Each year in the winter and spring, Goshen College professor of economics Jerrell Ross Richer and his wife Jane, along with their four children, reside in the Ecuadorian rain forest with the Cofán people.  The family works under the umbrella of the Mennonite Mission Network and the Council of Evangelical Indigenous Nations and Organizations of Ecuador. While in Ecuador, they support educational programs for indigenous pastors and church leaders. They also exchange information about creation care, economic justice, social structure and the rights of women and children. In addition, they come alongside development initiatives proposed by members of the indigenous communities. The Ross Richers return to Goshen in the summer and fall of each year to share what they have learned from brothers and sisters in the global south. Jerrell teaches on-campus during the fall semester and leads online courses while in Ecuador. Jerrell has led tour groups who want to experience the beauty of the rainforest stewarded by the Cofán people.

Natural and Cultural Encounters in the Amazon

Take time to explore Ecuador’s culture in its capital city, Quito. Travel through the Andes mountains and meet indigenous church leaders. Stay with the indigenous Cofán people for four days and explore their ancestral lands in the rainforest.