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About the Course

The 10 – day Communication Summer Academy offered by the University of the Americas combines lectures by leading academics, seminars, practical field work and site visits. The courses feature cutting-edge theory and discussions by lecturers from Ecuador, Cuba, Argentina and Canada as well as current debates in Ecuadorian and Latin American culture and media. Participants will be divided into two groups based on their interests:

  • Animation
  • Advertising and social communication
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Both groups will have the opportunity to take community film and documentary courses. All the courses are taught in English. As a complement to the academic work, participants will take part in a range of tours to explore Ecuador’s cultural, geographic and biological diversity.

Why Choose our Program?

It features academic experts from both institutions covering topics perfect for communications students interested in different aspects of communication as well as Ecuadorian culture and media.

–         Study with renowned, Argentine and Ecuadorian professors who are specialists in the fields of social advertising, documentary, film and animation.

–         Explore communication in Ecuador through field trips and site visits to advertising agencies and TV stations.

–         Experience Ecuador’s indigenous culture and traditions with visits to communities in the Andes and the Amazon regions.

–         Expand your knowledge about Quito’s cultural heritage through visits to museums and the city’s historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage site.


“I enjoy every second of this summer school programme and am so grateful it was made possible”

“It has been amazing week and great opportunity – thank you”

Program Details


Carolina Loor

Carolina Loor

Latin American Animation: the Evolution of Ecuadorian Animation. Study “Bichejos,” an animated children’s series

This workshop is divided into two parts: the first is a lecture on the history of Latin American animation production. We’ll discuss its chronology and different themes and later focus specifically on Ecuador with the animated educational series “Bichejos.”

The second part is a workshop in which students will take part in the pre-production process: character design, scenery development, story development and the animation of one of the project’s scenes.


Javier Arano & Ana Chávez


Social Campaigns

The course’s objective is for the students, using the theoretical framework from Hilary Stepien’s course on health communication, to develop a research project on videos that will then help them design an audiovisual advertising campaign that can help solve a public health problem. Workshops on video and sound recording techniques will also be part of the course, which will bring together both theoretical and practical aspects. Students will prepare an advertising campaign at the end of the course.


Cheryl Martens

Cheryl Martens

Media Reform in South America

Given the global concern with questions of media and democracy (Charles, 2013), it is important take into consideration the many media reforms that have taken place across South American region. This presentation examines the dynamics of media in South America in their complexity and and looks at how these dynamics are related to questions of global politics and development.

Orisel Castro

Orisel Castro

Ecuadorian Documentary Film

Starting with the boom that occurred after the film “Con mi corazón en Yambo” by María Fernanda Restrepo in 2011, Ecuadorian documentary film has seen a rebirth with the production of artistic films that have mobilized the masses with rare force. Films like “Abuelos” by Carla Valencia, “La muerte de Jaime Roldós” by Manolo Sarmiento and Lisandra Rivera and “La bisabuela tiene Alzheimer” by Iván Mora share some aesthetic elements with “Con mi corazón in Yambo,” which makes one think about a common language for Ecuadorian documentary film. In this course, we will investigate the styles and themes that unite these films and make them part of an apparently spontaneous but decisive movement in the country’s cinematography. Through dramatic and sequential analysis of specific scenes in the selected films—especially focusing on each one’s use of running time—the aesthetic movement’s potential, as well as its objective to promote its achievement and growth, will be discussed.


  • Otavalo: APAK, indigenous production company
  • Trip to Tena, a town on the edge of the Amazon
  • Advertising agencies
  • TV stations and/or newspaper offices
  • Quito’s historic center
  • Panoramic view of the city from Rucu Pichincha mountain


Carolina Loor


Is a Classic Animation, Storyboarding and Character Design professor at the University of the Americas. Carolina received a Bachelor degree in Design at the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador and a Master of Animation from the University Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain. She finished courses related to her academic training in the Instituto Superior de Diseño Industrial (ISDI) in Havana, Cuba at the Universidad Técnica Equinoccial and at the Universidade de Lisboa, in Portugal. Her professional experience includes working with a local producer on audiovisual projects and creating multimedia graphics and animation for digital campaigns for the YAGÉ agency. She has worked for many important brands, such as General Motors, Corporación La Favorita, Merck Sharp & Dohme and Odebrecht. Nowadays, she is working on a research project about Ecuadorian animation.

