In 2008, Ecuadorians voted in a referendum to adopt a new constitution. Progressives were thrilled by the document, and the accompanying promises of then-president Correa. This enthusiasm has waned, and HECUA's Community Internships in Latin America (CILA) program examines why. Students in this program analyze the ideals embodied in the Constitution of 2008 and the challenges the country has faced in applying those ambitious goals.
Based in Quito, this program weaves together a project-based internship, coursework focused on the promise and perils of development, and field visits ranging from the Andes Mountains to the Amazon river basin. When not in the field, students live with a host family in Quito, Ecuador's historic capital city. In the third week of class students begin internships at a diverse range of community organizations. Past sites include: an organic farm (Granja Integral Pachamama), a media hub (El Churo Comunicación), and a women's safe house (Casa Mathilde). Students end the semester with significantly improved Spanish, a deep understanding of models of community participation with a focus on indigenous perspectives, and a firsthand view of the effects of oil politics and globalization on Ecuador's environment and economy. Click here to read more about CILA!
Total: students will complete all four courses for a total of 16 credits.
- Politics and Development in Ecuador (4 credits)
- Community Participation and Social Change (4 credits)
- Ecuador Internship (4 credits)
- Independent Study Project (4 credits)
A home stay is combined with a 15-20 hour per week hands-on field placement (past examples include youth centers, media organizations, and an urban farm), field visits, and an independent study opportunity designed to meet individual students' learning goals. A field seminar involving local experts and activists provides an intensive immersion into Latin American daily life and culture. Students will also participate in field excursions to the Amazon Rainforest and visit indigenous communities.
- Environmental Studies
- Global Studies
- International Relations/ Studies
- Indigenous Studies
- Latin American Studies
- Political Science
- Social Sciences
- Urban Studies
- Women and Gender Studies
Please consult the HECUA website for up-to-date pricing. Program fees include tuition, homestay, group transportation to field sites, planned group excursions, lodging, meals, local transportation, medical insurance, and administrative costs.
Four semesters (or equivalent) of College-level Spanish is required to participate in our semester-long study abroad program.
This program is open to any undergraduate students enrolled in U.S. higher education institutions who have completed their first year of college.
Students live in homestays with Ecuadorian families.
HECUA offers multiple scholarships to students each term. BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of color) students, first-generation students, and students from low-income backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Visit our website to learn more.
- Submit an online application to HECUA
- Submit an application to study off-campus through your home institution