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The Ceiba Foundation for Tropical Conservation is teaming up with UW-Madison Global Health Institute and the communities of Tabuga and Camarones in rural Ecuador to offer this 2-week service-learning course (2 credits).
Water quality is rapidly emerging as one the most pressing environmental concerns facing humanity in the 21st century, and the cross-cutting importance of clean fresh water supplies is emphasized in global initiatives on conservation (COP10), development (Millennium Development Goals), health (WHO 2012), and economics (World Economic Forum 2011).
This course on the coast of Ecuador highlights the interconnections between human use of water resources and health. We will examine the sustainability of land and water management practices in a rural area of coastal Ecuador, where people rely on rivers for all their water needs.
You will participate in an assessment of the health risks in local water supplies together with community members. You will work with communities to discuss water-related health concerns, and conduct participatory planning of strategies that will increase sustainability and reduce the risk of water-borne diseases. The program provides ample opportunity to engage directly with the community on an issue of real importance, and provides field training in concepts and approaches for managing water-related human health risks. Through this program, you will gain knowledge and skills directly applicable to solving the emerging global water quality crisis while providing tangible service in severely under-served rural communities in Ecuador.
The course is offered in partnership with the Ceiba Foundation for Tropical Conservation, an environmental non-profit organization that has been working in the region since 1999.
This service-learning course will be held primarily in the communities of Tabuga and Camarones, Manabi province of Ecuador. Tabuga is a small coastal village of approximately 2,500 inhabitants who dedicate themselves primarily to agriculture, fishing and tourism. Students will arrive in Quito, Ecuador and receive an orientation to the country, its geography, customs, and people. You will then descend the western flanks of the Andes by bus, stopping along the way to visit a cloud forest reserve, before arriving at Tabuga and the Lalo Loor Dry Forest Reserve where the program will be housed.
Getting to Your Program
You are responsible for arranging round-trip transportation to the program site in Quito. Travel in-country will be coordinated by Ceiba, and includes transfers to a hotel in Quito upon arrival and prior to departure, and travel by charter bus to and from the field study site.
A visa is not required for U.S. citizens for this program. U.S. citizens must have a U.S. passport valid for at least six months beyond the end of the program.
OrientationIAP expects you to be an active participant in preparing yourself for your study abroad experience. As a participant on an IAP program, you will receive a pre-departure orientation, either in-person or online. The type and format of this orientation will vary by program and will be provided to you upon acceptance to the program. You will receive an orientation and introduction to the country of Ecuador upon arrival.
HousingHousing is included for the duration of the program, including Quito where you will stay in a hotel. You will be housed at the Lalo Loor Biological Station, a 15-minute walk from the village of Tabuga. A bamboo dormitory building nestled in the forest provides lodging for up to 24 people in shared rooms that have 2 bunk beds with mosquito nets in each. Three meals a day will be provided by the station’s cook in the communal dining area. The dormitory building has no electricity; light in the evenings is provided by candles. There are dry composting toilets and cold-water showers. Electricity is available at the nature center where you can charge cameras, laptops and other electronic equipment.
Excursions and Activities
There will be free time to explore the surrounding area, including the forest trails, the region's stunning beaches, and the nearby towns of Pedernales and Jama.
You will be enrolled in the UW System required health insurance through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) and the cost of the insurance coverage is included in program fees.
Instruction and logistics will be coordinated by the Ceiba Foundation for Tropical Conservation, a U.S. non-profit organization legally domiciled in Ecuador. Ceiba has been offering international educational experiences to undergraduates since 1999, and its study abroad and internship programs are promoted and accredited nationally through UW's International Academic Programs. Ceiba has experienced staff that will take care of all in-country coordination and logistics, including orientation, domestic travel, housing, and student services.
The course will be taught by Dr. Catherine Woodward of UW's Institute for Biology Education, and co-instructors affiliated with the Ceiba Foundation and the Universidad San Francisco de Quito.
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How to Apply
First complete the IAP Online Application. UW Affiliate programs may require you to apply directly to the affiliate either simultaneously during the IAP application process OR after you have received a preliminary admissions decision from IAP. After you have completed the IAP Online Application, the following forms will become available to you through the application portal. Be sure to read the instructions carefully for information on when to apply to the affiliate.
Summer Program Forms
Ceiba Water for Life Online Application
Scanned Copy of Passport ID Page
Unofficial Transcript (Student Record)
Forms are subject to change. Complete the forms according to the checklist provided to you in the online application portal.
After the Deadline
IAP will review your application and make a preliminary admissions decision. You will be notified of the admissions decision via email. The affiliate university or organization will make the final admissions decision.
|Summer - 2013-2014
This program will primarily be comprised of hands-on field work and service-learning in the community, with associated background lectures, training activities, and discussions presented in local context. The coastal region of the Manabí province provides an ideal location for study of the linkages between water quality and human health. Local rivers provide the primary water source for several communities along the coast, including Tabuga, and Camarones, with whom students will work. You will earn 2 credits of Inter-Ag and Nutritional Sciences 421 for this course.
The program begins in Quito, where you will visit Laguna Mica, Quito’s main water supply high in the Andes Mountains. From there, you will travel to the Lalo Loor Reserve on the coast, with a stop in the mountains to witness and discuss the capture of water by cloud forests.
The first week of the course will be co-led by Dr. Catherine Woodward (UW-Madison) and Dr. Andrea Encalada (Universidad San Francisco de Quito), and will focus on understanding the global water supply and human impacts upon it. In the field, you will talk with community members about local land use practices from a water quality and sustainability standpoint, and work with local “citizen-scientists” to assess water quality using standard methods.
During the second week, you will be joined by Dr. Gabriel Trueba (Universidad San Francisco de Quito) and focus on water-related health risks. You will join community members to test local water supplies for disease-causing micro-organisms, and discuss strategies for keeping water supplies safe. You will visit a local hospital and speak to health care professionals about their perspectives on managing water-related health problems.
Frequent group discussions and journaling will provide ample opportunity for continuous reflection on your experience.
Lalo Loor Dry Forest Reserve