The University of New Mexico, through the Honors College and the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, presents Conexiones—an intensive program of Culture and Language study at UNM and at the field site of Cuenca, Ecuador. Conexiones offers students up to ten semester hours of credit, with several orientation sessions at UNM and approximately thirty days of field session.
Conexiones offers students an extraordinary and unique experience. Ecuador is a country rich in diversity. It has the greatest biodiversity per area in the world: it occupies the first place in the world regarding species per area. In addition, the geographical diversity includes coastal lowlands, the highland Andes, and the Amazon rainforest, as well as the Galapagos Islands. Ecuador is also home to a rich variety of ethnic groups of indigenous populations, which speak 18 different languages among them. Don’t worry, however: we will focus on Spanish!
The field session will start with arrival in the capitol city of Quito, where we will stay overnight before continuing the next morning on to our field site in the colonial city of Cuenca nestled among mountains at 8400 feet.
Students will live with a host family in Cuenca for four weeks. They will attend Spanish classes at the Universidad de Cuenca’s Programa de Español para Extranjeros, which is located in the heart of the city. All the families live within walking distance of the university. Weekly excursions are part of the program, including a hike along the Inca Trail, visits to indigenous communities, field study in Saraguro village with a stay at an ecolodge, and more.