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Decolonizing & Fair-Trade Education


for study abroad


We offer a recurring "Sustainable Food Systems" program or faculty/staff can design personalized short-term study abroad programs for their diverse learning communities.


A unique summer experience that combines hands-on, community-engaged fieldwork with activism for social and environmental justice.

Our dynamic community-based program is structured into three required courses plus one or two electives. Students study with community educators and Pachaysana faculty.


semester-long study abroad



In short, it works like this: local Ecuadorian communities invite 5 to 12 students to live, study and create projects in partnership with them. These communities believe in changing the world (starting with their own realities) and hope the students will join them in their efforts. 

The students spend the first part of the semester learning with/from community educators and Pachaysana faculty, completing the three core courses. During this time, working predominantly with the community educators, students re-imagine our personal and collective stories, learn (and dream of) new ways of knowing/being, and identify global/local conflicts. Upon completion of these modules, students apply the knowledge and tools they have learned to their elective courses, which are carried out as guided independent studies or internships. 

Our highly qualified community educators are experts in diverse areas, such as sustainable agriculture, popular pedagogy, arts for social change, Andean/Amazon Cosmovision, among others. Pachaysana team members (university professors, professional artists and development specialists), and guest instructors offer additional expertise and experience.


The program has an "applied" nature, meaning that studies lead to real projects, which are financed by student tuition, thus making our work immediately sustainable.

Our next available semester is Fall 2024!


Our dynamic program is structured into three core courses plus electives that are taken as guided independent studies or internships.

Each semester includes unique educational excursions where international students and community educators travel together.

We want to form diverse cohorts of exceptional and passionate individuals. We treat our applicants with a personal touch and give ea h one our serious consideration.

We look for students who seek diverse educational experiences, aren't afraid of being uncomfortable, and are passionate about changing the world

Watch some videos, including a webinar on decolonizing education for collective liberation.

It is both exciting and scary when your child decides to study abroad, and surely many questions come to mind

Being able to study for a semester or year in another country needs to be seen as both a privilege and responsibility.

We can only achieve sustainability if our partner communities are truly partners, joining us in every step of the creative and decision-making processes

Community educators take the lead in our courses, guaranteeing a focus on local knolwedge and pedagogy. Our diverse faculty complement each class with a rich academic foundation. 

Short-Term Study Abroad

How does it work?

These programs typically last from nine days to one month and most commonly occur during breaks in the academic year (summer vacation, spring break, winter break, etc.). They vary significantly in itinerary, focus and content.

Pachaysana can design the course and lead the instruction for your short-term program or we can work with faculty from the home university to design a course/program together.

Most of our programs are customized with a college partner; however, we regularly offer a short-term "Sustainable Food Systems" course that any student can sign up for.  

Depending on the needs of the group, the program usually include stays with our partner communities where local educators complement the course instruction. They can be based in one community, or organized to travel to different communities in Ecuador. Our areas of specialty are the Ecuadorian Amazon and Highlands regions, but we have also led programming to the Coastal region and the Galápagos Islands. 


Each of our short-term programs fulfill two complementary goals: 1) fomenting local community empowerment & development in partnership with Ecuador communities, and 2) developing a critical intercultural consciousness among visiting students and faculty.


We offer a variety of programs based on university & community needs. Learn about our different options and start to imagine your dream program

We work with communities who are actively restoring their lands, bringing balance to the ecosystem they inhabit

As with all of our programs, community educators play and integral role in organizing, hosting, and facilitating short-term programs





The Pachaysana Internship program is a unique experience that combines hands-on, community-engaged fieldwork with activism for social justice. Student interns work in partnership with agrarian, Indigenous and/or activist Ecuadorian communities on existing community projects.


Each project is designed to uplift and visibilize marginalized voices/identities, challenge dominant paradigms in development & education, increase community autonomy & sustainability and promote a culture of peace.