Although we like to think of the learning experience as a whole, for academic purposes we divide the entire experience into 4 courses plus an optional independent study.  Please click on the Slide Show for more complete course descriptions (they can be found toward the end).

Identity and "Pacha" (3 credits)

This course asks students and community counterparts to examine who they are as related to the ever-changing world in which they live (the Kichwa world for the time-space continuum that we us to refer to as our "world" is Pacha.  For this course, environment is approached broadly. While it most often refers to the immediate world around us, this course asks students to see the interconnections between one’s present surroundings and a global ecology.  We challenge students to rethink who we are with regards to our collective identity (or identities), examining our globalized society as interconnected communities.  (Download Syllabus)

Design and Evaluation of Sustainable Community Projects (3 credits)


Our many courses, and the resulting projects, must be carried out according to well-studied and effectively practiced methodologies in design and evaluation.  This course takes students through the different phases necessary for effective design and evaluation of a development project.  Topics are chosen by students and their counterparts based on conflicts or needs existing within our host community.  (Download Syllabus)

Storytelling: Language and Movement (3 credits)


This course takes students through a process that seeks to unleash the power of stories, but most especially we attempt to harness such a power in the creation and presentation of our own stories. Based on the realities present in our host community, students work with their counterparts, combining theory with practice, to create and tell stories to the community at large.  The telling is done orally and physical expression.  (Download Syllabus)

Theatre for Social Change and Innovation (3 credits)


The cohort learns processes of creating social change by being creative. With particular focus on the identification and transformation of conflicts that are pertinent to participants’ lives, we engage in exercises and activities that pull from the areas of Theatre of the Oppressed, Participatory Theatre, Performance Activism and Theatre for Community Development.  We work closely with community leaders to evaluate the work from our course for its potential with later community-based innovative activities. (Download Syllabus)

Independent Study (Optional 3 credits)


Internationals are welcome to add on an independent study as a fifth course.  The independent study can be carried out as an internship or personal research project.  Depending on our host community, there are numerous options available for internships, including working in primary education, English instruction, public health, agriculture, and social entrepreneurship, among others. (Download Starter Syllabus)

Ecuador: Language, Culture and Justice (Optional 3 credits)


A 3-week Spanish-intensive course that links language instruction to an array of complex themes related to Ecuadorian history, culture, identity, and issues of social justice. Co-taught by Pachaysana faculty and Spanish tutors, it is set in Quito's Old Town, where each day we combine traditional and experiential learning methods. Spanish instruction is usually two students per tutor and cultural and social justice themes vary according to student interests. (Download Syllabus)

© 2014 by The Pachaysana Institute. 

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