Established in 2016, the Cuenca, Ecuador Project Center focuses on projects in community development, environmental engagement, and cultural awareness. In affiliation with the University of Cuenca, WPI students participate in a 3-day pre-term orientation and are assigned a 'tandem' (or, 'buddy'). Cuenca's historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage site, is extremely walkable and offers many opportunities for entertainment and recreation.
Past Cuenca students have:
- Developed public engagement programs for the Museo de las Conceptas, a religious museum and home to cloistered nuns in downtown Cuenca;
- Worked with the rural communities to develop resources that support community-based, sustainable tourism;
- Promoted non-motorized transportation in the city by designing and piloting ‘walking school buses’ and developing resources for cycling;
- Worked with local authorities to promote sustainable land use and water protection in rural farming and ranching communities.