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San Juan, Arecibo, Utuado, Ciales, Morovis, Puerto Rico

Program Description

In this course we are going to be visiting several karstic scenarios (mostly caves) in the country of Puerto Rico and study how these geological features have influenced the Puerto Rican culture for over a millennia.

On each one of the sites that we are going to be visiting, we are going to be discussing with local experts the archaeological importance, contemporary cultural relevance, geological uniqueness, and future expected changes related to climatic change. The professor is native Boricua (Puerto Rican).

Location Description

During our visit to Puerto Rico, we are going to be stopping in several small towns within the municipalities of Arecibo, Utuado, Ciales and Morovis. These towns are located within the karst physiographic region, better known as the Puerto Rican Northern Karst belt.


Angel Garcia Jr. | | Geology and Environmental Science


Accommodations will be provided for students through local “paradores” (hotels). Paradores are accommodated with furniture, full kitchen and (in many cases with) laundry facilities. Students will be in shared double rooms. Housing accommodations are strategically located in middle points between locations of interest.

All meals will be provided as part of the program. All dietary restrictions will be taken in consideration.

Additional Items to Consider

Puerto Rico is part of the USA since 1898. No visas or passport are required for this trip. REAL ID it is sufficient for traveling.

It is expected that participants will plan their airfare arrangements ahead of time. The only international airport in the country is located in San Juan (SJU).

Applicant Criteria

Applicants must have a GPA minimum of 2.0

Travel is in Puerto Rico, basic Spanish is recommended, but not required.  

Junior level

Application Process

This list serves as an application preview. To apply, students will need to complete the following:

  • Study Abroad Online Application ($25 fee)
  • Short Essay 
  • Interview with Program Director may be required
  • Official transcript required for non-JMU students

Further details and instructions about these application requirements will be available upon log-in. 

Application Deadline


All dates are tentative and subject to change


GEOL 398: Special Topics: Caribbean Karst and Culture Studies (3 credits)

Courses listed here are to be used as a general guideline for program curriculum. *All courses are considered pending until approved by the Academic Department, Program, and/or College.


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