TFAS Guatemala

NOTICE: TFAS Guatemala will not be offered in 2023. This program was put together in 2022 only as a substitute for our main Latin American program, TFAS Santiago, which was canceled due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.

TFAS Guatemala is a two-week-long academic program offering an exceptional opportunity for young leaders to explore the political and economic necessities of a free society, while immersed in Central America’s most diverse country. The first half of the program will be spent at the beautiful campus of Universidad Francisco Marroquín (UFM), one of Latin America’s foremost private universities advancing the ethical, legal, and overall economic principles of a society of free and responsible persons. For week two, students will travel to the historic town of Antigua, deep cultural roots and adventurous activities nearby like hiking the volcano Pacaya.


The program’s academic goal is to engage students in a thorough and philosophical examination of government and economics in order to shed light on the political and economic necessities of a free society. Students will receive academic credit from UFM upon successful completion of the program.

More information is forthcoming.

Nikolai Wenzel, Fayetteville State University

PROFESSOR – political economy module

Nikolai G. Wenzel is the L.V. Hackley Chair for the Study of Capitalism and Free Enterprise, and Distinguished Professor of Economics at Fayetteville State University (Fayetteville, NC). He is a Research Fellow of the Institut Economique Molinari (Paris France); from 2008 to 2019, he was a Research Fellow at the University of Paris Law School (Center for Law & Economics). Dr. Wenzel has held appointments as Associate Professor at Flagler College, Visiting Assistant Professor at Florida Gulf Coast University, and Wallace and Marion Reemelin Chair in Free-Market Economics (Assistant Professor) at Hillsdale College.

Dr. Wenzel has a Ph.D. in economics from George Mason University (where he was an H.B. Earhart fellow) and a BSFS cum laude in international affairs from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.

Dr. Wenzel is a former Foreign Service Officer with the US State Department; for two years, he worked at the US Embassy in Mexico City, where he was vice consul and special assistant to the US ambassador. He subsequently worked for various free-market think tanks while completing his doctoral coursework.

Dr. Wenzel is a member of the Mont Pelerin Society, the Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, and the Association of Private Enterprise Education. He sat for four years on the Executive Committee of the Association of Private Enterprise Education and is currently on the Board of Scholars of the Foundation for Economic Education. From 2014 to 2019, he taught political economy for the Asia Institute of Political Economy, co-sponsored by George Mason University and the Fund for American Studies at Hong Kong University.

Dr. Wenzel has published more than fifty scholarly articles and book chapters, and is the co-author of a book on the libertarian-conservative debate (Stanford University Press, 2016). He is on the editorial board of Cosmos and Taxis and the Journal des Libertés. Since January 2020, he has been the editor of the Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy.

When not writing on political economy, Dr. Wenzel dabbles in wine economics. He is a member of the Georgetown Chimes, Georgetown University’s male a cappella singing group, and a novice bluegrass guitar picker and singer. He has traveled to 61 countries in the Americas, Asia and Europe, and to 49 US states. He is fluent in English, French, and Spanish, with conversational German and Italian.

As a TFAS Guatemala participant, you will have many opportunities to see the sights and sounds that make Guatemala such a special place, including excursions to enjoy the history, heritage, and natural beauty of Guatemala.

Tour of Guatemala City
Over the first weekend of the program, participants will enjoy a tour of historic downtown Guatemala City, which may include sites such as the magnificent Presidential Palace (Palacio Nacional de la Cultura), the Metropolitan Cathedral (Catedral Metropolitana de Santiago de Guatemala), Mercado Central, Mapa en Relieve, as well as other well-known sites.

Metropolitan Cathedral of Guatemala City

Cultural Presentations
During this annual event, students showcase their countries or cultures through traditional dance, costumes, songs, poems and cuisine. This is a unique opportunity for students to share their traditions and provide information for others to come and visit their homelands. Each group is given 5-7 minutes to present something entertaining for every student to enjoy.

Accommodation + Meals
Students participating in the program will reside at the Hotel Biltmore in Zone 10 of Guatemala City during week one of the program, and at Camino Real Antigua during week two in Antigua. TFAS staff will assign same-gender roommates from different countries to promote cross-cultural exchange.

Antigua, Guatemala -March 2, 2016 Antigua is a World Heritage Site, renowned for its Spanish colonial architecture, but it is a city surrounded by vulcanos as the active vulcano El Fuego in the image.

Breakfast will be served daily at the hotels and lunch will be provided during week one at the dining facilities on the UFM campus, and during week two at Casa Popenoe. Every effort will be made to include alternatives for students with special dietary requirements (kosher, vegetarian, etc.) due to religion and/or lifestyle. Students are responsible for dinner throughout the program, as well as lunch on the weekends.

Participants will ride a private bus between Hotel Biltmore and the UFM campus, as well as to other scheduled events. Students also have convenient access to explore Guatemala City, and Antigua, as both hotels are just steps away from sites of interest.

Week One Neighborhood
Hotel Biltmore is located in downtown Guatemala City in the southern part of the city center, with tree lined streets and gardens. Zone 10, known as “Zona Viva” because of its abundance of hotels, restaurants, and nightlife, also is home to the Museo Ixchel del Traje Indígena, Botanical Garden, and Popol Vuh Museum, with its notable collection of pre-Columbian pottery.

Week Two Neighborhood
Camino Real Antigua is located close to the colonial core of Antigua, and the area is well-suited to exploring on foot. Whether appreciating the red tile roof architecture and church bell towers in town, or venturing towards the nearby volcanic hills, the area has plenty of adventure and charm to enjoy.