Program Overview | Course(s) | Beyond the Classroom | Payment Information | Application Deadline | Requirements | Contact
Spend two weeks in Ecuador and engage in enriching, hands-on community experiences in sustainability. Participants live with local families in the Amazon jungle, the Andes mountains, and the Galapagos Islands, and undertake life-changing service activities and coursework relating to cultural and ecological conservation and sustainable business development. Exposure to multidisciplinary approaches to sustainability, including health, economics, education, gender studies, ecology, politics, business, tourism, hospitality, and more.
Ecuador is one of the 17 megadiverse countries in the world and is among the safest, ecologically-pristine and culturally-vibrant countries in South America. Work and live with indigenous communities in: 1. heart of the Ecuadorian Amazon, one hour from the city of Tena; 2. base of the Andes Mountains, located about 30 minutes from the town of Cayambe and about an hour and a half from the city of Otavalo; and, 3. rural areas of the Galapagos Islands.
Winter dates and fees TBA
This program provides six units of SDSU resident credit through structured experiential coursework and service learning assignments relating to quality of life and cultural and ecological sustainability. All participants will register for two courses from the following three courses:
GEN S 450: Life and Culture Semester Abroad (3 Units), satisfies General Education, Explorations, Humanities Requirement for SDSU students.
RTM 404: Cross-Cultural Perspectives of Tourism (3 Units), satisfies General Education, Explorations, Social and Behavioral Sciences Cultural Diversity Requirement for SDSU students.
RTM 496: Experimental Topic - Community Sustainability and Social Responsibility in Travel and Tourism Settings (3 Units)
Beyond the Classroom
Students in the program will engage in the following community development and sustainability activities:
- Education, community infrastructure, marketing local products, starting and managing local businesses, local agriculture (planting, harvesting, and selling), and local conservation initiatives in the Amazon
- Work with the community in the local school, in the community center to work with the community to train staff, teach the children of the community, assist with daily agricultural chores, and help the community with any infrastructural needs (construction, reparations, etc) in the Andes
- Work with the Puyo Animal Rescue Center’s staff to examine the animals that arrive, collect and prepare food for the animals, administer any necessary medicines, build cages and areas for the recovering animals, and help with construction of the Center’s general infrastructure
- Work on the sustainability initiatives of eradicating invasive species and reforestation, support its organic garden and animals, and work with neighboring farms to encourage sustainable farming techniques in the Galapagos Islands.
Please Note: The US$100 Entrance Fee to the Galapagos National Park is to be paid individually by each student and is not covered in the program cost.
Included in the Fee
- Tuition for 6 units of SDSU resident credit
- International health insurance
- 16 nights of accommodation
- three meals per day for 16 days, excluding day one (arrival) and meals during designated "free time"
- All necessary ground transportation including airport pickup/transfer and flight to the Galapagos Islands
- Excursions to all projects and activities listed in the itinerary
NOT Included in the Fee
- Passport and Visa fees
- The US$100 entrance fee to the Galapagos National Park
- Travel/trip cancellation insurance (recommended)
- Personal expense/spending money (including optional tours and activities)
Admission and Prerequisites
- Open to SDSU students, students at other colleges and universities and the general public.
- SDSU students must be in good academic standing.
- Minimum age to participate is 18.
All participants must complete a mandatory pre-departure orientation. Details will be sent after acceptance into the program.
Participants are responsible for making their own travel arrangements as airfare is not included in the program price. In the event the program is cancelled, the College of Extended Studies does not accept responsibility for any airfare cancellation fees incurred.
Participants are required to travel with a current passport valid for at least six months after the departure date.
Please refer to the following website for all vaccinations needed for your trip to Ecuador: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/ecuador.htm
Vinod Sasidharan will accompany this group abroad and serve as instructor of record for the program. For questions about the academic content of this program, please contact:
Vinod Sasidharan, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality and Tourism Management
Location: PSFA 447
Phone: Office (619) 594-4726 | Mobile (619) 757-5873
For questions about payments and registration please contact:
College of Extended Studies
Phone: (619) 594-7250