projects

For us, education is most valuable when knowledge isn't just learned, but embodied and connected to practice. The collective creation of community-based projects are a key aspect of our educational programming, especially our Design & Evaluation of Sustainable Community Projects course in Rehearsing Change. Each project is borne out of a problem identified by the community and is co-designed by community counterparts and international students, allowing the community to re-define what "development" means to them. Our participation in all projects are guided by our mission, vision, and values. Here, we will highlight some of our past and ongoing projects in each partner community.

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Community Projects

co-creating change together

Tzawata

 
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Pachaysana began their work with Tzawata in January of 2014 with a deep interest in supporting the resistances of the Kichwa people and their territory through our decolonial educational programming and community-based projects. 
All four core courses of Rehearsing Change have been carried out with Tzawata, promoting spaces for dialogue and creative exploration about their stories, struggle, and identity.
 
Pachaysana, in collaboration with other partner communities and collectives, have worked in partnership with Tzawata on various projects:
 
  • Project to Strengthen the Kichwa Language - This project was created in partnership with community members of Tzawata and Nina Shunku. Its goal was to promote their native Kichwa language among the community's children and youth to encourage the use of and preserve their native language.
  • "Our Forest is the Pharmacy" - This project was carried out by the community in partnership with two Rehearsing Change students. They created an ecological nursery with medicinal plants from the jungle to cultivate them and maintain ancestral, community knowledge on their uses.
  • Community Tourism Project - This project was carried out between the community and with international students. They helped promote the community as a space for tourism and education on the Kichwa culture.
  • Community Educators Project- Community members demonstrated and shared knowledge of their territory and culture to a short-term abroad group from University of North Carolina at Asheville. 
  • Project for the Cultural and Environmental Preservation of the Kichwa Community of Tzawata - This project was carried out by the youth of the community who participated in Rehearsing Change's Design and Evaluation of Sustainable Community Project's class. They created a communal space for crops, including fruit trees and native plants.
  • Empowered Women Project- This project is currently on hold due to the public health crisis.

La mariscal

 
Pachaysana began its work with La Mariscal in January 2013 with the intention of promoting spaces where they could create and dialogue about the development of their traditions and customs as migrants in a new territory.

All four core courses of Rehearsing Change have been carried out with La Mariscal, promoting spaces for critical and creative thinking about their stories, symbols, conflicts and convictions.
 
Pachaysana, with the support of other partner communities and collectives, has worked in partnership with La Mariscal on various projects:
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  • Community Tourism Project - Carried out in partnership with international students, this project is focused on developing promotional material and community tourism processes that highlight the community's culture and work with sugarcane.

  • "Project Stage"- This project was designed and implemented in Rehearsing Change's Design and Evaluation of Sustainable Community Projects class. This project funded the construction of a stage in the community space to hold different cultural and community events, with the goal of maintaining their identity through these cultural events.

  • Community Educators Project- Community members demonstrated and shared knowledge of their territory and culture to a short-term abroad group from University of North Carolina at Asheville. 

  • Strengthening of Community Tourism Project: This funding of this project came from Pachaysana's counterpart fund, with the goal of strengthening the community's Tourism Association so that they can continue their work.

Pintag

 
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Pachaysana began its work with Píntag in January of 2015 with the neighborhoods of Valencia and Santa Teresa. Since then, our work has expanded to include the neighborhoods of Pintag Central, La Tola, and the Floresta.

Pachaysana began its work with Pintag in January 2015 with the Identity and Pacha course of Rehearsing Change. Since then, all four core courses of Rehearsing Change have been carried out with Pintag, promoting spaces for deep exploration and exchange of stories and identity.

Pachaysana, with the support of other partner communities and collectives, has worked in partnership with Pintag on various projects:
  • Community Tourism Project - This project was carried out with families from Santa Teresa and Valencia. In this project, the community organized to begin working on community-based tourism in the neighborhoods of Valencia and Santa Teresa, in order to spark new community processes that strengthen the Píntag Amaru Movement.
  • Growth of the Píntag Amaru Movement- This project was a contribution from Pachaysana's counterpart fund to strengthen the Píntag Amaru Movement and their work.
  • "Creating Food for Animals" - This project was designed in partnership with international students in Rehearsing Change's Design and Evaluation of Sustainable Community Projects course. Currently being executed by members of Píntag Amaru, the project is focused on producing natural food for livestock, providing the community's animals with organically-produced, healthy food.
  • Community Educators Project- Community members demonstrated and shared knowledge of their territory and culture to a short-term abroad group from University of North Carolina at Asheville
  • Permaculture Project - This project is currently on hold due to the public health crisis. 

