Similar to other countries in South America, Ecuador has traditionally suffered from the so-called "resource curse": poverty and inequality in a land of plentiful natural resources. Despite this fact, Ecuador serves as a model for some of the most far-reaching efforts to provide an ecologically and socially-sustainable economic model.
On a Global Exchange delegation to Ecuador you will meet with local organizations, politicians, journalists, farm workers, and Indigenous communities to speak about the local, regional, and global effects of corporate globalization. These affiliates will introduce you to some of the most successful local and international efforts to bring environmental justice to the Andes and the Amazon. You will explore the diversity of political challenges and successes of Ecuadorians in the highlands and in the Amazon basin as you engage in discussions of food sovereignty, fair trade, intellectual property rights, and indigenous healing methods.
In the northern Amazon region, you will look at the damaging effects of oil and other extractive industries while you experience the breathtaking diversity and beauty of the Amazon rainforest.
You will learn about the historic ongoing court-battle against Chevron and its toxic legacy of oil exploitation.
You will meet with indigenous leaders and healers, and visit ecotourism projects that provide alternatives to extractive industries like oil and logging.
Back in Quito, you will discuss environmental, social, and economic rights with activists and leaders as you uncover the alternatives to "free trade", and learn about movements for integration of South America.
Visit the Municipality of Cotacachi, a United Nations (UNESCO) award-winning township dedicated to sustainability and communal governance.
* This trip is not confirmed until the minimum group size is met. Please do not purchase airfare until you receive confirmation from the Global Exchange coordinator.
* The first and last days of the tour are dedicated primarily to arrivals and departures - please schedule your arriving and departing flights on these days. If you prefer to arrive before or depart after the listed tour dates, we can still arrange airport transportation but keep in mind there will be an extra charge, as drivers are hired per day.
Arrive in Quito and transfer to hotel
Dinner and Introductions
Overnight at Hotel Ikala