Pambamarca Archaeology Project

Location: Cangahua, Pichincha, Ecuador

July 1, 2018 to July 21, 2018

Application Deadline: 
Friday, June 15, 2018

Deadline Type: 

Discount for AIA members: 
Discounted stays at the Hacienda Guachala for members (

Program Type

Field school
Staff position

RPA certified



Foothill College

Project Director:

Dr. Samuel Connell (Foothill College), Ana Lucia Gonzalez (Foothill College), and Dr. Chad Gifford (Columbia University)

Project Description

The 2018 Foothill Ecuador Summer Program is a 3-week field school designed to explore the cultures of Ecuador both past and present. Participants will get training in theory, methods and modern-day relevance of archaeological exploration by joining a team of archaeologists excavating Inca and pre-Inca fortresses in the Ecuadorian Andes. The program will also provide opportunities to learn about and participate in ethnographic fieldwork with an applied focus in a multi-cultural setting.  

The program is based in the Andean town of Cangahua (Cayambe), where students will live. Daily activities will consist of archaeology field and lab work, classes, cultural excursions, applied ethnographic fieldwork and community service projects, and free time. The program will run daily for 3 weeks, with travel and cultural visitation taking place on weekends. (although we would strongly urge independent travel before and after the program!)

All participants must commit to active and positive engagement in all program components. Students can earn up to a total of 8 units from Foothill College for successful completion of the program. 

More Details - see project website for photos  

Join an international team of researchers in the Ecuadorian Andes for this summer for anthropology and archaeology course work, field trips, and service learning projects. Discover with us the beauty of Ecuador as we continue our archaeological investigation of the fortresses of Pambamarca. Live with us and other project members in the small town of Cangahua an hour north of Quito. Help excavate the fortresses and formulate a plan for development in the indigenous communities where we live. Study archaeology and South American prehistory by taking classes and learning directly from the scientists. Travel with us to some of Ecuador's famous attractions, including the capital Quito, important archaeological sites, artisan markets, lakes, waterfalls, and volcanic hot springs. Earn credits from Foothill College while gaining valuable experience about the world and improving your Spanish skills. Days will be spent in the culture of Ecuador both past and present.

To learn about the past each student will practice the basic field techniques of archaeology on the Pambamarca Archaeology Project, including excavation, survey and laboratory analysis. Class work will cover some archaeology methods and theory, as well as South American archaeology. Field trips for students will be designed to foster intercultural knowledge. For example students will travel to indigenous communities, market towns, ancient archaeological sites and museums.

To learn about the present, service learning projects will be designed by the students as a way to apply your new found anthropology background to discover real-life solutions to practical community problems. Working closely with representatives from Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in Ecuador, your class will be conducted in a dynamic format with students conducting field research to determine a course of action. This program is a more holistic anthropology experience that integrates course lectures, field trips, applied anthropology and service learning projects with archaeology field work.

Period(s) of Occupation: Inca South America

Ecuador Archaeology Cultural Applied Anthropology Hacienda South America

Project size: 
25-49 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 3 weeks

Minimum age: 

Experience required: 

Room and Board Arrangements

Participants will stay in a dormitory-styled house located behind the main church in the town of Cangahua, one hour north of Quito at the equator. This Casa Comunal is a large, two-story building with electricity, running water, showers, a kitchen, a mess hall and plenty of beds. Meals are prepared for the project by two wonderful cooks with lots of experience cooking for vegetarians and vegans. Students will also get to stay in the Hacienda Guachala if they would like to take on the extra cost.

On days off you are free to explore. There are hikes and hot springs. The world famous artisans and market of Otavalo are located only an hour to the north. Buses are cheap and direct. Come prior or stay after the program has ended to truly explore Ecuador and the rest of South America. For the adventurous, the headwaters of the Amazon River, the majestic Pacific coastline, and even the Galapagos Islands are a short plane trip away. Ecuador is a truly remarkable place, and we are excited to share its wonders with you.  Plan to give yourself a week or two either before or after the trip.  You are in South America - you better take advantage!

$1500 (program fee, not including airfare). Airfare currently is around $500 on Kayak. Ecuador is not expensive, you can enjoy the low cost back-packers lifestyle after the program!

Academic Credit

Name of institution offering credit: 
Foothill College, courses articulate with UCs (UCLA, Berkeley), Cal State schools, and most institutions world-wide (Columbia, Wisconsin, Trinity College, etc). Ask your undergrad counselor, and we can send a syllabus.
Number of credits offered 8 quarter units- 2 full UC credit classes
$31/unit in CA and $160/unit out-of-state or international student


Contact Information
Samuel Connell: Foothill College Department of Anthropology
12345 El Monte Road
Los Altos Hills
650 949 7197
Recommended Bibliography: 

Malpass, Michael.  Daily Life in the Inca Empire.  Greenwood Press.  1996

Sullivan, Mary and Samuel Connell.   A Case Study in Archaeology: A Students Perspective from Pambamarca, Ecuador. Kendall-Hunt. 2009.

Ferraro, Gary, Cultural Anthropology: An Applied Perspective. , Seventh Edition, Wadsworth Publishing, 2007

D'Altroy, Terrence. The Incas. Wiley-Blackwell. 2002