Nina Shunku

 
Pachaysana began its first semester of Rehearsing Change in 2015 with Nina Shunku, which became an important space in the development of program.
 
Since then, several semesters of the program have been carried out with Nina Shunku, as well as collaborative, creative projects with other partner communities, such as murals, music, circus, etc.
Pachaysana, with the support of other partner communities and collectives, has worked in partnership with Pintag on various projects:
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  • Tzawata Language Maintenance Project - This project (already mentioned under Tzawata) was a collaborative project between Nina Shunku and Tzawata to promote the use and maintenance of Tzawata's native language of Kichwa among the community's youth. 

  • "Closed TV System" - In this project, the community purchases a closed television system for the wellbeing and safety of its community. 

  • Digital and Communication Archives Project - Carried out by Nina Shunku, this project collected and preserved the organization's digital information. A database was created where all the information and creative products created by the organization was compiled to preserve and share this work.

  • "Circo en tu barrio" - This project was designed in partnership with international students in the Design and Evaluation of Sustainable Community Projects class with the Mundo Circo company (a circus collective based in Nina Shunku). This project was executed by Mundo Circo in different neighborhoods of Quito and its surrounding valleys, promoting circus as a way of sharing and creating spaces of resilience and learning..

  • Digital Humanities Project - This project was carried out with Wayra Studio (Nina Shunku's recording studio) and the communities of Bavoroe, Dureno and Tzawata. Collectively, they recorded an important Cofán myth in three languages, Aingae (the native language of the Cofan), Spanish, and English, in order to preserve their knowledge in digital files.

  • Cultura Viva Comunitaria - This project contributed to the collective process with other organizations nationwide. In this project, Rehearsing Change students volunteered in the Latin American Congress of Cultura Viva Comunitaria (Living, Comunity Culture) in 2017.

  • Murals Project - Nina Shunku has participated in the creation and painting of various murals throughout other partner communities (such as Tzawata, La Mariscal, Bavoroe, and MachanKara). In this project, various artists have worked with communities to design murals reflecting the community, its culture, and its struggles. 

Machankara

 
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Thanks to Nina Shunku's work with Cultura Viva Comunitaria, Pachaysana met and had the opportunity to begin working with the founding members of MachanKara in 2017, who participated in Rehearsing Change courses in Nina Shunku and in Pintag. Since then, multiple semester of Rehearsing Change have been held at MachanKara.
 
At present, the collective is working on different projects that contribute to the hip-hop community and the oral memory of the Machángara River.
Pachaysana, with the support of other partner communities and collectives, has worked in partnership with Pintag on various projects:
  • Participatory Action Research Project on Hip Hop Culture and Gender - This is an ongoing collaborative project with Nina Shunku and other local hip hop collectives. In this project, the collectives have come together, linking diverse actors in the hip hop community, to reflect, dialogue, and explore the role of women and LGBTQ+ artists in Quito's hip hop community. 
  • Oral Tradition Project on the Machángara River - Where the investigation of different community actors of the city of Quito around the Machángara River was proposed, the purpose was to collect information that contributes to reflect on the importance of the River and its oral memory.
  • Organizational Strengthening- This project was a contribution from Pachaysana's counterpart fund to strengthen MachanKara and their work.
  • Cultura Viva Comunitaria - This project contributed to the collective process with other organizations nationwide. In this project, Rehearsing Change students volunteered in the Latin American Congress of Cultura Viva Comunitaria (Living, Comunity Culture) in 2017.
  • Community Educators Project- Community members demonstrated and shared knowledge of their territory and culture to a short-term abroad group from University of North Carolina at Asheville
  • "Sayana: Voces de Agua" (Sayana: Voices of Water)- Organized by MachanKara in partnership with a Rehearsing Change student, this project's objective was to compile various creative works from the Americas that reflected on our relationships with water. They created a book out of these collected poems and short stories to encourage readers to reflect on our individual and collective relationships with water and its importance in our lives and cultures.

