Students, Faculty Embark on Ecuador Service Learning Trip

Students, Faculty Embark on Ecuador Service Learning Trip

December 23, 2013

A group of 13 Lasell students led by Environmental Studies Chair Aaron Toffler will visit two communities in Ecuador for an international service learning trip in January.

The group, which also will include Professor Jose Guzman and Associate Director, Graduate Student Services Gillian Stanley, leaves for Ecuador on January 6 and returns January 13.

The students will spend time in Machachi, continuing work started by last year's Ecuador trip participants, and then will travel to Guaranda to work on several different projects.

"It is slightly different this year in that we will be spending more time in Guaranda than we have in the past. There is the possibility in the future of a long-term partnership with a university there," said Toffler.

The students will work with several schools while in the two different locations, following up on projects in Machachi where last year's group built a greenhouse out of plastic bottles and planted a garden at the school. Then the group will begin new work in Guaranda.

The trip to Ecuador is part of the Shoulder to Shoulder Program at the College, a cultural immersion and service-learning program in which students learn about various social justice issues within a global context.

Preparation for the Ecuador program occurs in the Fall semester as a part of the Environmental Service in Ecuador course. This course is required for all participants and covers the climate, ecology, history, and culture of Ecuador, in addition to addressing pre-trip travel administrative details and some language study. Participants are selected each spring through the Shoulder to Shoulder application process.