid Checklist for Study Abroad
  4. Apply for Scholarships through the Peralta Colleges Foundation
  5. Read and sign Study Abroad Assumption of RisksWAIVER AND RELEASE AGREEMENT, &  STANDARDS OF STUDENT CONDUCT
  6. Apply for a Passport (if you do not have one already – Check expiration date on Passport as well)
  7. Read our Pre-Departure Handbook
  8. Register with the US Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) – https://step.state.gov/step/
  9. Attend mandatory pre-departure orientations (Dates: TBD)
  10. Obtain proper immunizations as listed on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website – https://www.cdc.gov/


June 5
June 15
Event Category:


Hopkins/Dangriga, Belize + Google Map