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  • Locations: Zacapa, Guatemala
  • Program Terms: Fall
  • Restrictions: Drexel applicants only
  • Dates / Deadlines
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Click here for a definition of this term Class Eligibility: Graduate Type of Program: Intensive Course Abroad
Program Description:
Program Overview | Academics | Program Calendar | Program Fee | More Information

 Fall Break in Guatemala:
Healthcare Delivery in Underserved Communities

Guatemala Mountains

Program Overview

This Intensive Course Abroad serves as an elective within the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program.  The course gives its participants the opportunity to explore the various influences on healthcare delivery in Guatemala in collaboration with partner organization, Hearts in Motion.  The political, social, cultural, and religious influences on healthcare will be explored and the influence of those factors on health outcomes will be discussed. Students will use that knowledge to help inform and shape an educated approach to delivery of physical therapy to Guatemalans during a culminating program at the end of the term.  As part of that experience, students will explore ethnocentrism, privilege, and service to reflect on how their own perspectives and biases may influence the care they provide.Guatemala PT ICA

By participating in this program, students will gain:


  • Understand the history of and present state of health care delivery in Guatemala.
  • Differentiate the various influences on health care delivery in Guatemala and assess their overall influence on health outcomes.
  • Describe the intricacies of health care delivery in Guatemala.
  • Understand the value of service provided in underserved communities and appreciate the potential benefits and harms of doing so. 


  • Demonstrate basic medical Spanish vocabulary.
  • Display effective clinical reasoning skills when providing physical therapy care to local patients while respecting the traditions and culture of the community.
  • Demonstrate the expected clinical skills of a physical therapist to local patients.
  • Collaborate with local PTs to develop sustainable plans of care.
  • Recognize ethnocentrism and reflect on your own biases before traveling to and while in the host county. Guatemala PT ICA Clinic

Personal Development and Attitudes:    

  • Display professionalism and cultural humility in all interactions.
  • Accept responsibility for learning by developing appropriate mechanisms to foster academic success.
  • Display effective and culturally respectful communication skills with the patient, family members, and other health care providers in patient situations.


Credit/Registration: Students will be registered for 3 credit summer course PTRS T680: Healthcare Delivery in Underserved Communities: Guatemala. Students are required to attend syncronous summer term class sessions that will take place Wednesdays from 12- 1:50.. The course culminates in travel to Guatemala during fall break. 

Instructors: Kevin Gard, PT, DPT and Sarah Wenger, PT, DPT, FNAP, faculty in the Department of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Sciences

Program Calendar

Summer Term Class:  Wednesdays from 12 - 1:50 pm

Fall Break: Travel to GuatemalaGuatemala PT ICA Group

Arrival Date: September 7, 2024
Departure Date: September 15, 2024
*Students may extend their travel independently before or after program dates.

Guatemala Itinerary Overview                                               

September 7                       
Fly from PHL to Guatemala City
Ground transport to Hearts in Motion house in Zacapa
Group orientation dinner
September 8 - 12              
Group breakfast and daily planning
Patient treatment in groups at various locations locally
  • Locations
    • Rehab Centers
    • Home visits
    • Senior Centers
    • Nutrition Center
    • Schools and child care centers
  • Lunch served at sites
  • Student are responsible for:
    • Note writing
    • Collaborating with local physical therapists
    • Working with translators and students from other programs
    • Providing physical therapy care in collaboration with mentors
Evening dinners/debriefing
September 13                   
Ground transportation to Antigua
Free time to visit/explore Antigua
Group dinner
September 14                   
Free time to visit/explore Antigua
Group dinner
September 15                     
Return flight from Guatemala City to PHL

Program Fee - $1,765

Due May 1, 2023 $500 Advance Payment
Due July 1, 2023 $1,265 Final PaymentGuatemala PT ICA Clinic 2
*All payments are non-refundable unless declined admission or program cancels for unforeseen reasons.

Included in Program Fee:

  • Program accommodations
  • Meals
  • Local transport including airport transfer
  • Translation
  • Activities and visits
  • On Call Emergency Assistance Insurance

Not Included in Program Fee:

  • Drexel tuition for 3 credits
  • Round trip airfare $700
  • Passport $165
  • Meals not included $50
  • Spending money $100
  • US airport transfer $50
  • Course materials
ICA Financial Aid: Students may request an Adjusted Cost of Attendance by submitting the ICA program fee and estimated out of pocket expenses listed above to Drexel Central (via askdrexel). Doing so could make students’ eligible for additional financial aid.  Students may also be eligible to apply for Drexel's ICA Scholarships. Students may also apply for the Dragons Abroad Diversity and/or Financial Need ICA Scholarships, which are linked in their study abroad portal. 

More Information

  • Visa: US citizens are not required to have a visa for entry to Guatemala. Other nationalities should confirm any visa requirements on the Guatemala Embassy website and take the necessary steps to apply if needed. 
  • A recommended flight itinerary will be provided. Students are responsible for booking their own airfare.

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Fall 2024 05/01/2024 05/15/2024 09/07/2024 09/15/2024