Environment, Society, and Culture of Ecuador
Location: Multiple locations (Quito, Amazon Rainforest, Andes Mountains, Galapagos Islands) in Ecuador


betty smith

Betty Smith, PhD, your guide to adventure


Department: Geology / Geolography

Leaders: Dr. Betty Smith

: Geography, History, Senior Seminar, Earth Science

  Terms/Timeframe: Summer - Not scheduled to run in 2011--scheduled for 2012

Language: English


Budget: Not scheduled to run in 2011. Check later for 2012 budget.


Good Academic Standing
Good Judicial Standing

  Application Deadlines:
Feburary 2, 2012 (before noon)
  Application Materials:

EIU Program Application (Faculty-led Programs)

Basics for Faculty-led Programs (step by step from application to realization)


Academic Program

This field program will provide a cross cultural and scientific experience as participants, over a three week period of time, traverse and explore unique ecological zones along the Equator. The course combines the study of cultural geography and earth science including the historical role of Indigenous, Hispanic, and Afro-Ecuadorians from the colonial period to the present time. Participants will study the volcanic and hydrologic landscape forming processes of the region and observe the impacts of these processes on topography, soils, transportation, land-use, flora, fauna, and settlement patterns. Various forms of agriculture from subsistence to plantation systems are observed as are the associated problems of erosion. Human and land interactions are examined in the tropical rainforest of the Ecuadorian Amazon, in the Andes Mountains, and on the Galapagos Islands located 600 miles off the coast of South America. Students learn through personal experience and observation. The course is a combination of lecture, written activities, and guided observation in the field. While in Ecuador, students participate in lectures and discussions where the events and observations of the day are reviewed and issues debated.

2010 Ecuador Video--Not to be Missed!

Powerpoint Presentation (PDF file)

Activities / Itinerary

Itinerary 2010:

07/27/2010     Quito                                    
07/28/2010     Quito
2‑hour presentation by professors from Eastern Illinois University
Full day visit to the Mitad Del Mundo
Exploration Of The City Of Quito            

07/29/2010     Andes 
Explore Guayasamin Museum
Visit to a rose plantation

07/30/2010     Andes                                 
Visit to Lake Quilotoa
Cultural Center in Pujil
07/31/2010     Quito                                 
Mt. Cotopaxi For An Exploration
08/01/2010     San Cristobal Island                                         
Board flight to San Cristobal.
Lecture by the Galapagos Academic Institute For Arts And Sciences on social issues of the Galapagos Islands.

08/02/2010     San Cristobal Island                                
Biological issues lecture with the Galapagos Academic Institute For Arts And Sciences
Field trip to Kicker Rock or Punta Pitt
08/03/2010     Isabela Island                                
Conservation lecture with the Galapagos Academic Institute For Arts And Sciences.
Flight to Isabela Island accompanied by Dr. Diego Quiroga.                                                                                                    
08/04/2010     Isabela Island                                                    
Visit to Tintoreras for snorkeling
08/05/2010     Isabela Island                                        
Visit Volcan Chico and Sierra Negra on an organized tour with other participants.

08/06/2010     Quito
Flight to Quito                                  
08/07/2010     Quito                                                                            
Flight to Coca.
Board covered motorized canoes for the 2‑Hour, 50‑Mile trip down the sediment‑rich waters of the Napo, the largest river In Ecuadorian Amazonia. 
08/08/2010     Amazon                                   
Typical day at Sacha begins at sunrise or earlier in order to take advantage of the cool morning hours when the rainforest's animals are most active. 
Activities are spread out over a wide area and allow flexibility to explore several distinct but equally fascinating habitats. Several trails lead through pristine terra firme forest where 150-foot kapok trees tower above and roots form huge buttresses to give trees support. Others follow strategically raised boardwalks in seasonally flooded forests where walking on the ground would be nearly impossible during most of the year due to groundwater. One trail many choose to follow even leads across fallen tree trunks and a steel cable zip‑line through rich swampland!
Evening nocturnal activities available as well.

08/09/2010     Amazon                                                                                
Paddle dugout canoes along tannin‑rich black‑water creeks and lakes where luxuriant lianas, orchids, bromeliads and palm trees thrive. An outing may lead to the possibility of spotting animals, from the tiny pygmy marmoset to the feared ocelot or puma.
08/10/2010     Amazon                                 
Focus on educational connections and reflection
Swimming and piranha fishing.
Afternoon final exam today.
08/11/2010     Amazon                         
Travel by boat back to the city of Coca for your flight back to Quito. As you navigate downstream you'll have one last opportunity to appreciate the vastness of the Amazon rainforest and reflect on your experience at Sacha Lodge. 
08/12/2010     Quito                                                             
Visit the Thermal Hot Springs at Papallacta
08/13/2010     Otavalo                                
Transfer to Otavalo and Chota Valley.
Stop in Ibarra and afternoon visit to Chota Valley.
Farewell Dinner And Cultural Show At Local Otavalo Restaurant. 
08/14/2010     Quito                                    
Visit the Otavalo Market
Return To Quito with stop at Lake Cuicocha and lunch at The Mirador overlooking the lake

08/15/2010     Quito                                                                                                       
Go back home. :(


Make course/substitution selections on your EIU Program Application. The credit hours associated with your selections may not exceed the credit hours allocated for this program: 4

Below are the choices available for this program:

Course Number: STA 3970 (CourseID: 1079)
Approved Substitute: ESC 4400 (SubID 1238)
Approved Substitute: GEG 1100G (SubID 1232)
Approved Substitute: GEG 3065 (SubID 1233)
Approved Substitute: HIS 3970 (SubID 1235)
Approved Substitute: GEG 4400 (SubID 1237)
Approved Substitute: FLE 3985 (SubID 1236)
Approved Substitute: GEG 3970 (SubID 1234)
Course Number: STA 3990 (CourseID: 2991)
Approved Substitute: GEG 1190G (SubID 3391)
Approved Substitute: GEG 4444 (SubID 3392)
Course Number: STA 5970 (CourseID: 2992)
Approved Substitute: None (SubID 3394)


Sheraton or equivalent in Quito 7 nights
Hacienda La Cienega or equivalent 2 nights at base of Mount Cotopaxi
Rainforest Lodge 4 nights all meals included
Otavalo lodge or equivalent 2 nights
Galapagos Islands 6 days and 5 nights

Most meals included


At least two pre-departure orientations will be provided and are required for all participants.

Your faculty leader will hold one of these orientations, where he/she will cover information on safety, health, legal, environmental, political, cultural, and religious conditions in the host country(ies), as well as planning logistics.

The Office of Study Abroad (OSA) will hold the other orientation. They will cover general information about traveling abroad to different areas of the world and facilitate a panel discussion composed of students who have already participated in faculty-led study abroad programs.

Necessary Documents

To enter a foreign country, you must have a valid passport. If you are a U.S. citizen and do not currently have a valid passport, or if your passport will expire during the time you will be overseas, please go to the U.S. State Department web site for information on how to apply for/renew your passport.


You are strongly encouraged to read the U.S. State Department's Consular Information Sheet on your host countries. It will provide you with a great deal of information to help you prepare for your trip.

**Please be aware that you are responsible for obtaining the most up-to-date information on foreign entry requirements. The Office of Study Abroad only provides general information, as regulations and procedures are always changing. Please consult the Consulate for more information. **