Program sponsors trip to Honduras

By Daniel Klefstad

The International and Special Programs Division is sponsoring a spring break trip to Honduras to visit the ancient Mayan ruins at Copan.

Orville Jones, dean of International and Special Programs and program coordinator, said the March 11 through 18 trip is open to students and faculty members and costs $895.

Students arriving at the Copan site will be met by NIU anthropology Professor William Fash, who will guide them on a three-day tour of the ancient city. Fash, a consultant for a recent National Geographic article on Copan, assisted in the restoration of Copan’s Hieroglyphic Stairway, dated 544 A.D., on which are carved over 2,000 symbols.

Beneath the stairway, was recently unearthed a royal tomb belonging to what Jones called, “The son of a (Maya) king and a scribe.” After the expedition students will spend two days at the Villas Telemar resort near Tela.

Students interested can call the International and Special Programs Division at 753-1988. The $895 per person cost includes round trip airfare from Midway airport to San Pedro Sula, Honduras, overland transportation and accommodations. A $100 non-refundable deposit is required by Feb. 1 and the balance is due by Feb. 15.

James Norris, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, a former participant in the program said, “It’s a marvelous village, the ruins are spectacular.” When asked about the safety of Americans traveling in Honduras, Norris said the Copan region is “very stable.”

Steve Franklin from the NIU Office of Public Information said the Copan region is considered free of political unrest. “As far as I know that region is and always has been quite safe.”

In addition, a summer study program at Copan is being offered to anthropology students for graduate and undergraduate credit from May 20 through June 17.