Buen Suceso, Ecuador – Institute for Field Research

Location: Guayaquil, EC

Season: June 22, 2019 to July 26, 2019

Application Deadline: April 5, 2019

Deadline Type: Contact for details


Program Type:
Field school

RPA Certified:

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Connecticut College, and Institute for Field Research

Project Director:
Dr. Sarah M. Rowe, and Dr. Guy S. Duke

Project Description:

Join us on the coast of Ecuador as we excavate Buen Suceso, a Late Valdivia site dating to 2000 BC. The Valdivia culture (4400-1450 BC) is one the earliest ceramic traditions in the Americas and the first sedentary society in this region, initiating the widespread cultivation of maize and other crops. Buen Suceso is located at the base of the Chongon-Colonche hills in an incredible tropical forest environment filled with orchids, hummingbirds, leaf cutter ants, howler monkeys, and more! Our research seeks to understand the ways in which the people living at Buen Suceso constructed and maintained a community identity, and how this differed from other Valdivia communities. We will emphasize systematic excavation techniques and detail-oriented laboratory analyses within an overall theme of community-based archaeology in cooperation with the comuna of Dos Mangas, where we will be staying. By the end of the session, all should be able to excavate a unit and engage in comprehensive artifact analyses and will also have the opportunity to collaborate with the local community on heritage projects.

Period(s) of Occupation: Late Valdivia; Pre-Colombian

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: Participants must stay entire duration of the field school.

Minimum Age: 18

Experience Required: No prior experience required.

Room and Board Arrangements:
Participants will stay at a community-run hostel which has common rooms and clean, but rustic and basic facilities. Conditions are simple, and participants share accommodations. There is running water, but we do not guarantee that it will be plentiful, potable, or hot. All drinking water comes from a bottle. Rolling blackouts may also occur. Beds and linens are provided but students who are particular about their sleeping conditions may wish to bring a set or two of sheets with them. The project maintains a communal kitchen and dining area with a stove, coffee maker, fridge, and other essentials like pots & pans, and dishes & flatware. Cell service may be limited, but there is an internet café in the village. MEALS The project provides plenty of nutritious but basic meal offerings in the tradition of local coastal Ecuadorian cuisine. Breakfast usually consists of coffee, tea, powdered milk, cereal, yogurt, bread, jam, and butter. Hot lunches, prepared and served at the comedor in Dos Mangas, are generally a soup following by a “segundo” of protein (chicken, pork, fish, or beef) and rice, usually with a salad and/or beans/lentils. Dinner is generally a hearty stew or small plate similar to lunch. Vegetarian diets can be accommodated with advanced notice but strict vegan, gluten-free, kosher, halal or other specialty diets cannot. Those with specialized diets will find their options very limited and should be prepared to bring their own food down, or purchase items locally to supplement their diet. Note that the project provides breakfast, lunch, and dinner when we are in Dos Mangas (Monday through Friday, and breakfast on Saturday), but you are responsible for all meals when we are away from the field house. If you decide to supplement a dish with a special ingredient, or fulfil a between-meal craving, the local stores have a variety of snacks and beverages and there are a number of individuals who drive through town daily selling baked goods and other products. Finally, if you want specific “western style” items like soft drinks, ramen noodles, and other imported snacks, you can buy them at the neighborhood bodega or pick them up in Guayaquil or on the few trips the project will make to La Libertad or Montañita. Cost: $3,900

Academic Credit:
8 Semester Credits credits offered by Connecticut College. Tuition is $3,900.

Contact Information:

Institute for Field Research

2999 Overland Ave. Suite 103

Los Angeles



United States

Phone: 4242091173

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