Exploring Ecuador: People, Land, and Water from the Amazon to the Galapagos


December 26, 2016 - January 15, 2017 

Application Deadline:
October 15, 2016

Apply Here

There is an ancient prophecy of the Indigenous peoples of Ecuador that someday the Eagle and Condor will fly together and awaken the spirit of the land.   Some believe that time has come! Ecuador is the first country to constitutionally recognize the rights of pachamama (mother earth) “…to exist, persist, maintain and regenerate…”  

Come explore how agriculture, lumber harvesting and mining (just like in Minnesota) are impacting Ecuador’s peoples, lands and waters.  Students will explore the abundant flora and fauna and water resources of the majestic mountains, rich valley farmlands, and lush tropical forests.  You’ll explore sustainability and restoration projects and visit urban Quito, rural villages, Amazon basin, and island hop through the Galapagos.  This interdisciplinary course offers students of all disciplines an opportunity to explore water resource management and Indigenous (Quichua) culture – A great opportunity for scientifically and culturally oriented students to interact with each other and the people of Ecuador.  


CFAN 3507 - 3.0 credits

*Fulfills the Global Perspective and Environment liberal education requirements.

*For more detailed information, see the program syllabus.


Students interested in indigenous cultures, climate change, conservation and natural resources, sustainability


The program fee is $6,980 and includes instruction and three credits, airfare and in-country transportation, program administration, health insurance, lodging, excursions, and most meals.


Mark Bellcourt works in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and is an academic advisor for CFANS and CEHD. His interests include indigenous cultures, environmental issues and land use.

John Nieber is a professor in the department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering. His areas of interest include hydrology and assessing landuse activities and their impact on water quality and wetlands. Both have led courses to Ecuador and have collaborated with CIMAS staff.