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Programs : Brochure

This page is the brochure for your selected program. You can view the provided information for this program on this page and click on the available buttons and/or link for additional details. Remember: all students participating in exchange or affiliate programs must apply for acceptance through Longwood before partner applications can be processed.
  • Locations: Otavalo, Ecuador; Papallacta, Ecuador; Quito, Ecuador; Tena, Ecuador
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Restrictions: Longwood applicants only
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Program Model: Faculty-led Language of Instruction: English
Class Status: 1 - Freshman, 2 - Sophomore, 3 - Junior, 4 - Senior Program Type: Study abroad
Language Level: 0 - None Minimum GPA: 2.00
Program Leader: Melanie Marks, Sujan Henkanaththegedara Housing: Hotel
Program Description:
Program Overview  Course Descriptions  Prerequisites  Information Sessions  Housing  Itinerary  Program Costs  Scholarships and Grants  More Information  

Conservation Biology & Economics in the Amazon Jungle of Ecuador


Program Overview

Experience life alongside fellow Longwood students and faculty in the beautiful developing nation of Ecuador, home to part of the Amazon jungle. Study conservation biology and the connections to economic development as you explore the incredible biodiversity of the Amazon, home to many indigenous tribes. Visit the villages of the Cofani and the Siona tribes and learn from their shamans how drilling for oil in this pristine area is impacting indigenous life. We will be hosted by SELVA, a Dutch-funded organization that partners with the indigenous tribes and fights for protection of the Amazon. Explore what some call the “resource curse,” as Ecuador struggles to take advantage of a commodity with great export value while bearing the impact of drilling in highly sensitive areas. Students will live in the Amazon for several days, visiting tribes, doing field work, interviewing tribal leaders, trekking in the jungle, learning about indigenous medicine from jungle plants, and observing many species of monkeys, birds, reptiles, and insects. Students will also visit Quito, the capital, Otovalo, and indigenous artisan community, and United Nations projects on hard-pan construction in the Ilalo. Class will begin online prior to departure and will finish while in Ecuador.

*Participants should understand that, while all housing will have showers and toilets, the jungle lodges are quite rustic. Transportation in and out of the Amazon will be by small boat. Our base in the Amazon will be 2-3 hours, by boat, from the launch point.  Daily activities will also involve transportation by small boat. Visits to the SELVA Peace Reserve and the indigenous community require some walking, and in one village, significant trekking to a spirit tree. Treks might involve muddy terrain (with boots) and paths that are not always flat or smooth. 

Course Description

BIOL/EASC : Conservation and Economics: The Oil Debate in Ecuador: This class will provide students with an overview of Ecuador, with a focus on the debate surrounding the decision to drill for oil in the highly sensitive Amazon jungle. Particularly, students will gain an understanding of conservation and economic issues surrounding the decision. The themes of conservation biology and economic development will be integrated while highlighting the trade-offs associated with the decision. This course will start online and will finish while in Ecuador. ** Course pending approval*



Information Sessions

  • TBA


  • Day 1 - Depart from Dulles airport; arrive in evening. 
  • Day 2 - Visit famous Guyasamin museum and house; head for Papallacta, a unique biological environment of the Andean Highlands. Enjoy thermal springs and complete field exploration. 
  • Day 3 - Visit hummingbird preserve in the Highlands, visit San Rafael waterfall for eco-trek, explore transitions of the ecosystem as we move from Andean Highland to lowland forest, see oil pipelines that emanate from the Amazon, arrive as SELVA Peace Reserve in the Amazon.   
  • Day 4 - Travel by boat to the Cofan – Pisuri indigenous community, learn about indigenous medicine from Shaman-governor of the Cofan Nationality, hike to large spirit tree in the dense rainforest, complete field work to inventory biodiversity, return to Peace Reserve to learn about sustainability activities, reforestation, land purchases, etc. 
  • Day 5 - Depart for Cuyabeno, travel by small boat for about 3 hours to the jungle ecolodge, learn about Amazon jungle, flora/fauna, ecosystems, etc. from indigenous guide, search for the pink dolphin in the lagoons. 
  • Day 6 - Depart by boat for Siona indigenous community, introduction and Q&A with the Shaman – governor of the Siona. Nationality, tour community, learn about agriculture production (mostly coffee and chocolate), prepare indigenous cassava-yucca flatbread with tribe members, and complete second field work activity in this location. 
  • Day 7 - Depart early for Canagüeno, the restricted reproduction lake, boat ride back to the bridge and return to the Peace Reserve, field experiences at the reserve. 
  • Day 8 - Depart Peace Reserve for Quito, visit highly controversial hydrolectric project (Coca Codo Sinclair) financed by China, see sights of Quito in evening including Virgen de El Panecillo, old town, and cathedral. 
  • Day 9 - Head to Otavalo indigenous community, visit open air artisan market for incredible shopping, try indigenous foods, visit the equator.  
  • Day 10 - Visit incredible fruit and vegetable market, travel to the Andean Water volcano community, the Ilaló, lunch with the community members, visit the magnificent mountain that was the Pre-Columbian Sanctuary, see SELVA’s UNESCO project for sustainable construction. 
  • Day 11 - Depart for home. 
*Note: Itinerary is in development and subject to change.*


Students will stay in hotels and eco-lodges. Participants should understand that, while all Amazon housing will have showers and toilets, the jungle lodges are quite rustic. 

Program Costs

Program fees (which include airfare) are estimated to be about $2,595. Tuition will be billed separately.
Program will be offered pending course approval. No payments will be accepted unitll course is fully approved.

Scholarships and Grants

The Office of International Affairs offers three scholarships:

  • Lancers Abroad Scholarship: up to $500 for short-term programs or $900 for semester programs
  • Presidential Scholarship: up to $2,000 for semester-long programs in which participants are studying in non-Anglophone countries (generally reserved for foreign language majors, but students taking courses in the host language are also encouraged to apply).
  • Global Engagement Scholarship: up to $1,200 for those participating in a faculty-led program; applicants must be Pell Grant recipients to be eligible (including Honors)

Honors students are eligible for separate funding through the Cormier Honors College. Contact Jessi Znosko to get started.

For more information on these and many other scholarship opportunities, visit our Scholarships page.

More Information 

Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.