Living in Ecuador, you will experience a multilingual and multiethnic nation that is also one of the America’s most biologically diverse countries. Here, you’ll study development as well as alternatives grounded in indigenous worldviews that call for respect of natural resources. Two homestays will deepen your understanding of both urban and rural life and culture in Ecuador.
On excursions to the threatened Andean Chocó Biosphere Reserve and the Galápagos Islands you will observe the conflict between development and natural resource preservation. You will also visit the Upper Amazon, where you will experience direct exposure to political ecology and socio-linguistic issues regarding this highly diverse but threatened region.
You’ll explore how Spanish and indigenous languages are used to reinforce and reinvent power relationships as you consider how intercultural and inter-ethnic relations are shaped. You will learn basic Quichua and develop your Spanish language skills through classroom instruction, homestays, excursions, and cultural immersion.
- Study development, power, and language in a multilingual, multiethnic society.
- Visit the spectacular Galápagos Islands, the Cloud Forest, and Upper Amazon Basin.
- Explore how languages instill, reinforce, and subvert power relationships.
- Learn how to identify your own cultural biases and imagine a different society.
Three recent semesters of college-level Spanish or equivalent and the ability to follow coursework in Spanish, as assessed by SIT.