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Ecuador has outstanding environmental and cultural diversity, and is a perfect location for the study of environmental and social change and sustainability. Its recent 2008 Constitution enshrined respect for a sustainable way of life (buen vivir). In 2017 Lenin Moreno was elected under a commitment to maintain these and other goals of 21st Century Socialism. To what extent is Ecuador living up to these ideals? This Maymester (conducted every year since 2015) uses Ecuador as a classroom, maximizing student experiences of a wide range of urban, rural and wild landscapes and actors to gain insight into current debates about environmental change, agriculture and development. Coastal mangrove wetlands, mountain valleys, high mountain paramo grasslands, and Amazonian lowland rain forests are home to multiple peoples and agendas. The heart of the program involves an extended homestay in Cuenca with a local family.


Sponsored by College of Liberal Arts


  • GRG 323K / LAS 330.3 - South America: Nature, Society and Sustainability and
    L A 119 - Maymester Seminar: Ecuador

Academic Information

Students earn 3 hours of in-residence credit upon successful completion of program. Maymester courses are part of UT spring registration. Courses must be taken for a grade. Course carries Global Cultures flag, meets requirements in LAS and IRG, and counts toward the Capstone Requirement in Sustainability Studies.


GRG 323K / LAS 330 is taught by Dr. Gregory Knapp, Associate Professor, Department of Geography and the Environment, and Director of Sustainability Studies. Dr. Gregory Knapp has conducted research in the Andes since 1977, and in Ecuador since 1979, on varied topics involving human-environment relationships.

Language(s) of Instruction



Service Learning/Internship

  • Service Learning - No
  • Internship - No


Homestays - one student per homestay in Cuenca, multiple occupancy in Vicundo - and in hotels and lodges with multiple occupancy. Homestays will accommodate non-Spanish speakers, but students will be in a Spanish-speaking environment and are encouraged to begin learning the language. Distance to class and/or activities will vary.

Open To

Students from all colleges and schools

Program Cost

2020 Program Fee: $4250. Includes $500 non-refundable deposit, all housing, most meals, site visits and field trips, administrative and instructional costs, on-site orientations. Program fee does not include airfare, insurance, tips, some meals, and personal expenses including personal transportation.

Program Dates:

- Maymester
  • June 3, 2020 to July 3, 2020
  • Final Deadline: January 15, 2020

Application Code


Additional Resources

Program Website
Photo Gallery
Make an Appointment
Financial Aid
Fin Responsibility Policy

Next Step

PROGRAM CANCELLED FOR 2020, BUT PLANNED FOR 2021. Check back Fall 2020 for more details. For more info, contact program coordinator Jericho Westendorf at

Program information above is subject to change