Summer Abroad Ecuador

UC Davis Study Abroad, Summer Abroad Ecuador, Environmental Justice in Indigenous Ecuador Program, Header Image, Overview Page

Environmental Justice in Indigenous Ecuador

This program examines the historical development and current situation of the rural indigenous communities of the Andes and the Amazon of Ecuador with special attention to issues of environmental and social justice and human rights. Through lectures, seminar discussions, and fieldwork, the program underscores the impact economic and political factors have on indigenous communities’ cultural adaptation and their basic human rights. The program emphasizes indigenous people/regions that are threatened by mineral and oil extraction: the Northwestern cloud forest of Mindo and Intag Valley; the Andean Kichwa and Karanki communities of Otavalo and San Clemente; and the Huaorani people of the Shiripuno River and the Kichwa autonomous territory of Sarayaku on the Bobonaza River.

Program Contacts

Program Highlights

  • Experience the beauty of this biologically and culturally diverse country of rain forests, rivers, snow covered mountains and volcanoes.
  • Meet indigenous Amazonians and learn about their historical development and current situation.
  • Experience a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to interact with multiple indigenous groups. 
  • A great program for many majors as you can do a creative project of your choice.

What Students Are Saying

  • "Stefano Varese drew upon decades of knowledge to breathe inspiration and information into our journeys. He allowed most of the learning to happen in our talks with the communities, interviewing only here and there to provide context and information which was perfect for this trip. […] His youthful energy and optimism are so inspiring."
  • "Thanks for an unforgettable month! Shows how diverse, complicated, and beautiful the world is!"
  • "Stefano has a great knowledge of the course topics, loves what he does, asks questions that get interesting answers, and was always happy to have a conversation with you about the topics of life."

Similar Programs

Program Overview (VIDEO)

Tags