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"From the Cracks"

Virtual community-engaged learning: Re-storying international & Intercultural education

The public health crisis disrupted our ways of “doing education,” exposing deep cracks in our higher education institutions. The community-led movement to end systemic racism, supported by many students, faculty and administrators, is revealing even more cracks. These fractures to our system intersect and it is clear that none of us will return to an old “normal.”

Pachaysana sees these disruptions as opportunities to re-imagine international and intercultural learning, and we have created a virtual program that is born “from the cracks.” With members from our partnering Ecuadorian communities and students from our partner institutions in the US, this program re-imagines intercultural learning and community engagement by using a "decolonial" framework and interactive, arts-based educational methods to plant seeds of change in the cracks, inspiring the radical learning, healing and dreaming that these times demand from us.

This program is recognized as a finalist by for Most Innovative New Program in study abroad for 2021.

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How does it work

Our partner colleges and universities can contract one or both of the following courses to be offered exclusively for their students. Course fees include a significant investment into local community projects with our partner communities in Ecuador.

The two primary courses are taught in English by Pachaysana faculty with a local knowledge component from community-based educators in Ecuador. The local educators make videos (in Spanish with English subtitles) that invite us into their communities where they take us on a learning journey. Each video includes interviews with other community members, community-based activities and several interactive assignments. They examine big human questions related to identity and systemic injustice, integrating epistemologies and voices from the Global South. Click here for more information and fees, and here for testimonials. We also offer two courses in Spanish by request.


courses IN English

IdentitY And "Pacha": Reimagining community
In this course, we ask participants to examine
who they are as related to the ever-changing ecology in which they live. We use an interdisciplinary lens to examine “who we are” as related to this diverse understanding of ecology, taking into consideration that our ever-changing
environment includes an ever-changing human story. 
Critical interculturality and "decolonizing" education
This course address decolonization through the lens of critical interculturality. Bringing in readings from Indigenous and Latin American scholars and taking part in workshops facilitated by local Ecuadorian community members, we will use interactive methods to explore some of the most challenging concepts related to decolonization.

courses in spanish

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Theatre for Social Change
This course is designed to lead international students and their community counterparts through the process of creating social change by practicing social change. Using exercises and activities that pull from the areas of Theatre
of the Oppressed and Performance Activism, we engage challenging concepts and conflicts by dialoguing via our performative work. 
Storying and Re-storying
When we consciously appropriate the power of stories to collectively reimagine our world, we turn the word story into a verb. We “story” our world. When our “storying” seeks to transform a system founded on unjust stories, we are “restorying” our world. This course explores the role of story in our lives, identities, and struggles for social justice.
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