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Summer in Ecuador 2023

Intercultural Medicine in the Andes

Program Highlights:

Live in Quito and attend courses at the prestigious CIMAS Academy taught by a collaborative team of researchers and community educators, including Dolores Lopez, Jose Suarez, Fabricio Guaman, Eduardo Puente, Enrique Cachiguango, Edizon Leon, Luis Calderon, Cecilia Mantilla, Hilario Morocho, Jackeline Lima, Dra. Krishna Guayasamín, Manuel Guatemal, Carmen Cumba, and indigenous medical specialists Guillermo & Luis Santillan.

During your time abroad, you will:

  • Learn about traditional medical practices
  • Visit hospitals and clinics engaging in Intercultural Medicine
  • Study the worldview of medicinal healing from Shaman Santillan
  • Discover how Quichua farmers practice medical ethnobotany
quechua women

Dr. Bonnie Bade will be your program leader and primary lecturer on Medical Anthropology.  Don't miss out on this awesome opportunity to engage with the indigenous population and consider how traditional healing can inform modern medical practice.

Course Overview:

Illness is a human universal. All societies and cultures have had to come up with ways to identify and cure sickness and injury. Medical Anthropology is the study of medical systems around the world and includes illness classification, causation, diagnosis, and treatment, as well as the social organization of the delivery of health care.

Intercultural Medicine in the Andes explores medical practices in the context of contemporary Ecuador and the Law of Interculturality mandated in the country’s constitution. Health care in Ecuador manifests in settings that include county hospitals, indigenous-run clinics, state-run urban hospitals, labor and delivery units, rural agricultural regions, and homes of traditional medical practitioners. In addition we will be exploring the practice of the Law of Interculturality in education, agricultural production, and ecotourism. Field research is supported by readings and lectures from cultural and medicinal experts that include such topics as culture, world view, illness causation, classification, diagnosis and treatment, and Interculturality, and will emphasize anthropological tools of analysis such as participant observation, holism, self-reflection, cross cultural comparison, and the evolutionary perspective. Informed self-reflection and critical analysis of one's own worldview assumptions and medical belief system are fundamental to the course.

Academic Calendar:

 May 29 - June 16, 2023 (students should arrive by the afternoon of May 27)

Academic Focus:

  • Anthropology 301:  Culture and Medicine:  Healers & Healing Practices OR
  • Anthropology 498:  Field Research

Language of Instruction:

English. No knowledge of Spanish or Latin American culture assumed.  


  • Class level:  Students with upper-division standing by the end of Spring 2023
  • GPA:  2.5 and above; good academic standing to departure
  • Proof of current COVID-19 vaccination (at least the initial vaccination(s) plus at least one booster if eligible) is required to participate in any of CSUSM’s international travel programs. Due to the increased risk of contracting COVID while travelling, as well as the increased likelihood of having serious complications from COVID if you are not vaccinated, exemptions (religious or medical) are not currently accepted for our travel abroad programs; COVID vaccination is a required pre-requisite.  
quito cathedral


  • 3 units ANTH 301 and/or ANTH 498. 


Upon arrival to Quito, participants will stay at an appointed hotel near the airport. Thereafter, all program participants will be assigned to individual rooms with a homestay family for the duration of their stay in Quito. The homestay environment will offer wonderful insights into the Ecuadorian culture and many practical benefits of Spanish language practice. Most homestays can only accommodate one student, although whenever possible, we try to place two students together. Careful attention will be given to placing students in the environment best suited to their personalities and preferences. Two meals a day (breakfast & dinner) and weekly laundry comes with your homestay placement. Other meals can be purchased within an easy distance of the Academy.

This program also includes several days of field trips in neighboring cities (some overnight) with shared hotel accommodation provided in program costs.

Estimated Cost: 

$3,600* + Extended Learning Fees (estimated from $252-$572)

All fees include tuition, partial room and board (breakfast/dinner), medical insurance, and several excursions.  Daily lunch, optional excursions, airfare and personal expenditures are NOT included in the program cost and estimated at $1,300-$1,500.

*Program fees will significantly drop if enrollment exceeds 15 students.

Some useful airfare search engines:

Please be sure to read the fine print concerning change fees, taxes, luggage restrictions, etc. before booking.  Whenever possible, book directly with an airline.  Do NOT purchase airfare until you have been given instructions from Global Education to do so.

Faculty Led Cancellation Policy


An adult passport book with at least 6 months validity until expiration is necessary for overseas travel.  First-time passport book applicants can expect processing times up to 4 months. Plan to submit your passport applications early if you enroll in this program as withdrawals due to passport delays will not be refunded.  Non-US travelers are responsible for researching entry requirements and possible visas through their country's consular pages.

To Apply:

  1. Attend an information session led by Program Leader, Bonnie Bade:
  2. Fill out the online application materials via the link below. All application materials must be completed by Friday, April 14, along with your non-refundable $500 deposit.  Online payment preferred through TransAct.  Please be advised to choose E-check and enter your checking account details to avoid the 2.65% convenience fees applicable to all non-checking account payments. Cash, checks, and money orders made payable to CSUSM will also be accepted via the Cashier's Office in Cougar Central, but must include this deposit form to track the payment.
  3. Final payment of program fees will be due by Friday, May 5.  Please await an email from Global Education noting final payment due as we hope to offer a small discount if currency remains favorable.  Payment of tuition related expenses (estimated at $597 + $12 transcript fee) will be billed by Extended Learning and appear on your Student Center, following the payment guidelines set out for Summer Session.
  4. Submit your flight details to Global Education:  Flight Information Form
  5. Attend mandatory pre-departure orientation with your Program Leader & Global Education to discuss arrival instructions and the upcoming course(s).  Some course requirements/sessions may take place prior to leaving, beginning in early May.

Summer in Ecuador 2023 Application

 CIMAS Homestay Application

For enrolled students:

Please do not purchase your airfare until you have heard from the Office of Global Education that the program is running!  Afterwards, please fill out the following form with your flight details: Flight Form

Attend an Info Session Today!

Day Time Location
Tuesday, April 4 12:00-12:45 PM SBSB 1105
Tuesday, April 11 12:00-12:45 PM SBSB 1105