From the Amazon to the Andes:  Cultural Expressions, Community Actions, and Global Citizenship


Large-scale mining, oil industry, and commercial exploitation of cattle, timber and forests, are the cause of major environmental, social, political and cultural transformations in the Andes and the Amazon. The activity of these economic sectors has confronted indigenous nations and other communities with the governments of the countries where their territories are located, as well as with the transnational companies that operate there. Students will visit the Ecuadorian Amazon and Andes, and work with community members, advocates, and youth who have lived along these processes. Class assignments and activities are designed to support and create intercultural dialogues between the communities visited and UNCA students. In the crossroads of global environmental concern and indigenous movements, our main objective is to learn from the communities and to celebrate the richness of indigenous territories.

Learning Objectives:
·       Engage in real-life experiences of the Amazon region through contact with peoples of  different communities and cultures.
·       Develop a better understanding of the complex relationship between globalization and traditional identities in small Amazon communities and in the Andes.
·       Demonstrate transformed perceptions on the meaning of community, enhanced through service opportunities.
·       Understand the pros and cons of tourism and resource conservation in the Amazon and in the Andes.


Dates:   June 1-21, 2018


LA 478 (4) - SL: Cultivating Global Citizenship, taught by Elizabeth Porter - (Syllabus)

The purpose of this course is to navigate various ethical issues, both as abstract ideas and as manifested in day-to-day social and cultural practices, even as you develop and reflect on your own thoughts on these matters. This reflective practice will enable you to become a more informed and engaged citizen, not just of your local community, but also of the larger world. Throughout this course, we will adopt perspectives of varying scale, focusing our attention sometimes on issues affecting us on a global level, and at other times on issues affecting us locally. Prerequisites: HUM 124, 214, and 324 (or special permission from the Director of the Humanities Program).

AIIS/SPAN 374 (4) - SL: Keepers of the Forest: Andean-Amazonian Cultural Expressions, Juan Sánchez Martinez (Syllabus)

In the last two decades, indigenous movements have been guiding decolonization processes in Latin America. At the crossroads of global environmental concern, and indigenous nationalisms, this class will approach Andean-Amazonian epistemologies and ways of living in nature, principally from Colombia and Ecuador, shared by indigenous elders, advocates, writers, artists, and youth. SPAN 374, readings and written assignments will be in Spanish.

Costs:  $4,442; costs will include accommodations, travel within Ecuador, some meals, tuition and study abroad medical insurance.  Not included: Round-trip airfare to Ecuador, some meals and personal expenses.

Itinerary (subject to change)

Required Ecuador Courses Payment and Cancellation form

Applications are available in the Study Abroad Office (28 Ramsey Library). Completed applications are due no later than February 21, 2018. Please turn in a completed application with a $150 processing fee to the Study Abroad Office.  You may also download the Short-Term Application.

UNC Asheville reserves the right to cancel or alter the program format or to change costs in case of conditions beyond its control.

Faculty Directors:
Elizabeth Porter, Economics, 156 Karpen Hall,
Juan Sánchez Martinez, Modern Languages-Spanish, 228 Whitesides Hall,