Ecuador: New Year's on the Equator

December 27, 2014January 4, 2015

Similar to other countries in South America, Ecuador has traditionally suffered from the so-called "resource curse:" high 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 ecologically and socially-sustainable alternatives to the corporate global economy.

On Global Exchange delegations to Ecuador you will meet with local organizations, politicians, journalists, farm workers, and native communities to speak about the harmful 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.

Experience Ecuador at a transformative period in local and regional politics. In December 2006, Ecuador elected leftist president Rafael Correa with a platform to bring Ecuador's oil wealth back to local people and establish national independence by opposing free trade and U.S. operated military bases in Ecuador. Learn about what his victory has meant for progressive politics in the hemisphere and for regional integration in South America.

Travel to Otavalo or Cotacachi to visit model municipalities of community governance; visit highland Salinas, a rural community that has succeeded in building a local, cooperative economy; travel to an endangered cloud forest to hear about environmental education programs and fair trade cooperatives combating the destructive mining industries; and/or speak with cut flower workers to learn about the health and economic effects of water scarcity in areas of glacier-topped volcanoes. Then travel to the Amazon Basin to look at the damaging effects of oil and other extractive industries after you experience the breathtaking diversity and beauty of the Amazon rainforest.

Take a tour of Chevron's toxic oil legacy in the Amazon; speak with the leaders and healers of affected communities; visit community-run ecotourism projects that are building multicultural models of citizenship and education; and learn about how you can support environmental justice and human rights internationally and at home. Join us on an inspirational and unforgettable experience to Ecuador to uncover the connections between citizens of the north and south, and the potential for achieving standards of human and environmental justice.

Please email Corina if you would like to recieve a sample itinerary for this delegation.

Program Highlights may include: 
  • What is the history of oil development in Ecuador? Learn about the historic ongoing court-battle against Chevron and their toxic legacy of oil exploitation, and see the oil pits for yourself
  • Hike through protected lowland cloud forest while you visit coffee cooperatives resisting mining companies. Learn about the movement for fair trade in Ecuador through the efforts of indigenous cacao cooperatives
  • Meet with indigenous leaders and healers in the Amazon, and visit ecotourism projects that provide alternatives to extractive industries like oil and logging
  • Discuss environmental, social, and economic rights with activists and leaders in Quito 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
  • What are community-based models of rural development? Travel to highland Andean communities that reside at 4,000 meters, underneath Ecuador's largest snow-capped mountain. Learn how these communities are working towards self-sustainability
  • All highlights and activities subject to change, as conditions permit. Click here to visit Global Exchange's Chevron Program and learn more about the true cost of oil

Price Includes: 
  • Double-room accommodations; on-ground transportation including airport pick-up and drop-off; Global Exchange bilingual trip leader; preparatory reading and orientation materials; admission and fees to all program activities; two meals a day (breakfast and dinner)
  • NOT INCLUDED: airfare, airport departure taxes, lunches, tips, and personal expenses. Single rooms are available for an additional $200
  • Please note: All Global Exchange participants should arrive and depart from Quito, and those arriving and departing on scheduled delegation dates will receive airport transfers. Please notify program director with special travel arrangements

How to Register: 

To register, please send in your application form and a deposit of $400. Payments by Mastercard, Visa and Discover are welcome. Deposits are non-refundable unless the trip is canceled by Global Exchange as explained below.

Please note: We must meet a minimum number of trip participants on every trip, so please register early!

To ensure that all participants can plan accordingly, the minimum number of participants must be reached within 30 days before departure, or the trip will be canceled. If the trip cancels registered participants can choose to receive a full refund or transfer to a future group. Once a trip is confirmed (reaches the minimum # of participants) registrations may be accepted up to 30 days before the departure date.

This trip will be as diverse as possible in terms of race, age and life experiences. In some cases, a limited number of partial scholarships are available for low-income applicants.

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