In each semester of Rehearsing Change, there are two short excursions (2 days each) and one longer excursion (5+ days). These excursions are designed and organized to accompany our learning goals in the courses, and, as with our classes, international students travel with their community educators. Our excursion sites change on a semester-by-semester basis, allowing Pachaysana to integrate them into our educational processes. Neverthless we share a typical excursion calendar:
We often use our long excursion to visit one of Ecuador's National Parks in the Amazon Rainforest, often considered the “most bio-diverse region on Earth,” followed by a Toxic Tour led by UDAPT, where we learn about past and present issues related to resource extraction in the Amazon. These experiences ask us to explore and hold the complexity of our relationships to the Earth, as individuals, as communities, and as a species. Because we travel with our community educators, the experience helps us to understand the deeply interconnected nature of our lives. This is a long excursion (5+ days) and is typically included in every semester.
Depending on the semester's location, we may also take one of many short excursions to sites and partner communities in the Ecuadorian Amazon. These may be communities known for the artesanía (like pottery) or chocolate making.
We often visit Indigenous communities located in the Andes region, currently in and around the towns of Otavalo and Cotacachi. The focus of these excursions varies with the focus of the current courses, but they tend to explore community-based education projects, projects that fuse ancestral and modern music, ancestral knowledge, and relationship to place.
community visits with workshops
On some excursions, we visit communities where we will carry out workshops and festivals. For example, in 2017 we were invited to visit the coastal community of El Matal, one of many communities deeply impacted by the 2016 earthquake, and held theater workshops with community members. We have also traveled to neihboring communities to share some of the projects we hav .