Pitt in Ecuador - FLAS Quechua Program

This FLAS Fellowship Eligible Quichua Program offers quality instruction in English.  The program is held in a community where Quichua is the dominant language of everyday instruction. The program is approved for FLAS by the US Department of Education.  It includes 140 hours of classroom instruction.  Pre and post course testing assess progress toward performance goals set forth in USDE IRIS testing instruments. 132 FLAS Fellows from 36 different universities have attended the the Andes and Amazon Field School to date.  Quichua language is used as a window for anthropological linguistic study of Amazonian thinking about nature.  Specialties: Quichua for talking about nature, the environment and health.
Instructors include Armando Muyulema, Quichua Instructor University of Wisconsin Madison, Tod Swanson, Associate Professor Arizona State University, and Michael Severino Patterson.  Janis Nuckolls, Professor of Linguistics, Brigham Young University and Pieter Muysken, Linguistics, Radboud University Nijmegen, Holland will provide visiting lectures and instruction during the June session
Pitt in Ecuador at the Andes and Amazon Field School will immerse you in the culture and environment of the Amazon for a learning adventure you won’t forget.  It provides a comfortable setting where students work with indigenous elders to learn the 
Quichua language.  
The program includes a full week in Ecuador’s pristine Yasuni National Park, one of the wildest areas remaining in the Amazon with the highest biodiversity on earth.  
Outcomes:  The goal is to give you language and cultural skills for working with indigenous communities or in cross-cultural settings whether in NGOs, academia, business, or government. 
This program has high social networking benefit.  It includes a great group of 10-12 graduate FLAS Fellows from around the country as well as numerous faculty and scholars in residence who are at the top of their respective fields.  Hiking through the forest and talking around the fire at night creates a lasting bond.

What You'll Accomplish

As an engaged and active participant in this program, you will have the opportunity to develop:

  • Language and cultural skills for working with indigenous communities or in cross-cultural settings whether in NGOs, academia, business, or government
  • Strong Quechua language skills by being immersed in a community where Quichua is the dominant language of everyday instruction
  • A greater appreciation for the local culture by interacting with locals and native elders

The Andes and Amazon Field School is located at the Iyarina lodge in the Napo region of Ecuador. Students will fly into Quito, Ecuador where they will meet as a group and explore the city before heading east to Iyarina. The Field School is located on the South bank of the Napo River, 100 miles east of Quito, and 10 miles from the town of Tena, Ecuador (population: 28,800), the provincial capital. You will travel by bus from Quito to the Field School. It is approxiamtely a 4-hour ride with many turns and changes in elevation. There are several cultural stops along the way to break-up the trip. The Field School is approximately 1965 feet above sea level the area is characterized by small Quichua communities clustered along the river bank. The forest surrounding these communities is among the most bio-diverse in the world with a high number of endemic species of flora and fauna. Iyarina is located directly on the waterfront surrounded by a 1380 acre rainforest reserve.

Where You'll Live

Students will live and take classes on site at the Andes and Amazon Field School. The program has a summer camp feel with open-air dorm room style cabins. The cabins are screened in and bug nets are also available for additional protection. The bedrooms in the cabin are spacious with modern-day amenities with an incredible view that overlooks the river and forest.. You can expect the following at the Andes and Amazon Field School:

  • Two to three students per room
  • En-suite bathrooms with hot running water
  • High-quality mattresses
  • Three meals per day are included.
    • Single menu du jour is served family style
    • Meals consist of traditional Ecuadorian food and American dishes
    • Vegetarian options are available upon request
    • Good idea to bring/buy snack food to sustain you through meals
  • Open air classrooms overlooking the Rio Napo with projection and outlets
  • Fire pit for relaxing at night and small discussion space

We do our best to provide the most accurate information about housing and amenities but due to the nature of the locations in which we offer programs and limited availability, these items are subject to change.  Contact your program manager with any questions. 

What You'll Study

You will be required to take Quechua language and culture 1 in the June session and Quechua language and culture 2 in the July session.  The Andes and Amazon Field School provides 140 contact hours of Amazonian Quechua language instruction and meets the requirements for the FLAS fellowships established by the Department of Education. You will receive grades for the Quechua courses through the University of Pittsburgh and will be evaluated upon the completion of the course using testing instruments provided by the USDE.

