South American Hub: Ecuador

The Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Ecuador (PUCE) in the capital city of Quito, Ecuador, is a comprehensive Jesuit institution ranked as one of the leading universities in Latin America. It is based on four principles that echo the priorities of The Common Home Project: social impact, agile administration, sustainability, and holistic development of the human being. PUCE is internationally recognized for its scientific output and the quality of its faculty and students. Additionally, it is recognized as a networking university, serving as a frequent meeting convener for programs that attract participants form all other Jesuit universities in South America. There is a wide variety of opportunities for collaboration.

In addition to a comprehensive academic portfolio, PUCE has a Center for Human Rights (School of Law), the BIOINCA LAB (laboratory on sustainable agriculture), the Neotropical Center for Biomass Research, the Center for Environmental and Chemical Studies, a Public Health Institute, among others. Their community engagement is widespread, with five regional campuses.

Creighton University has collaborated with PUCE for several years on virtual dual-immersion language courses and, more recently, on PUCE faculty teaching sections of Creighton?s online Master of Ministry courses in Spanish.

PUCE has invited Creighton University to explore deeper involvement in their programs at the Yasuní Research Station, located in the Yasuní Forest Reserve in the Ecuadorean Amazon region. Through this station PUCE has worked alongside the local community in helping them retain their distinctive way of apprehending the world while protecting one of the most biodiverse regions of the world.

Since its beginnings, the Yasuní Research Station has facilitated hundreds of research projects in multiple disciplines and has been recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the World Nature Organization (WNO), the International Council for Science (ICSU), the InterAcademy Council, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN),and The Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS) as one of the most important research stations in Latin America.

PUCE and Creighton University will be launching an annual biodiversity immersion experience, Eco-Seek Ecuador, for select students from each institution in the summer of 2020 at the Yasuní Research Station. This unique program will utilize digital photography as a means to interact with and reflect about nature. The program will include principles of ecological preservation, threat mitigation, etc. and culminate in a photography exhibit on both campuses. A unique feature of this immersion is the opportunity to study nature through the daily review of one?s work. These static digital images offer an opportunity to study the subject of the photograph in a very detailed and intimate manner, confronting the viewer with the delicate, beautiful and amazing complexity of creation.

Access the Report HERE