Javier Arano


Bachelor of Social Communication (Advertising). As a Fulbright scholar, he completed an MFA in Media Communication Arts at the City College of New York. Worked as a copywriter at advertising agencies in Buenos Aires and Mexico city. He produced and directed TV documentaries and educational shows in Galapagos, Buenos Aires and Quito. For two years, was involved in the production of three independent feature films in New York and Monterrey. Within the last 5 years, he was in charge of creating and implementing social campaigns for government agencies on issues like family planning, erradication of child labour, sexual education, early childhood, nutrition and social inclusion. He is currently the head of the advertising department at the faculty of Communication and Audiovisual Arts at Universidad de las Américas in Quito, Ecuador.

Ana Chávez


Ana Chavez is a producer, designer and artist, in addition to being a professor in the faculty of Communication and Audiovisual Arts (UDLA, Quito). She has participated as an invited speaker at national and international conferences on participatory art, performance, visual culture and activism (USA, Austria, Canada). As a producer, she has created social projects and community programs focused on cultural and artistic expressions as tactics and strategies for social change. She studied furniture design at Rhode Island School of Design and holds an MA in Performance Studies from New York University. She currently teaches video production for advertising and also a workshop on the classic rhetorical figures within advertising at UDLA.

Cheryl Martens



Cheryl Martens is Head of Research at Universidad de las Américas and Senior Lecturer in the Media School at Bournemouth University. She holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of Manchester and has lectured at universities in Argentina, Ecuador, Japan, Slovakia and the United Kingdom. Her research and publications concentrate on the sociology and political economy of communication and media policy. She is co-editor of The International Political Economy of Communication: Media and Power in South America (Palgrave MacMillan, 2014) and Strategies for Media Reform: International Perspectives (Fordham University Press, 2016).

Orisel Castro


ORISEL CASTRO Is a Cuban filmmaker and teaches Editing and Documentary for the Cinema Department at the University of Las Americas since 2013. She studied Editing at ISA, University of Arts in Cuba and Documentary Directing at EICTV (International Film School of San Antonio de los Baños). She has a Master in Visual Anthropology and Anthropological Documentary from FLACSO, Ecuador. She was part of the Talents Guadalajara in 2010 and participated at the DocuLab Costa Rica.1 in 2013 and at the Doculab.7 Guadalajara, with a rough cut of her first feature-lenght doc in postproduction “The Cabinet of Dr Rota”.

She also collaborates with the EDOC documentary festival in Quito since 2012 and has presented papers at international seminars on the topic of Ecuadorian Documentary New Wave.

Cost & Requirements


Good level of English

Open to students enrolled in communication-related programs.

Communication Summer Academy:

International Students US $1350*, which includes:

  • Program fee
  • Materials
  • Homestay with Ecuadorian host family, breakfast and dinner included
  • Airport transfer at predetermined times
  • Lunches at UDLA
  • Site visits
  • Sightseeing tours ***

* 10% discount for groups of 6 people or more

Communication Summer Academy $1350 (individual payment):

Communication Summer Academy $1150 (group payment):

Local students:        US $650

UDLA students have a special discount. Please contact us to know the details.

Application deadline: July 1, 2016

Housing and Meals

As part of the rich intercultural immersion experience, participants will stay with Ecuadorian families, giving them the opportunity to interact with locals and have a safe, comfortable and pleasant place to stay. Breakfasts and dinners will be provided by the host families, as well as access to laundry once a week.


Wioleta Stocka
Short Course Coordinator
tel. (+593)(2) 3981000 Ext. 4010

Download the brochure here
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* This programme is subject to final confirmation