Kristen Sawyer

Cuenca street art

Little Things are Big Things: 5 Small Differences from the U.S. to Ecuador

Going back and forth between countries, it is often overwhelming. When you arrive in a new place, you immediately notice many little things that will eventually, with time, disappear into the “new normal.” When you leave a country, you also notice many of the small differences that you took for granted. Here is a list of five small things that you may notice when you arrive in Cuenca, Ecuador, things that you may miss when you leave. 1. Lines are…

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Ecuador masks

New Years in Ecuador: Effigies, Bonfires, and Fireworks

Yellow underwear. 12 grapes. A suitcase. An effigy with a mask. Men dressed up as Chola Cuencanas (Cuencana grandmothers). These are only a handful of the rituals that make up New Year’s Eve in Ecuador. Around the country, the night before the New Year, Ecuadorians will be celebrating visibly. In fact, celebrations often happen before the actual holiday. In the weeks leading up to El Año Nuevo, the New Year, shops sell masks of all different sizes and expressions. The…

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CEDEI Partners with Amazon Smile for Cyber Monday

Take advantage of this Cyber Monday! Purchase through smile.amazon.com/ch/86-0964602 and you’ll support the great work that CEDEI does in education, health, and bringing cultures together. Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the charitable organization of your choice. AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know. Same products, same prices, same service. You’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a…

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Ecuagenera Garden

Biology and Ecology Internships: Ecuagenera Orchid Farm Ecuador

45 minutes outside of Cuenca, down the highway toward Gualaceo, there is an unassuming building on the left-hand side. The white building has large images of flowers–orchids–on the windows. It looks like it’s just a store, a place to go and buy flowers. But to take the spontaneous risk, to ask the bus driver to stop and descend the steps to go explore this place, is one of the best decisions you can make. Cuenca and its surrounding towns are…

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CEDEI Grat 1

Now and Then: The Cycle of Studying Abroad

Two international programs students who are here for the Fall Semester in the Andes shared their thoughts two months ago, in their first week at CEDEI. We looped back now, as they’re approaching their final weeks here, to see what moments have stood out and what they’re grateful for about this experience. Out of all the countries to study abroad, why did you choose Ecuador and why did you choose the CEDEI program in Cuenca? Kayla: The program was approved…

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Cuenca-Loving Program Coordinator: Janae Knipp

Cuenca is Calling! Nearly four years ago I walked through Cuenca for the first time and felt enchanted. The river! The mountains! The cobblestone streets! I was under the spell of its South American charm. As I started my teaching contract, my feelings didn’t change too much. Sure, there were the normal frustrations. On rainy days, I really wished I had my car. I missed almond butter and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. I got frustrated when the Cuencanos’ strolling pace…

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Cemetery Cuenca

Día de los Muertos

On the 2nd of November, the spirits come out to play. Seeking, crying, plotting, rejoicing spirits. They’re emboldened by the the time of year–Día de los Muertos. Day of the Dead. But in this conservative, significantly Catholic city, how many Cuencanos do believe in spirits? About 75% of Cuencanos consider themselves to be Catholic. And yet, even in a city so religious, Día  de los Muertos, celebrated on November 2nd, feels like a small nook in time, as if something…

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5 Things to Know about Life in Cuenca

As in any city, there are customs and rituals that are different compared to daily life in the States or European countries. The observations on this list are small things, noticed over my two years of living in Cuenca. The topics vary from extended mealtimes to excessive high heel use. These customs are so woven into the fabric of daily life, that you may not even realize how commonplace they are until you pause during your daily stroll and really…

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Daily Life in Cuenca Tips

Wisdom Collected from Students and Staff   How can I make calls to the US/use the internet? At various locations around Cuenca are cabinas, which are places that have phones and computers available to the public for a small charge. To make a call to the US, you first need to put in the US IDD, “011” then the area code and number. Calls to other countries have their own IDD. Calls typically cost anywhere from 3 to 12 cents…

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sergey-zolkin-403

Badger-Loving Program Director

A recent interview with Diana Rosales, the new Director of CEDEI International Programs. She joined the team a few months ago, and has had lots of experience traveling the world and living abroad. What does your position as Director of International Programs entail? As Director of International Programs I oversee the Office of International Programs at CEDEI. I organize all the components of our study abroad programs and coordinate with our partner institutions to ensure that the programs fulfill their…

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Main Office Location

Administrative Offices: International Programs
Gran Colombia 11-02 y General Torres
Phones: (+5937) 2839003 – (+5937) 2823452 – (+5937) 2843874
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Email: Director of International Programs