Experiential Seminar



José Manuel Córdova
Yachactaita (Quichua Healer)

José María Montalvo
Yachactaita (Quichua Healer)

Mario Incayawar, M.D., M.Sc.,Ph.D.

Lise Bouchard, Ph.D.

LOCATION: Otavalo, Ecuador
WHAT IS INCLUDED:  lodging, meals, and local transportation.
GROUP SIZE:  minimum 10 students
: English (Spanish optional)

This experiential seminar for students and faculty is offered by Runajambi (Institute for the Study of Quichua Culture and Health).  Participants interested in health issues and healing practices will have the unique opportunity to study the Quichuas' (Inca) health and traditional medical system.  The program will also provide a rich intercultural learning experience for students through first-hand and close interaction with Indigenous people in the Andes.

Runajambi will host the seminar in the beautiful town of Otavalo, located in the Northern highlands of Ecuador.   This seminar is led by Professor Incayawar, a Quichua physician-scientist, educator, and author of the book Psychiatrists and Traditional Healers: Unwitting Partners in Global Mental Health, published by Wiley-Blackwell, London, UK.  Professors Incayawar and Bouchard have extensive experience teaching in American colleges and universities.

This two-week experiential seminar will explore the commonalities and differences of the Quichua medicine and Western biomedical system as well as their interaction in the Ecuadorian context. It will cover the following areas: (1) Quichua theories of illness; (2) Quichua health status and major culture-bound syndromes; (3) the common roots and equivalent efficacy of Quichua healing interventions and Western psychotherapy; (4) underlying neurobiological mechanism of Quichua and Western healing methods; (5) elements of Quichua phyto-therapy; and (6) healers-physicians collaboration. The course includes visits to local hospitals, physicians and Quichua healers. In addition, students will receive an introductory course on Quichua culture and language.  Guest speakers, videos, and fieldtrips to healers and doctors practices will supplement the lectures, readings, and class discussions.

For more information please contact Runajambi by email 

You might want to know details about our past study abroad seminar with a group of students from Randolph College, Lynchburg, Virginia during the summer of 2007