Quito eterno

 
Quito Eterno is a non-profit foundation that has worked with Pachaysana since 2015 through various storytelling and theater projects that explore identity, collective memory, and healing. Their members have participated in nearly every semester of Rehearsing Change, either through participation or guest facilitation, and are important partners in our creative work.
 
Currently, Quito Eterno is working on an artistic series that explores the intersection between the pandemic and systemic racism in Ecuador.
Here are some of the ways Pachaysana and Quito Eterno have worked together over the years:
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  • Storytelling Facilitation with Rehearsing Change - Since the beginning of Rehearsing Change, Quito Eterno facilitators (such as Pachaysana faculty member Javier Cevallos) have facilitated numerous workshops with our international-local cohorts, teaching them storytelling techniques and facilitating the collective creation of stories. 
  • Stories that Heal (Historias que curan) - This project, a collaboration between Dr. Fernando Ortega, Marleen Haboud, Alejandra (Surname) and Javier Cevallos, focused on the power of stories to heal. Our great myths or legendary narratives are those stories that a community has written, through many voices over time, to heal itself from tragedies, to pass on the learning to the next generations, to re-humanize. From that point of view, this project explores the healing power of stories, and is currently focused on healing from the pandemic and its' intersections with systems of oppression such as racism. 
  • Collaborations with other Pachaysana Partner Communities - Quito Eterno has generously partnered with Pachaysana and other partner communities in order to promote and carry out their community-based projects. For example, in the "Circo en tu Barrio" project, created by Nina Shunku in our Design and Evaluation of Sustainable Community Projects course, Quito Eterno offered its spaces to participants from Nina Shunku to carry out the project. 

Bavoroe / Dureno

 
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Bavoroe and Dureno are A'i Kofán communities located in the Sucumbios province of the Ecuadorian Amazon. Due to the current red-zoning of their territories by the U.S. government, we have been unable to carry out full Rehearsing Change semesters in their territory, however, community members have participated in semesters in other communities such as Nina Shunku and La Mariscal. They have also been key collaborators in other projects with Pachaysana staff.
Pachaysana, with the support of other partner communities and collectives, has worked in partnership with Bavoroe and Dureno on various projects:
  • Student Exchange Project - As previously mentioned, certain community members have participated in our semester-long and short-term exchange programs as community educators and participants. Also, before their territory was red-zoned, our Rehearsing Change cohorts would visit one of the communities almost every semester to learn from their wisdom and promote their tourism spaces.
  • Digital Humanities Project - Developed in collaboration with Wayra Estudio and Nina Shunku, community members from Bavoroe created a radio storytelling series where they recorded three chapters of an important A'i myth, "The Kuankuas", in three languages: English, Spanish, and A'ingae (their native language). This project hoped to both preserve their ancestral stories and language, as well as share it with others. The project also included the creation of an album by the Kofán "Api" Orchestra, in which 12 musical tracks were produced in A'ingae. 
  • Epistemic Diversity Project - In this project, Pachaysana staff members collaborated with two members of the A’i Kofán community and one member of Tzawata to explore epistemic injustice in education and study abroad and to dream towards what epistemic justice in these spaces would look like. We compared how knowledge is created, valued, and shared in academia vs. in their communities, then created two short theater pieces we shared at Quito's San Francisco University in August of 2019. We received funding to present the project in various U.S. universities as well, but unfortunately the trip was cancelled due to the COVID19 pandemic. 

Portal de Guajalo

 
Pachaysana began its relationship with Portal de Guajalo through the Design and Evaluation of Sustainable Community Projects course in the Fall 2019 semester of Rehearsing Change. From this class, the project "Arte en mi Barrio" ("Art in my Neighborhood") was born. Due to the pandemic, the community decided to modify the project in 2020 to fit their current reality; the project promotes spaces of creativity and art for the children and youth of the community so that they can create, be in community (at a safe social distance), and get out of the house. Currently, the project is in its execution phase.