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SIT Study Abroad Ecuador: Indigenous Community Wellness & Autonomy (January Term)
Quito, Ecuador (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms:
Program Terms:  
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Program Sponsor: SIT/World Learning 
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Minimum GPA: 2.5 Fields of Studies: Anthropology
Language of Instruction: Spanish Experiential Learning: ITR Field Study, URI Affiliated Program
Program Description:
Program Description:
SIT Study Abroad Ecuador: Indigenous Community Wellness & Autonomy

Explore how indigenous Andean and Amazonian worldviews in Ecuador provide an alternative development model, which prioritizes community wellness and autonomy.

Explore indigenous Andean and Amazonian worldviews in Ecuador by engaging with community-based organizations, local government entities, and scholars. You will examine the philosophic principle Sumak Kawsay, a plentiful life in harmony with nature, and learn how it provides the foundational framework for an alternative paradigm to development, in which community wellness and autonomy are prioritized.

Using an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary perspective, you will study concrete cultural practices of care and healing, including traditional healing and ethnobotany in the Kichwa worldview. You will also discuss how these practices sustain political mobilization, indigenous government, and epistemological decolonization. In the capital city of Quito and during educational excursions to the Andean Highlands and the Upper Amazon Basin, you will engage with local initiatives promoting bilingual cultural education, performing arts, and cultural and language revitalization. In addition to your homestay in Quito, you will participate in a short, rural stay in an indigenous Kichwa community, where you will have direct exposure to Andean worldview principles such as reciprocity and redistribution and participate in collective agricultural work known locally as minka.

This January-term program will run from December 28, 2020-January 15, 2021. Participants will earn three credits.


Program Highlights
  • Examine how the indigenous philosophical principle Sumak Kawsay, a plentiful life in harmony with nature, provides an alternative development paradigm.
  • Visit community-based organizations and local indigenous government entities in the Andean highlands and Upper Amazon Basin
  • Explore concrete culture practices of community wellness and care including traditional healing, ethnobotany, and performing arts.
  • Examine how concepts of indigenous autonomy sustain political mobilization, indigenous government, and the revitalization of cultural practices, languages, and education.

Prerequisites

2 semesters of college-level Spanish

Program Structure

Quito is the thriving capital of Ecuador and the country’s most populous city, situated at 9,050 feet above sea level. Quito is also regarded as a World Heritage Site. This program will take you to the Upper Amazon Basin on the Pastaza River as well as the Highland Andean Province of Imbabura, where you will participate in a rural stay with indigenous Kichwa families.

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