Mexico, Puerto Peñasco

May 14-21, 2022

This introduction to Marine Biology, designed for the non-major, will take you to the Sea of Cortez (our nearest ocean experience), which has one of the best intertidal expanses in the world!  At low tide, as much as 300 feet of what was once covered by the sea is exposed. Students will study the area between the tides and collect both plant and animal specimens, which will be studied under the microscope. Students will take part in an ongoing scientific survey of intertidal organisms in local habitats.

Depending on the timing of the best tides, the dates of the program may vary from year to year.

Sample Program Itinerary

Marine Biology Blog

    Puerto Peñasco Excursions

    • Bird-watching while kayaking through the Morua Estuary
    • Take part in a bird census of the endangered California least tern and their nesting colony near a local estuary
    • Lecture on whales at The Center for the Study of Deserts and Oceans (CEDO)
    • Boat trip to Isla de San Jorge (Bird Island) to view, snorkel or possibly scuba dive* with a sea lion colony
      •  *additional cost for scuba diving
    • Group excursions to explore the town of Puerto Peñasco during the evenings.

    Courses Offered (1 credit)

    Puerto Peñasco Program Details

    • PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS: The daily excursions can include walking, hiking, and climbing on uneven surfaces such as sand, mud, and rock, both in and out of the water.  The kayaking adventure requires a moderate level of upper arm and core body strength.  Participants will be out in the sun every day.
    • Between tides, students will collect specimens from the rocky intertidal area and compare with specimens found in a sandy intertidal area.
    • If you are a certified scuba diver, there will be time for diving*. If you are NOT certified, and would like to explore the sport, a divemaster in the area will arrange this experience for an extra fee.  Notify the Program Director if you are interested.
      • *additional cost for scuba diving

    Did You Know??

    • Mexico has the largest population of Spanish speakers in the world.
    • Mexico City is one of the world's largest cities.
    • Mexicans drink more carbonated beverages than any other citizens in the world.
    • As many as one hundred indigenous languages are still spoken in parts of Mexico.
    • Diversity Abroad Mexico Destination Guide

    Estimated Program Costs & Deadlines

    Expense Type Estimated Cost Deadline

    Program Fee
    Includes round trip transportation by van, field trips, lodging in the dormitories of Center for the Study of Deserts and Oceans (CEDO), secondary medical insurance, and daily breakfast & lunch.

    How to Pay

    • Program Fee Due: Friday, April 1, 2022
    • $150 Confirmation Deposit (towards total program fee) Due: upon acceptance to program
    • Confirmation deposit is non-refundable after the program fee payment deadline.

    Registration Fee

    Tuition: 1 credit
    In-state: $85 per credit hour
    Out-of-state: $205 per credit hour

    How to Pay



    Airfare (estimated cost)
    Transportation is by van - no airfare required.

    Meals (estimate)

    Daily breakfast & lunch included.  Dinners are NOT included.

    $150 Not needed until you arrive in Mexico!
    TOTAL Estimated Costs $1,403  (program fee, tuition, transportation and most meals)
    There are no textbooks required.

    Passport Info Here

    Your passport must be valid at least 6 months beyond the date of your return to the USA.
    Passport cards are acceptable for the Puerto Peñasco program since there is no international air travel.  Pricing is $65 for new applicants and $30 for renewals.



    Passport Card
    (land travel only)


    • Be sure to allow at least 14-18 weeks of processing time for first time applicants and renewals.
    • Visit the U.S. Department of State website for current fees and processing times.

    Program Application Deadline

    Space is limited.
    Apply early to reserve your place!

    • Application Deadline: Extended to March 25, 2022 on a waitlist basis
    • Complete online application.
    • Late applications will be accepted on a case-by-case basis.
    • Applications are reviewed & approved on a rolling basis.

    Scholarships and Funding Your Program

    Title Date(s) More Information

    A New Leaf Individual Development Account (IDA)

    An IDA is a match savings program designed to help individuals save their own money in a special savings account and have their money matched for tuition, textbooks, and some study abroad program expenses with an 8:1 match after 6 months.


    Student Contribution: $67.60
    Match (after requirements are met): $540.77
    October 31, 2021


    • Must have earned income
    • Must meet income and net worth requirements (income must be at or below 200% of federal poverty limit; net worth cannot exceed $10,000)
    • Agree to save for 6 months
    • Complete a financial wellness workshop

    IDA Match Savings Program

    IDA Fact Sheet

    IDA Application

    480-833-9200 (Ask for an IDA staff member)

    International Education

    Deadline: Friday, March 11, 2022
    12 noon MST

    Maximum Award: $400

    Get information on financial aid & grants, scholarships, and misc. resources for study abroad here.

    PRIOR to applying for a scholarship, student must:

    • Be accepted into the program you are a applying for a scholarship to
    • Pay the program deposit of $150 online, at Cashier Services, or by calling 480.461.7400.

    2022 Puerto Peñasco Study Abroad Scholarship

    MCC Honors Program Scholarship

    Up to $500 Award


    March 11, 2022

    Submit to Honors Office

    If you are a current MCC Honors Program student in good standing, you can apply for up to a $500 study abroad scholarship!

    Honors Program Study Abroad Scholarship Application

    Information Sessions & Mandatory Orientation

    Title Date(s) and Time More Information


    General Information Sessions

    1-1:50 pm

    February 4
    February 11
    February 18
    February 25

    (ID: 24801099143, password: SQv5d2R9hPK)

    ‪(US) +1 602-666-0783‬ (toll)

    Access code: 2480 109 9143

    Financial Aid Contact Information

    Financial Aid FAQS

    At Southern & Dobson, contact Adela Bob at 480.461.7436 or at

    At Red Mountain, contact Tori Stanton in Financial Aid at 480.654.7760 or at

    Fast Tracking the Dream to College Completion
    In order to qualify for the Fast Tracking, the Dream IDA accounts for the 2022 study abroad programs, you must be enrolled by October 31, 2021. For information, contact A New Leaf at 480.833.9200 and ask to speak with an IDA representative. 
    Space is limited so apply early!

    Mandatory Orientation

    Sat., April 9, 2022

    9 am - 2 pm

    Room LB145 in the Elsner Library at the Southern & Dobson campus.

    You must attend the mandatory study abroad orientation!
    There may be additional required meetings for your specific program. Contact the Program Director for details.