View of an Ecuadorian city

Environmental Social Work/Justice

(SASS 375A/575A) | 3 credits

Winter Break

January 2–15, 2023

Pre-/Post-Trip Saturday Seminars

Oct. 29 | 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Dec. 3 | 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Jan. TBD, 2023 | 10 a.m. to 3 p.m

Image of Case Western Reserve University students in Ecuador, on a road standing behind a sign reading "Ecuador in the middle of the world Latitude: 00, 00, 00, calculated with gps

Journey through the city of Quito, the Amazon Basin and rural highlands of Ecuador while investigating conflicts that arise between the overuse of rich natural resources, fundamental rights of indigenous and marginalized peoples, and economic development. There will be opportunities to explore expansive plant, animal and cultural diversity, land destruction, and overuse, as well as sustainable solutions and policy efforts that aim to strike a balance. We will travel by bus, boat and foot to to reach many sites that include agricultural home-stays and platform tent camping in the amazon basin.

The following topics will be examined through pre-trip reading and study, on-site lectures and the use of critical analyses through discussion and writing:

  • Theoretical foundations for studying environmental social work
  • How environmental practices threaten rights to health, safety and economic freedom locally and worldwide
  • Examination of destructive agricultural practices, mining and oil drilling, and their impact on biodiversity and marginalized populations and the economy
  • Historical and current examples of conflict related to environmental justice conflicts

"This trip taught me how much my daily life really affects the world around me. As a consumer, many of the products that I buy directly influence what’s happening in parts of the world like Ecuador. I [became] more aware of my civic and moral responsibilities."
— Hira Qureshi, religious studies and chemistry undergraduate student, Ecuador 2018

Meet the Course Leader, Dr. Sonia Minnes

See Program Dates and Fees

View the Program Flyer