Central America: People & the Environment


A Professional Development Institute for K-12 Teachers

Dates: June 24-27, 2019
Location: Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN

This summer’s institute is the first in a four-year series that will explore Central America with a focus on people and the environment. The institute will highlight diverse topics of Central America and incorporate hands-on STEM activities. It will focus on indigenous people’s relationship with the environment, as well as broader environmental issues regarding health, infrastructure, and land and water rights. Summer 2019 will focus on climate change and impacts of deforestation, environmental politics and sustainability, and access to water and its relationship to health. The institute is ideal for educators of high school and community college, and pre-service students teaching History, World Geography, Science, and Environmental Science. This four-year series of institutes is sponsored by the Centers for Latin American Studies at Vanderbilt University, Tulane University, and the University of Georgia, and will be hosted at each institute over the course of the four years beginning here this summer at Vanderbilt University, with additional support from Florida International University.


Registration fee covers breakfast, lunch, and on-campus parking for each day of the institute, as well as materials.

Cost per participant: $50 if registered by April 26, 2019 ($75 after April 26, 2019)
*Free registration for pre-service (student) teachers



Travel Scholarships:

[ Travel scholarships ] are available through a competitive application. All travel scholarship applications are due 11:59 PM CST on March 1. All applicants will be notified of their scholarship status by March 15. Travel funding will be in the form of a reimbursement after the institute for lodging and/or travel expenses.

Priority will be given to teachers at public schools and those who have not previously received travel funding from Vanderbilt’s Center for Latin American Studies.


The institute will kick off on the morning of Monday, June 24, and end after lunch on Thursday, June 27.


Lodging to be arranged by participant. Recommended lodging options include:

Scarritt-Bennett Nonprofit Educational and Conference Center

1027 18th Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37212
Call 615-340-7500 for reservations

  • $93.55 per night (individual accommodations); the most economical individual option near campus!
  • Pleasant dorm-like rooms with a shared bathroom between rooms
  • Coffee shops and restaurants within 1-2 blocks
  • 3 minute, 0.2 mi. walk to Vanderbilt campus

AirBnb / VRBO

  • Your registration fee includes a parking spot on campus every day of the institute, so feel free to stay farther from campus.
  • Bring teacher friends and colleagues and share an apartment or a house for budget-friendly housing!


Since Nashville has become a “hot spot” for tourism, hotels near campus/downtown have become pricier. If you are looking for economical housing, we recommend the options above.

      Homewood Suite By Hilton (2400 West End Avenue, Nashville, TN)

  • Includes hot breakfast and evening weekday dinner (Monday-Thursday)
  • 18 minute, 0.9 mi. walk to Vanderbilt campus
  • Call 615-340-8000 for reservations