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Indigenous Health in Ecuador



Nancy Postero 

ParrishNancy Postero is a member of the Anthropology Department and Director of the Human Rights Program at UC San Diego. Her research examines the relation between race, politics, and political economy. Prior to coming to UC San Diego in 2001, she was a criminal defense and human rights attorney and a journalist.







The focus of the seminar is indigenous health. Ecuador has a vibrant population of indigenous peoples, and there are many exciting initiatives to combine their traditional health practices with Western biomedical practices. These are particularly important given the continuing inequities in health and education standards, which continue to place indigenous and rural peoples in the bottom percentiles. The program will compare urban Western medicine with rural and indigenous practices, to understand the challenges medical practitioners and local communities face.


This will be a rare opportunity for students interested in global public health, international medicine, or
anthropology. We will explore community-based medicine in a variety of settings, from the
a bustling urban environment in Quito, to a small city in the tropical lowlands of Manabi province. We will also learn about intercultural and indigenous healing practices in the highlands and in the Amazon region. Consult your academic advisor to determine officially how the courses will apply to your graduation requirements.

Information Sessions

  • TBA

See the Info Session Calendar


Departure from U.S.: Sat., July 31, 2021
Arrival: Sun., August 1, 2021
Mandatory Orientation: Mon., August 2, 2021
First Day of Class: Tues., August 3, 2021
Last Day of Class: Fri., September 3, 2021
Departure for the U.S.
(or personal travel):
Sat., September 4, 2021


  • Do not purchase plane tickets until the program is confirmed. All approved applicants will be notified by e-mail when the program has been confirmed by reaching minimum enrollment. 
  • Because of the evolving COVID-19 situation, when you do buy tickets, we strongly encourage you to purchase refundable plane tickets or flight cancellation insurance.
  • Arrival instructions will be posted here once the program is confirmed. Students who arrive outside the pick-up window will receive instructions on how to make their way to program housing independently.
  • The Study Abroad Office will be hosting several flight workshops to provide tips and advice on flight purchases. Check the Study Abroad Calendar for more information.