Social Entrepreneurship is an approach that the Social Entrepreneur Corps successfully utilizes in Latin America. For the proposed U21 program, students interested in international development will work directly with SE Corps field professionals and social entrepreneurs in Ecuador to help establish new and grow existing micro-consignment supported businesses and to support other local partners that promote innovative development models.
The benefits include exposure to economic theories of social entrepreneurship and active engagement with case study analyses, Spanish language, and Ecuadorian, including indigenous cultures. The students will experience living with the local families and working intensively with community service organizations, and local social entrepreneurs. Our students will make a tangible difference in people’s lives, while also acquiring the knowledge, skills, and habits necessary to become socially aware, active global citizens.
Please note that your application for this program will only be reviewed if you are nominated by your home institution, a member of the Universitas 21 network. You can contact your home university’s U21 student mobility officer to find out more about the nomination process.
The Academics and Program Structure
This program can be credit bearing according to each university’s policy. By default, three UConn credits are assigned to this program.
LLAS 3293 Ecuadorian Society and Social Entrepreneurship (3 credits)
2. In-country Orientation and Foundation Building
Upon arrival in the country, all students spend the first segment of their time in Cuenca, attending orientation sessions, living with local families, studying Spanish intensively, participating in development discussions, visiting nearby development and relief organizations, and participating in project content and technical training.
Students travel to Loja and visit different satellite work sites, staying with additional local families, in group living settings and/or in hotels. Students will work with Peace Corps Volunteers, local community service organizations, and local businesses.
4. Conclusion, Delivery, and Presentation
All participants return to the SECorps headquarters in Cuenca for the final days of the program. At this time the projects are completed and presented, Spanish evaluations are conducted and participants stay with the local families one last time.
Students will be assessed based on news analyses while in Ecuador, and reflections on experience and final presentation at the end of the trip. Throughout the program, students will be invited to contribute to a group blog, sharing and reflecting on their experiences.
You should be prepared for the experience of a lifetime! During your four weeks in Ecuador, you will have the opportunity to learn theories and see them in practice. You will experience daily life in towns and in rural areas. You will begin y our journey in Cuenca, staying with homestay families, participating in discussions, studying Spanish, visiting non-profits, and observing local social entrepreneurs at work. Upon leaving Cuenca, you will travel to Loja and satellite locations, where you will work on individual or group development projects. As a final project you will have funding set aside to analyze and “invest” in a real local initiative that is chosen as a group. This is a unique opportunity to witness and participate in real, high impact social entrepreneurship in a developing country. And, of course, you will have time to climb volcanoes, back-country hike, and see the beauty that is the Incan culture. Most importantly, you will be directly and concretely contributing to economic development in rural Ecuador.
- Location: Cuenca, Ecuador
- Terms: Summer
Dates / Deadlines:
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|Language of instruction:||Prior language study required:|
|Open to non-UConn students:||Required GPA:||3.4|