Ecuador Travel Course: Sustainable Ecotourism and Ecosystems of Ecuador
May 14 - June 5, 2020
The Ecuador Travel Course offers six credits for two courses: Sustainable Ecotourism and Ecosystems of Ecuador and Conversational Spanish for the City Traveler and Rainforest Explorer.
ES 3883 Sustainable Ecotourism and Ecosystems of Ecuador (3 credits)
Students will travel to the capital city of Quito and the rain forests of Ecuador to explore the interwoven nature of the fragile ecological resources and the evolving sustainable tourism industry. Students will develop individualized projects that focus on the field excursions and explorations of this developing country’s urban and rainforest environs. The capital city of Quito will serve as the initial base of exploration followed by an extended site visit at the Otonga Foundation’s Research Preserve located just about 2 hours NW of the city.
HU 3883 Conversational Spanish for the City Traveler and Rainforest Explorer (3 credits)
Students will learn the foundations of conversational Spanish appropriate for travel abroad. Included in this will be an exploration of Latin American literature useful for understanding Latin American culture.
Instructors: Paul Guernsey and Tom Mullin
Dates: May 14 – June 5, 2020 (In Ecuador: May 14 – May 24. In Unity, Maine: May 25-29)
Class Size: 12 Students
Tuition (ES 3883 and HU 3883): $3540.00
On-Campus Room & Board: $375.00
Non-refundable deposit of $500.00 and copy of passport due on January 17, 2020
Tuition and fees must be paid in full by Feb 3, 2020
About the Instructors
Tom Mullin is an Associate Professor of Parks and Forest Resources at Unity College where he specializes in Park Management, land protection, interpretive services and sustainable tourism issues. A founder and Fellow of the National Association for Interpretation, he has traveled extensively across the United States, Canada and Great Britain exploring and researching tourism and the intersection with interpretation. In 2017 he was co leader of the Unity College travel course that went to the Ecuadorian Rainforest for a study in its Ecotourism and Ecosystems.
Paul Guernsey is an instructor in writing at Unity College. He holds a B.A. degree in Journalism and Spanish/Latin American Literature from the University of Arizona, and an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. He has worked as a foreign correspondent for the Associated Press in Venezuela, and as a magazine editor and a freelance travel writer, the countries he has visited in Central and South America include Mexico, Belize, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, and Chile.
Ecuador Trip Itinerary
5.14 Travel to Ecuador and arrive at the Otonga Foundation’s Quito headquarters and retreat center.
5.15 In Quito. Adjust to the elevation, visit the National Museum of Ecuador and city markets.
5.16 Travel to the Otonga Foundation’s Research Preserve (2 hours northwest of the capital).
- Along the way we will visit the Jambatu Center for Research and Conservation of Amphibians
- Stop to go grocery shopping for our time in the rainforest (where there is no WIFI or internet connection).
- Arrive in the late PM at the Research Center and Preserve.
5.17 Tour the Botanical Garden at the Preserve and hike to local waterfalls and visit with local gold miner.
- Optional attendance at the local catholic service.
- Evening debrief.
5.18 Begin individual study on their projects, small group discussion, reporting, and individual research.
- Late in the day we will visit the nightly roosting spot for approximately 20,000 cattle egret.
- Evening debrief.
5.19 Visit indigenous peoples ecotourism facility where life of the rainforest peoples are shared by one of the local tribes in their living cultural center.
- Individual research project work and language skills.
- Evening debrief.
5.20 Tour of the local village, a sugar and candy center for this region of the research center is located.
- Discussion about local economic development and options for the locals.
- Evening program on night life, and moth/insect life.
- Continue working on individual projects and evening debrief.
5.21 Individual Research Project work, hikes in the botanical gardens, local water falls and generally a day to catch up on things, relax and prepare to go back to the capital city.
- Evening presentations on the project updates and work to date.
- Continue the conversational language work and Latin American literature
5.22 Leave for Quito and arrive back in the capital city late morning.
- Visit the Old City/Historic part of Quito.
5.23 Travel to nearby extinct volcano (approximately 2 miles from the Quito Foundation Headquarters).
- Visit the Equator historic sites and enjoy and dinner at the Equator.
5.24 Travel to a scenic site overlooking the entire city of Quito.
- This is via a gondola and hike well above timberline (approximately 12,000 ft elevation).
- Visit city markets one last time.
5.24 Fly back late to US and arrive back in Boston in the late morning on May 25.
5.26-5.29 Back on campus wrapping up projects, working on conversational language skills and literature work.