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Binational Learning Community Visits Linn Benton Food Share

Ecuadoran Group Visits Linn Benton Food Share to Learn About Innovative Gleaning Approach

Linn Benton Food Share recently hosted members of Oregon State University's Binational Learning Community on Food, Culture and Social Justice in Ecuador and Oregon, including 11 members that made the trip from Ecuador to Oregon.
The Ecuadorian group was on a two-week visit to Oregon exploring food system related sites. Linn Benton Food Share was chosen due to its innovative approach to food distribution through its network of 14 gleaning groups in Linn and Benton counties. 
Members of the group spent time talking with the gleaners, and got some hands-on experience with the repacking process. Everyone took part in a potluck at the end of the visit. 
The group will also be touring different food production sites, farms, and food markets in Oregon. In December, the Oregon-based members will travel to Ecuador for a parallel food systems visit.
Many thanks to Oregon State University's Director of Anthropology, Joan Gross, for giving Linn Benton Food Share the opportunity to host members of the Binational Learning Community! 



Brought to you by the Food in Culture and Social Justice Program, School of Language, Culture and Society

Food, Culture and Social Justice in Oregon and Ecuador

Fall 2013

What does a food system that is fair and healthy for everyone look like and what steps can be taken to help create it?

In this learning community, a group of professors, students and select community members will focus their attention on this question by exploring two regions that contain a wide variety of ecosystems, cultures and agricultural products and where food activism is strong. Oregon is known for its environmental laws and Ecuador is the first country to call for food sovereignty in its constitution. How do these policies play out in the lives of people who produce food and eat food? What are the impacts of the global food system on rural communities and on people's health? How are food activists attempting to change the food system?

Schedule Fall 2013

Phase I September 3-27
Ecuadorians arrive in Oregon
140 hours of site visits in Oregon
Phase II
September 30-
November 29
Fall Quarter
Students must enroll in 2 of 4 OSU courses linked with Ecuador
Phase III
November 30-
December 14
Oregonians arrive in Ecuador
140 hours of site visits in Ecuador

Site Visits

In Ecuador and Oregon, we will visit sites of sustainable food production that are integrated into local, regional, national and international markets, as well as programs that highlight culturally important foodways outside of the market system.

Particular attention will be given to indigenous foodways and ecosystems: Coastal and Plateau tribes in Oregon and Andean and Amazonian tribes in Ecuador. Food justice lies at the center of our explorations.

Student Coursework 

  • Students must enroll in at least 2 of the 4 courses offered during Fall 2013 (listed below)
  • Courses can fulfill all or part of the core requirements for the Food in Culture and Social Justice (FCSJ) undergraduate certificate or graduate minor
Course Number Course Title Credits
ANTH 486/567 
Anthropology of Food

Agrifood Movements      
3/4 credits
LING 499/599
Language and Culture  
3 credits
ES/IH 499/599  
Nutrition and the Social Determinants of Health 3 credits
RS 499/599    
Rural and Urban Links Through the Food System      3 credits

Community Members

  • Community Members will participate in video conferences calls with Ecuadorians in the fall.
  • Community Members can attend OSU student classes, if desired, but they will not be obliged to complete class assignments.

Program Fees

Costs                                              $2593 (excluding airfare and tuition)

                  * Fees include 8 credits of OEC 488/588 for the September and December field trips.

Application Deadline            Friday, May 3, 2013

Application Process

We are looking for a diverse group of 15 people who want to engage with others to learn about food, culture and social justice in Ecuador and Oregon. We are looking for people who can share their own knkowledge about some aspects of the food system and who want to increase their communicative competence in Spanish.

The group travel components of this program in Oregon and Ecuador are being coordinated through Oregon Abroad, the study abroad programs of the Oregon University System.  All participants must complete an application through Oregon Abroad.  This application enables program faculty and administrators to have access to the information needed to evaluate candidates and run the program. 

After clicking on the Oregon Abroad online application, please select “Binational Learning Community (Oregon and Ecuador)” from the list of program names.  Once you have initiated an application, you will receive an email that gives further explanation and instruction.  This system will be where are all critical documents are stored, including your transcripts, references and copy of your passport and insurance coverage.  You will refer to this application at all stages of your program, so please make a note of your login and password.

All participants must also complete the Oregon State University International Degree and Education Abroad (IDEA) application.  From the dropdown menu on the right-hand side of the page, select “Ecuador” and follow the instructions.
Community members who are NOT current OSU students must ALSO complete the process to become a non-degree seeking student.  This step is necessary so that you may be enrolled in the required overseas accident and sickness coverage.  There is a $25 fee for this process.

Scholarships: Check out OSU IDEA at

Please note – the program application deadline is extended to Friday, May 3 so that group logistics may be organized.




Contact Rebecka Daye at dayer[@]


Binational Learning Community Program Brochure

Learn more about Ecuador from Dr. Joan Gross' 2012 Video