Cuenca, Ecuador Project Center

Current Director(s): 
Program Term(s): 
C-Term during winter
Project Opportunities: 
Project preparation: 
Welcome, travel, and pre-departure orientations; project proposal and research plan coursework; cultural experience preparations

Location and Culture

Cuenca, Ecuador is a modern city in the Andes Mountains, located in the southern part of the country. The city is a UNESCO World Heritage Trust Site, exemplified by its historical central district. Cuenca’s climate is moderate, with warm days and cool nights.

Housing and Meals

WPI students live in self-catered apartments. Accommodation type and location are subject to change without notice and will be confirmed the term prior to departure.

Ecuadorian cuisine varies based on altitude and associated agricultural conditions. Pork, chicken, and beef are popular in the mountainous regions, and are served with a variety of carbohydrate-rich foods like rice, corn, and potatoes. In the southern mountainous areas, foods like repe, a soup prepared with green bananas, and cecina, roasted pork, are popular. Students should inform their advisor of any health concerns, dietary restrictions, or allergies in advance of participation in this program.

Past Projects

Past students at the Ecuador project center have:

  • Developed and updated exhibitions at the beautiful and fascinating Museo de las Conceptas, a museum in downtown Cuenca
  • Identified entrepreneurial and business opportunities (i.e.: ecotourism) in the rural village of Shaglli
  • Developed a plan for increasing the use of bicycle transportation in Cuenca
  • Contributed to the “living sustainability laboratory” in the rural village of San Rafael