Ecuador: Culture and Development
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Faculty and Staff
"The academic directors are not only remarkably knowledgeable in the various disciplines covered by the program, but they have developed a powerful understanding of true leadership in practice. Whether in the classroom or in the field, they create the ideal environment for the experiential learning process to thrive, skillfully providing the necessary support for students to wholeheartedly pursue their personal interests."
—Grant Buhr, University of Illinois at Chicago
Leonore Cavallero, Academic Director
Leonore Cavallero has an MA in multicultural education/bilingual counseling from the University of San Francisco, California. She has worked as an academic director for the Ecuador: Culture and Development program since 1993 and served for one semester as academic director for SIT’s Cape Town, South Africa, program. Her professional experience in Ecuador includes eight years working for the Peace Corps Training Center as family coordinator, master trainer, and interim training center director. Prior to the Peace Corps, she worked for two years as a guidance counselor for Ecuadorian high school students. Leonore regularly presents sessions on intercultural/interpersonal relationships and safety issues to international education and volunteer organizations based in Ecuador. She wrote Surviving Re-entry: A Readjustment Manual for Parents, a handbook for parents of students returning home from studying abroad, as well as a safety manual for students. She has lived in Ecuador since 1981 and raised her two children in a bilingual environment. She has Ecuadorian residency and dual nationality in the US and Italy.
Fabian Espinosa, Academic Director
Fabian Espinosa studied biology and anthropology at the University of California at Santa Cruz, where he completed his MA in anthropology. His previous experience includes serving as communication and information coordinator for the Charles Darwin Research Station on the Galápagos Islands; executive director of and researcher for the Cofán Ethnographic Museum in the Cuyabeno Nature Reserve; and advisor to the president of Ecuador on environmental and indigenous affairs. Additionally, he has extensive experience in Ecuador as a naturalist guide and cultural interpreter, leading specialized groups in archaeology, indigenous cosmologies, and natural history. He is also associated with the Instituto Cientifico de Culturas Indigenas (ICCI) and the Universidad Intercultural Amawtay Wasi (UIAW). He has co-directed the SIT Ecuador: Culture and Development program since the fall of 1999.
Lecturers for this program typically include:
Diego Quiroga, Ph.D.
Diego Quiroga holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is currently vice president of external and student affairs at Universidad San Francisco de Quito and co-director of the Galapagos Academic Institute for the Arts and the Sciences (GAIAS). His area of expertise is sociocultural anthropology and his topical interests include medical anthropology, environmental anthropology, and indigenous and Afro-American cultures of Latin America. Dr. Quiroga has served as dean of the graduate school, dean of academic affairs, dean of social sciences, and full-time professor at Universidad San Francisco de Quito teaching courses in history, Andean anthropology, and medical anthropology. He has conducted extensive research in Ecuador, and his work has been published in many prestigious academic journals. Amazon Basin Productive Systems and Health in Communities Living in the Upper Amazon Basin, Ecuador and Magic and Healing: The Role of the Devil and the Saints in Muisne, Ecuador constitute some of his major contributions to the field.
María Cuvi, M.A.
María Cuvi holds an M.A. in literature from Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador. She is considered one of the leading feminist authors in Ecuador. She has extensive experience as a researcher, teacher, and activist. As a professor, she has taught several courses on gender and development, poverty, ethnicity, social movements, environmental issues, and academic writing at several universities and graduate schools including Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO), Universidad Politécnica Salesiana del Ecuador, Instituto Complutense de Estudios Internacionales de Madrid, Universidad de LLeida, Catalunya, Universidad Mayor de San Simón, Cochabamba, Bolivia, and Pitzer College Program in Ecuador. María Cuvi is the author and editor of several pioneer studies in the field of gender both in Ecuador and in the Andean Region.
Sebastián Granda, M.A.
Sebastián Granda holds an M.A. in Latin American Studies from Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar. He is currently enrolled in a doctorate program on Latin American Cultural Studies at the same university. He serves as director of social sciences and human behavior studies at Universidad Politécnica Salesiana del Ecuador and teaches sociology of education and bilingual intercultural education. Sebastián Granda is also a research director and teacher at the Pitzer College Program in Ecuador. As a researcher and author, he has contributed significantly in the fields of indigenous rights, intercultural education and pedagogy, citizenship, and migration.
Duration: 15 weeks
Program Base: Quito
Language Study: Kichwa, Spanish
Prerequisites: 3 semesters college-level Spanish or the equivalent and the ability to follow coursework in Spanish, as assessed by SIT. Read more...
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