Quechua/Kichwa (QUECHXXXX)

These courses can be fulfilled through Pitt-Recognized or Exchanges. 

The University of Pittsburgh partners with the Andes and Amazon Field School for this program. In 1999 Tod Swanson founded the Andes and Amazon Field School in his wife's home community on the Napo River. Swanson's administrative experience includes having directed Arizona State University's Center for Latin American Studies as a Title VI National Resource Center from 1997-2007.  He has also held elected office as a councilman for environmental affairs for the Santu Urku Amazonian Kichwa Community. Contact Tod Swanson.
The mission of the Andes and Amazon Field School is to provide quality in-country education on the Ecuadorian Amazon in a safe and comfortable setting.  Each summer we bring together a top group of academic and indigenous experts for 8 weeks of learning and research.  Together with students we seek to interpret and preserve the culture and environment of the region and to find practical solutions for a sustainable future. 
The name of the station that hosts the Field School in Ecuador is in Ecuador is  "Iyarina," (ee-yah-ree-nah), a Quichua word that means to think about the future by remembering the past. According to Quichua tradition memory is recorded in the land.  Iyarina, therefore, means to remember by contemplating the land.  This act of remembering lies at the heart of our efforts to record and preserve Amazonian tradition. 
 

Your Pitt Study Abroad Contacts

Tim Crawford

Hi Everyone! I’m Tim, a Program Manager here in the Study Abroad Office. I’m proud to be from a small town in Central PA but now love calling Pittsburgh home. My study abroad experience includes a semester in France during my sophomore year, Spring Break in London during Grad School and Summer in Italy as a Program Assistant. My experiences opened my eyes to the rest of the world and I’d love to help you take advantage of the numerous study abroad opportunities here at Pitt. Outside of the office, I’m always looking for the next adventure whether it’s exploring a new city or new neighborhood in PGH. I fully embrace the yinzer way of life and plan my schedule accordingly around every Pens, Bucs and Stillers game. I’d love to talk to you more about any of our study abroad programs and answer any of your questions. Please reach me at TSC29@pitt.edu or 412-648-2156.

Your In-Country Contacts

Tod Swanson

Tod Swanson, Associate Professor, Arizona State University, PhD University of Chicago, is the on-site director for the Pitt in Ecuador program.  He is a specialist in Amazonian culture and environment.   His areas of research includes indigenous relations to plant and animal species and Kichwa linguistics. Swanson manages the 1300 acre Iyarina Forest Preserve as an ongoing experiment in sustaining of fragmented Amazonian forest. 
In 1999 Swanson founded the Andes and Amazon Field School in his wife's home community on the Napo River. Swanson's administrative experience includes having directed Arizona State University's Center for Latin American Studies as a Title VI National Resource Center from 1997-2007.  He has also held elected office as a councilman for environmental affairs for the Santu Urku Amazonian Kichwa Community. Contact Tod Swanson.

 

Items Billed by Pitt

  In-State Out-of-State
Tuition $4,656 $4,656
Program Fee $2844 $2844
Total Billed by Pitt $7500 $7500

Estimated Additional Out-of-Pocket Costs

Airfare $1,200
Personal Expenses $1,000

Total Estimated Program Cost

  In-State Out-of-State

Total Estimated Cost of Program
(Includes items billed by Pitt and additional expenses)

$9700 $9700

 

What's Included

As a part of your program fee, the following are included:

  • Tuition for 6 credits
  • Housing
  • All meals while at the Field Station
  • Health Insurance
  • Course site visits

While your program fee will cover most of your expenses, keep in mind that you are also responsible for the following:

  • Flights
  • Vaccinations (~$200)
  • Housing and food during break (one week between June and July session)
  • Additional personal expenses

Remember that your lifestyle and spending choices can greatly affect the amount of money you'll need while abroad.  Visit our Budgeting page for more information.

When You'll Go

Arrive in Quito

Depart Quito

June 13, 2020

July 25, 2020

 

What Else You Need to Know

FLAS Fellowship program only.