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Programs : Brochure
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SASS Ecuador: Health, Human & Social Development in Rural and Urban Ecuador (SASS 375A/575)
Amazon Rainforest, Ecuador; Otavalo, Ecuador; Quito, Ecuador (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Winter Break 1
This program is currently not accepting applications.
Homepage: Click to visit
Restrictions: CWRU applicants only
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
Program Sponsorship:
Program Purpose:
Language of Instruction: English Language Prerequisite: No
Housing Options: Cabin, Home Stay, Hotel Minimum GPA: 2
Courses Offered: Applied Social Sciences, Social Work Program Director/Assistant Director: Valerie Rambin, MSASS (
Credit Type: Graduate, Professional, Undergraduate Case Credit Type: Engineering Social Sciences Credit, Global and Diversity Credit, Social Work Minor
Number of Credits: 3 Deposit: $300
Total Program Cost:
$3,995 Included in Program Cost: Flights, Housing, In-country transportation, Insurance, Most Meals
Not Included in Program Cost: Some Meals, Tuition, Vaccinations, Visa fees
Program Description:
Program Dates: January 1-14, 2018
Pre-Trip and Post-Trip Saturday Seminars: October 14 and November 4, 2017, January 27, 2018
Faculty Leaders: Dr. Mark Chupp and Dr. Sonia Minnes

In this 3-credit course to Quito, the Amazon Basin and rural highlands of Ecuador, students will investigate the history and culture of Ecuador, its social, political, and economic development, and the impact it has on human development. Ecuador’s historical and current relationship with the United States will also be explored. This course provides an integrated approach to the study of multicultural issues related to policies and services that center around human and community development and healthcare in Ecuador. Students will be immersed in the rich human diversity and biodiversity of Ecuador. 

Through experiential visits in urban and rural Ecuador, students will be exposed to knowledge of the country’s history, biodiversity, environment, politics, economic system, social and health services, and the rich diversity of the people. Students will visit programs in health and traditional medicine, environmental issues, education, and child welfare. A unique way of understanding the cultural diversity will be through home stays in small groups with Quichua indigenous families and with Quito families, a highlight for past students. The course also includes several days in the Amazon rainforest where students will explore a different Ecuadorian lifestyle influenced by the indigenous people, flora and fauna and traditional medicine. Check out photos from previous Mandel School courses in Ecuador.  

This program has a significant outdoor component in which students will be expected to be able to hike at least 3 miles a day.

Some site visits include (subject to change):
- Yasuni Biological Reserve, a protected corridor in Ecuador’s Amazon Basin and one of the most bio diverse places on earth, excellent for seeing wildlife, especially birds, monkeys, and large wild mammals. 
- Otavalo, Cotacachi & Runatupari, community cultural-tourism in Quichua indigenous communities that have designed strategies for preserving their culture while attracting tourists.
- El Chota, an Afro-Ecuadorian community in which students are hosted by a women’s cooperative for the day.
- A visit to one or more hospitals, meeting with medical team members and social workers
- Homestays in groups of 2-4 students with indigenous families in Runatupari and homestays with Mestizo families in Quito, providing an opportunity to understand and compare these cultures.
- Visit to Tucanopy, an organic farm and nature reserve dedicated to the preservation of a mountainous cloud forest. Optional zip lining is included in this visit. 
- Papallacta hot springs, thermal pools and spa resort high in the Andes, at 10,600 feet, provides a place to relax and be rejuvenated within view of snow-capped volcanoes. 

This course is designed for students who are interested in developing an international perspective in social work and related health and community development fields. It will expose students to various intervention models within a cultural context and provide opportunities for cross-cultural comparison. Maximum of 24 students may enroll in this course. This course includes significant hikes in the rainforest and walking in rural areas, which can be physically demanding. 

Visit and contact Valerie Rambin (, Assistant Director of International Education Programs, for more information on this or other Mandel School study abroad programs. Contact Nancy Issa ( for Financial Aid Eligibility and procedure for travel costs.
MSASS Ecuador

This program is currently not accepting applications.