This four-credit course explores socioeconomic issues in Ecuador as manifested in the country’s growing inequality and the proliferation of new social movements. Particular emphasis will be placed on indigenous rights, gender equality, the protection and management of natural resources, and Ecuador’s new Constitution. Students compare and contrast the Ecuadorian experience with developments in other parts of Latin America.
Ecuador is an ideal setting for this kind of inquiry, presenting a complex scenario of social and economic phenomena. In addition, a mix of indigenous and European cultural and political institutions, as well as a division between a growing leftist movement and a historically conservative middle and upper class, makes Ecuador a microcosm of the wider Andean region. Students gain a firsthand perspective on these dynamics with field work and NGO site visits in and around the beautiful capital city of Quito and in some distant rural communities.
- What are some of the causes of inequality in Ecuador?
- What social initiatives work to overcome inequality and achieve social change?
- What is the role of community in determining the development process?
Good to Know
The program is conducted in English. Students are not required to have Spanish proficiency to participate. Lodging is arranged in family homestays, allowing for cultural exchange. Most host families will have at least one family member who speaks English, and in homes where that is not the case, students who have Spanish-language ability will be paired with students who have none. HECUA will also provide translators to assist during site visits and guest lectures.
The program fee covers round-trip airfare from any major U.S. city to Quito, ground travel to field sites, medical insurance, planned group excursions, lodging (family stay and meals), administrative costs and course credits.
The fee does not cover incidental expenses (souvenirs, extra food, etc). Also, air travel is restricted between the student's U.S. airport of departure and Quito; additional international flights will not be arranged from Quito at the end of the program.