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Community Internships in Latin America, Quito, Ecuador
Independent Study, Internship, Social Change, Spanish
Language of Instruction:
Junior, Senior, Sophomore
At least two years of college Spanish
Advisor or Instructor:
Ecuador is a country of dramatic contrast in nearly every sector: social, political, economic, and geographic. Based in Quito, the Community Internships in Latin America (CILA) program weaves together a semester-long, project-based internship, coursework focused on the promise and peril of development, and field visits ranging from the Andean foothills to the basin of the Amazon river. When they are not in the field, students live with a host family in the urban center of Quito, Ecuador's beautiful and historic capital city.
In the classroom, students study and analyze the political, economic, and social proposals embodied in the Constitution of 2008, and the challenges the country has faced in applying those ambitious goals. In the second week of class students begin work at a diverse range of community organizations. Previous internship sites have included an organic farm (Granja Integral Pachamama), an arts hub for urban youth (El Churo Comunicación) and a women's safe house (Casa Matilde). Students should expect to end the semester with significantly improved Spanish, a deep understanding of models of community participation and development, and a firsthand view of the effects of oil politics and globalization on the Ecuadorian environment and economy.
A home stay is combined with a 20 hr/week hands-on internship, field trips and an independent study opportunity designed to meet your own learning goals. A field seminar involving local experts and activists provides an intensive immersion into Latin American daily life and culture.
Bachelors Degree (Undergraduate)
Urban & Regional Planning
Latin American Studies
Please consult the HECUA website for up-to-date pricing.
Group transportation to field sites, planned group excursions, lodging, meals, local transportation, medical insurance, and administrative costs.
Yes. Four semesters (or equivalent) of College-level Spanish is required to participate in our semester-long study abroad program.
This Program is open to
Students enrolled in U.S. higher education institutions.
Typical Living Arrangements
Scholarships are Available
HECUA provides up to three $750 Scholarships for Community Engagement, two $1,500 Scholarships for Social Justice, and four $4,000 Scholarships for Racial Justice for semester-length programs each fall and spring. More information about the application process for either scholarship is available on the HECUA website, here, or by contacting the organization.
Application Process Involves
Online Application plus Application Assessment
Letters of Reference
Spanish language review
Pre-Approved GE Credits
This is a list of pre-approved GE credits. If you want other courses to be considered for GE credit, contact your St. Olaf Program Advisor, Christopher Chiappari.