RSC Latin America

Cultural Orientation Program Profile

Date Established: The Resettlement Support Center (RSC) Latin America Cultural Orientation (CO) program is operated by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and was established in February 2013.

Refugees: The refugees that receive CO training from RSC Latin America are mainly Colombians who reside in different locations within Ecuador.  Refugees live in cities or towns throughout Ecuador, including more remote rural areas in the northern border area with Colombia. More nationalities may attend CO conducted by RSC Latin America at other locations in the region depending on demand.

Training Sites: CO training currently takes place at IOM offices in Quito; new locations in Ecuador and the Caribbean may be introduced according to demand.

Staff: Under the supervision of the RSC supervisor, the staff is composed of a CO Focal Point/Trainer, who is from Canada, and two Ecuadorian CO Trainers. All three staff members are also Caseworkers and Operations Assistants at the RSC. 

Course Particulars: A normal course lasts 15 hours, delivered over three days with five-hour sessions each day.  

The ideal class size is 18 students; groups are divided between applicants residing in Quito and those living in other provinces of Ecuador.

Refugees between the ages of 12 to 65 are invited to attend. The program provides transportation, lodging, and meals for attendees as well as daycare services for children under the age of 12. Age range and literacy levels of attendees tend to vary among participants.

Course content is based on the Overseas CO Objectives and Indicators as well as the Welcome to the United States guidebook, with a focus on topics specifically relevant to Colombian refugees. Topics of particular concern include status and rights once in the US, U.S. norms and laws regarding child discipline, learning English, and methods of finding employment.

All sessions are conducted in Spanish. The training methodology used is a relaxed and conversational style, and participants are consistently fully engaged. More experiential learning activities will be incorporated based on their success with the caseload.