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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Penuelas, Puerto Rico; San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Program Terms: Winter
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Program Description:
CAP Puerto Rico Header


  • Students will spend 10 days building their designs and collaborating with community volunteers
  • Students will explore the cities of San Juan and Ponce, both showcasing architecture that spans centuries
  • Travelling across the island, we will go through rain forests and to pristine beaches
  • Daily sketching and journaling will document the students' experiences


This architecture course continues the design solutions developed in International Design in Context: Puerto Rico. This class challenges students to adapt design, technologies and materials to convert an unused former bakery into a community run market. Adjustments to proposed design solutions will have to be made to accommodate the realities of material and technology availability, while still meeting the project delivery date, a total build time of 10 days. This course will challenge students to think critically and allocate resources of time, money and materials. Students will be asked to engage in the act of building in a way that is relevant to the projects cultural, political, social and environmental context. 

During construction, students will spend full days on the site. In the evenings, students and instructors will regroup for sketch journaling and discussing lessons learned on the site. Strategies for the following day's construction goals will be discussed and students assigned to specific construction tasks as needed.

In addition to the construction portion of the trip, students will have the opportunity to absorb the centuries old urban centers of San Juan
and Ponce. Architectural examples can be found of ancient civilizations, colonial influenced urban development, modern architecture and
beyond. And yes, there is time allocated for the beach and turquoise waters of the Caribbean Ocean!


Course Information

  • 3 Credits
  • ARCH 3697

Eligibility Requirements 

  • Minimum 2.5 GPA at time of application or permission from faculty leader based on improvement of grades in recent semesters
  • Undergraduate students must have completed at least one semester of college coursework (12 or more credit hours) at the time of application
  • Review the full Eligibility Policy for more details
  • Non-CU Denver applicants must review the Non-CU Denver Student Policypuertorico3

2019 Cost

  • $3,400
  • Included: tuition and fees, shared accommodations, entrance fees, some meals, ground transportation, and international health and evacuation insurance
  • Not included: international airfare, some meals, personal expenses, visa fees (if applicable)


  • Hotel

Passports and Visas

  • All students must have a valid passport from their country of citizenship. It is highly recommended that you ensure that your current passport is valid for at least six months after the program's end date.
  • Please review the Visas and Study Abroad document and research visa requirements for this program's host country.


Faculty Leader: Joan VandenBurg & Maria Delgado Deleon

Greetings all, my name is Jo VandenBurg. I have been teaching building technology courses at the College of Architecture and Planning, CU Denver for over a decade. I am also a Licensed Architect and a Mom. I came to Architecture by way of Aerospace Engineering (!) and am always curious to discover how complex systems are created piece by piece through human endeavor.
I was fortunate to experience Design Build at CU when it was still a developing pedagogy. I worked for a Design Build firm in Denver for over 8 years, and during that time I also had an opportunity to discover the joy of teaching. My passion is seeing students gain confidence and competence.
This course in Nicaragua was incredible for the opportunities it provided to the students. They learned construction skills from craftsman, and saw their designs come to fruition in the built environment. They experienced the joy of sharing what they had and accepting what was shared from the community. They came away with an appreciation of the advantages of technology, and a respect for the ingenuity needed in the absence of technology.


Hello! My name is Maria Delgado and I am a PhD student in the Design and Planning Program at the University of Colorado. As I pursue my studies, I simultaneously teach Studio and Digital Media courses in the undergraduate Architecture and Planning department while TAing structure courses.
My passion for design build stemmed from my undergraduate Construction Management degree at Colorado State University and flourished during my internships at the Neenan Company over the years. As I obtained my Masters in Architecture, I additionally achieved the Certificate in Design Build from the College of Architecture and Planning at CU-Denver while also founding the first UC-Denver Design Build Institute of America (DBIA) student chapter club.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Financial Aid

CU Denver students may be able to use their existing financial aid for Global Study programs. Note that Maymester programs are considered part of the Summer term for financial aid. For more information and to discuss your personal aid package, contact the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office at 303.315.1850 or

Please add “Study Abroad” to the subject heading when sending emails to the above email address, as this will ensure that your message is routed to a study abroad financial aid advisor. You can also schedule an online appointment to meet with a Financial Aid advisor.



      CU Denver Global Education Scholarship

Degree-seeking CU Denver|Anschutz students participating on a CU Denver Global Study program during the Maymester, Summer, or Winter terms are eligible to apply for this $1000 scholarship from the Office of Global Education. Verify eligibility criteria, application requirements, deadlines, and start an application here.

      CU Denver World Within Your Reach Scholarship

Degree-seeking CU Denver|Anschutz students participating on a CU Denver Global Study program during the Maymester, Summer, or Winter terms are eligible to apply for this scholarship from the Office of Global Education. This scholarship will cover the full program cost, international airfare, and passport fees for a limited number of recipients per year. Verify eligibility criteria, application requirements, and start an application hereThe deadline for the summer application cycle is January 31, 2019.

     Other Scholarships

We encourage you to seek additional scholarships for which you or your program may be eligible. See if your academic department or college/school offers study abroad scholarships, or visit the following websites to learn about external funding:

This program is currently not accepting applications.