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Travel from Ecuador’s Andean highlands to the Amazon, and back again. Study political participation and voice in an evolving cultural landscape.
Students study the cultural, social, economic, and political landscape in Ecuador. They soak in the beauty and stark contrasts of Quito, their home base. They experience Ecuadorian family life through homestays, and excavate the city’s history in field trips in and around the historic, colonial city center. Students travel more broadly through the countryside on two four-day field trips, one to the Amazonian rain forest and the other to a series of indigenous Kichwa villages in the highlands. They critically examine models of community as they explore Ecuador’s diverse ecosystems, challenges, and assets.
Classroom time is spent in conversation with leaders from the local nonprofit and political communities. Particular emphasis is placed on the rights written in the Ecuador’s Constitution of 2008 as well as challenges to its implementation. Significant time is spent examining the political will and momentum of new social movements, the country’s protection and management of natural resources, movements towards gender equality, and indigenous perspectives. Students see first-hand how Ecuador’s indigenous populations are shaping debate and policy in political and cultural institutions.
Course: Social and Political Transformation in Ecuador (4 credits), no internship is available for this program due to its length.
The program will be 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 with guest lecturers who speak no English. Learn more about January Term in Ecuador here!
- Area/Ethnic Studies
- Art/Fine Arts
- Conservation and Preservation
- Environmental Studies
- Foreign Language
- International Relations
- Latin American Studies
- Liberal Arts
- Peace Studies
- Political Science/Politics
- Social Sciences
- Spanish Literature
- Sustainable Development
- Urban & Regional Planning
- Women's Studies
Some schools have a different fee structure. Always check with your home institution first. Up to date pricing can be found on the HECUA website, here. Fees include air travel, ground travel, housing, most meals, excursions & events, reading materials
This Program is open to
Any undergraduate student enrolled in a college or university in the United States who has completed their first year.
Typical Living Arrangements
Participants Travel to Ecuador
Typically Participants Work
Scholarships are Available
HECUA awards scholarships of $250 for January-term programs. You can find more information about scholarships here.
Application Process Involves
- Letters of Reference
- Online Application
More information at the HECUA Social and Political Transformation in Ecuador webpage >>>
HECUA. Gustavus belongs to the HECUA Consortium, so we are a part of the organization that offers this program. Any eligible Gustavus student is welcome to participate in this program.
J-Term credit. Like all courses offered during the J-Term, this course meets one of the two IEX course requirements needed for graduation from Gustavus.
Application process. Gustavus students will first apply for Gustavus approval through this website. Once approved by Gustavus to participate, you will then complete an online HECUA application as well. Note that Gustavus has a nonrefundable application fee of $70 (required for all Gustavus study away applicants), and that HECUA has a separate nonrefundable application fee of $50.
Application deadline. The deadline to apply for Gustavus approval is October 1.
Program costs. Beyond the application fee, there are no additional costs for this course at Gustavus. Participants will pay the main program fee to HECUA directly.
Advising at Gustavus. If you would like to speak with a Gustavus program advisor, please see our Advising page for more information.