Ecuador Summer Program
Our Ecuador program is ideal for high school students with a strong interest in environmental sustainability, and particularly natural resource management and international development.
Come to Ecuador and experience the majesty of the Amazon rainforest and the indigenous people that live there. Hike along a crater lake at 12,000 feet of elevation in the heart of the Andes. Learn about sustainable food production models while living in a rural community in one of Ecuador’s major agricultural regions. We’ll also be learning about reforestation, rainforest ecology, and sustainable development of the Amazon’s natural resources. Throughout the program there are ample opportunities for interactions with local culture and to learn about the challenges associated with sustainable natural resource management in Ecuador.
There are so many reasons we love Ecuador, but one of our favorites is that nowhere else can you find such biodiversity in such a geographical small space. Ecuador is the most biodiverse country on Earth relative to size. This program takes full advantage of that fact by bringing students into cloud forest, high alpine mountains, tropical riparian corridors, and rainforest. Additionally, few places are as critical to the overall health of our planet as the Amazon rainforest. Ecuador’s Amazon is ground zero for extractive industries – oil, minerals, timber, etc – seeking to reap economic gain and fuel our insatiable global ‘need’ for these resources. The pressure to develop the Amazon’s considerable natural resources has led to watershed contamination, deforestation, displacement and harm to the indigenous population, and much more.
In this Sustainable Summer program…
- You’ll learn about Ecuador’s push to develop ‘renewable’ energy from hydro that is financially and environmentally spurious.
- You’ll visit chakras, the ‘forest gardens’ of the indigenous Kichwa people
- You’ll consider economic solutions to natural resource management in a global context, like the role of social enterprises and micro-finance in sustainable development
- You’ll examine the ecological impacts of our global hunger for non-renewable resources, which have depleted the Amazon’s ecological health while contributing massively to climate change, species extinction, and local health issues.