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* Community and Cultural Engagement in Ecuador (Business)
Quito, Ecuador (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Winter Break
Budget Sheets Winter Break
CSU Deadlines / Program Dates:
There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
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Program Coordinator:
Aimee Jones Program Type: CSU Short Term Program
Areas of Study:
Program Description:

Community & Cultural Engagement
in Ecuador


Engage in service learning and community development through this two week winter break program in the high Andes of Quito, Ecuador. During this program, participants will develop personal and cultural awareness through business visits, cultural activities, and service projects at various local organizations. Whether visiting a rescue center for children or observing local community activism and ecotourism, students will broaden their perspectives of how communities can combat and overcome poverty.

Program At-a-Glance

WHEN:  January 1-14, 2018 (14 days) 
NOTE: Students will also meet regularly during the fall 2017 semester before departure and spring 2018 semester upon reentry.

CREDITS: All committed students will be registered for BUS 496: Community & Cultural Engagement (1 credit) for the second 8 weeks of the fall 2017 semester through RamWeb. Additionally, students will be registered for BUS 496: Community & Cultural Engagement (3 credits) for the spring 2018 semester. Please note that for BUS minors, BUS496 will fulfill their BUS405 minor capstone requirement. For BUS majors, please reach out to Natalie Cartwright to determine how the program can work individually with your specific concentration. 

COST: See Budget Sheet for details. The program fee includes lodging, most meals, international medical and evacuation insurance, many excursions, on-site transportation, international group flight and faculty support. Program fees do not include a passport and fees, books and supplies, immunization, additional meals and personal spending money.

SCHOLARSHIPS: Applicants for this program are eligible for scholarships through the Office of International Programs.
  • The College of Business Education Abroad Scholarship: Applicants must have a major in the College of Business and be an undergraduate student with at least one semester upon return to CSU. Other eligibility requirements include 3.0 GPA and demonstrated financial need for Need-Based Scholarships and 3.5 GPA for Merit-Based Scholarships.

PROGRAM LEADERS: Tonja Rosales, Assistant Director of Undergraduate Programs and Natalie Cartwright, Academic Advisor & GO Abroad Coordinator, College of Business at Colorado State University. 

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS:  Minimum GPA 2.5. Instructor Approval. Good academic and disciplinary standing. Preference given to BUS majors and BUS minors.

Academic Overview

Through this CSU faculty-led winter break program sponsored by the College of Business, students will develop self and cultural awareness through business visits, cultural activities, and service learning projects in and around Quito, Ecuador. This course integrates meaningful service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities.
Coursework includes a total of 4-credits of BUS 496. This program includes business visits to four different locations that will be arranged by CSU faculty members. The following excursions and cultural visits are included:
  • Cultural Activity: Visit to “Rescue Center for Children”, a project whose aim is to improve the quality of life of children in the local area who live in poverty by supporting their education, their families and their emotional well-being. There are also older children who come to the center to receive help and support with their homework as they may not have a quiet place to do this where they live. The children in the project have a doctor’s control every 2 months and a psychologist works voluntarily at the project to give workshops to the parents about social values and other family issues.
  • Service project: Visit to a local school and a “Condor Rescue Center” which are located in the Antisana Area. Fifty percent of the Andean Condors that live in Ecuador have chosen Antisana as their home, as well as many other species of highland birds. Students will spend the day in a nice hacienda located in this area. One of the main objectives of the center’s owners is to protect and conserve in a sustainable way the fragility of this environment. The hacienda is limited by a rocky wall: Farallones del Isco, which constitutes one of the preferred nesting sites and habitat of Andean Condors, so there are plenty of possibilities to see them flying around the area. Also, passengers will visit a school with which we work bringing those supplies for the children as notebooks, pencils, soccer balls and other items required for their classrooms. It is a rewarding experience for the children to have the opportunity to meet people outside from their area and for our passengers to witness the simplicity of their life, perceive the solitude and the silence of the Andes and learn about the way of living of the people of the Andes of Ecuador.
  • Full day visit to Northern Highlands: An early start will take you due north on a beautiful scenic drive to the province of Imbabura. The day opens the possibility to learn about the customs of the people living in the area, learn about the relationship between the concept of the Middle of the World and all the archaeological sites found in the area. The Northern Highlands are the home of the Otavalo community. The market is world known for its colorful textiles, woven on back-strap and shuttle looms, its piles of ponchos and hand-made textiles, hats, Indian jewelry and creative handicrafts. This is a unique occasion to wonder through this maze of color and enjoy some fun bargaining and buying great quality handicrafts at superb prices. 
  • Service project at Mindo a Natural Paradise: here you can see how local people’s job has created places to live and work, and to give more power to local people to shape what happens in their area. Between local community activism, ecotourism and the work of private groups, much of Mindo's forests are being preserved or are regenerating.
  • Cultural Visit to “Centro del Muchacho Trabajador: a social organization, which is developing a comprehensive proposal to allow rescue, plan and recreate the formation of the working children and their families. They contribute to the formation of people able to create, from their own efforts, personal and community spaces of occupation and human fulfillment that contribute to overcome their extreme poverty.


Quito is the capital city of Ecuador, and at an elevation of 9,350 feet above sea level, it is the highest official capital city in the world. Dramatically situated high in the Andes Mountains, Quito blends colonial art and architecture with modern infrastructure to support its growing industries. Warm and relaxed, traditional Ecuadorian Sierra culture – overflowing market stands, shamanistic healers, fourth-generation hat makers – mix with a vibrant and sophisticated culinary and nightlife scene.
The program includes site visits to a local school and a Condor Rescue Center located in the Antisana Area. The Antisana volcano is the fourth highest mountain in the Ecuadorian Andes, its massive glaciers feed water to lakes and rivers of this reserve, which sustain the abundant wildlife of the region. Participants will also enjoy a full day visit to the Northern Highlands in the province of Imbabura, a magic land of lakes and mountains of outstanding beauty. The Northern Highlands are the home of the Otavalo Community, the Otavalos are known around the world for their weaving patterns and textiles which pre-date the Spanish conquest. At the end of the program, students will also journey to a complex of volcanic thermal springs at Papallacta for an afternoon of relaxation, recreation, and nature watching.  Cities visited include Ouito, Oyacota, Otavalo, Salcedo, Riobamba, Ingapirca, Cuenca, and Guayaquil. 

Housing and Meals

Accommodations include 13 nights in shared triple occupancy hotel rooms in multiple cities throughout Ecuador. Internet will be provided at the accommodations. Daily breakfast, most lunches, and two dinners are included in the program price.