ILC Word Cloud

Where are sustainable foodways being practiced and what can we learn from them in addressing some of today's most pressing concerns, such as environmental degradation, climate change, the proliferation of ill health and marginalization of people? The goal of this learning community is to gather a multicultural group of people who are passionate about food and social justice and who are interested in joining a group to learn more about different aspects of food in culture, food systems and alternative food movements in Oregon and Ecuador. Through cross-cultural dialogue, collaboration, and experiential learning, participants will further redevelop their knowledge, social networks and their capacity for engaging with food practices as global citizens, rooted in local realities. Intellectual engagement with a topic of interest generally leads to greater communicative competence in a language one is learning. Increasing our communicative competence when working with these subjects across languages and cultures is an additional goal of this learning community.

This learning community was developed jointly by food activists in Ecuador and Oregon to de-colonize the typical study abroad program. We strive to create equal sized groups from both Oregon and Ecuador and share cooking and eating each day we are together. Participants take an online course (FCSJ 454/554. International Perspectives on Food Systems) and then spend two weeks in September before classes being doing site visits in Oregon and two weeks at the end of Fall term doing site visits in Ecuador. We examine parallel efforts in both paces to make foodways more sustainable, addressing both specific struggles and successes. We center the food practices of indigenous peoples of the Americas as collaborators and teachers, as well as looking at other traditional and innovative practices in production, distribution, and consumption. In both places, we will visit a variety of ecosystems and cultural traditions. We will examine foodways in tropical and temperate forests, in coastal and mountain communities.

Participants will be chosen who are kind, ready to work in a team, and who have the ability to enlighten the group about some aspect of the food system. We favor participants who are bilingual in Spanish and English and give special attention to those who have knowledge of an indigenous language, but we do not exclude people who, lacking fluence in another language, are willing to put forth an effort to communicate across linguistic borders. We also aim for diversity of ages, genders, and cultures. Accommodations will be simple, incorporating homestays when possible.

We are still calculating the cost, but expect that it will be around $2,250 for US-based participants. This includes lodging, ground transportation, and most meals during 2 weeks in Oregon and 2 weeks in Ecuador. It does NOT include tuition, airline ticket, miscellaneous meals/entertainment, passport fees. Some scholarships will be available.

For more information, please contact Joan Gross Official applications will be available through OSUGo at