The main objective of this course will be to conduct an ethnobotanical study in an indigenous community in the Ecuadorian Amazon. San Jose de Payamino is a Kichwa community of roughly 300 people whose primitive lifestyle includes the use of medicinal plants from the pristine rainforest that surrounds their community. As outside pressures force cultural change among the Amazonian Indians, much of their traditions are being lost, including their use of medicinal plants. These plants have been the source of important pharmaceuticals and are likely to yield new discoveries in the future. Documentation of these traditions will ensure that thousands of years of medical knowledge is not lost forever, and that people around the world who depend on traditional medicines may benefit from this information. Students with an interest in anthropology and Spanish language are strongly encouraged to apply.
This course satisfies: Second Language/International Awareness (globe), NS-1, Upper Level for 380 and “S” Course Spring Requirement.