The Pachaysana Blog

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Welcome to the Pachaysana Blog. We open this space to further the dialogue on many themes related to our work in community development and international education. We will post 1 or 2 times a month and would love to hear your thoughts, so please reply and offer comments or questions.

 

We also seek out guest bloggers. Please let us know if you would like to write about any of our themes: community development, international education, arts and social justice, alternative forms of education, fair trade learning, decolonial education, cultural identity, among others.

The views expressed in our blog are those of Pachaysana and our writers and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or identities of our partner communities and organizations.

What “Paro” Stands For

November 12, 2019

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November 12, 2019

Current international student Kaitlyn Hepburn shares her creative reflection on Ecuador's recent “paro,” or strike, and what the word “paro” means to her.

(For more information on the recent political unrest in Ecuador, please see our most recent newsletter.)

One of the hardest parts of the National Protests for me was hearing the many false narratives that the government and other countries were publishing for their own interests. This is why I used the “A” (Actores Internacionales) and “R” (Régmen) to express the interests of those actors who used their official...

October 19, 2019

How do I engage empathy and a process of true healing, while simultaneously recognizing my privilege? Could it be that I need to change my statements into questions? If I ask questions, guided by true curiosity and a desire to learn from and with “the other,” could that be my contribution to fomenting a dialogue?

September 10, 2019

I was looking out the window of my first host family and began to draw. I didn’t want to forget that feeling of comfort and connection, as I overlooked hills in La Mariscal. But, I didn’t want to just paint my view, I wanted to paint the spaces I inhabited. This drawing recognizes how communities are grounded in land and territory, and it addresses it as a landscape of indigenous resilience, natural beauty, family, extractionism, colonialism, and power. This is not just a reflection of what I saw in Ecuador, but of the spaces I lived in. Even temporarily. Even fo...

August 18, 2019

Personas fuertes vienen en cada forma y tamaño. Cada identidad de género. Cada cultura. Cada camino de vida. Músculos son fuertes. Mentes son fuertes. Un minuto es fuerte. Un milenio es fuerte también. Hay fuerza en un susurro. Hay fuerza en un grito.

May 22, 2019

Siempre he contado historias. Era un ritual cotidiano contarle a mi gemela las historias de mi día. Pasábamos cada tarde narrando los eventos del día. Ahora cuando nos vemos, tenemos más historias que tiempo para contarlas, y pasamos semanas solas hablando de nuestras vidas.

March 26, 2019

This semester, Maddy, one of our international students, undertook an independent study project with environmental education center Zanja Arajuno during our time in the community of La Mariscal. Her project explores both community resilience & the resilience of nature in the face of modern challenges and structures, such as globalization. In this blog, she reflects on her learning throughout this project, exploring how stronger relationships with community and nature can be forms of resilience against globalization, capitalism, and modernization. Thank you for sh...

Last semester, our two wonderful international students-- Maria Camila and Caty-- created a zine as their final project. Its title, translated into English, is "Decolonizing/Rooting Ourselves." The zine came out of their experiences throughout their time in Ecuador, exploring conflicts they encountered within their identities. This blog, a reflection on creating the zine from Maria Camila, is the first entry of a series of blogs delving into the zine and the process of creating it: 

The idea for this zine rose out of the need to archive the rich knowledge Caty and...

February 8, 2019

After visiting a community in the Amazon heavily affected by toxic waste, Olivia wrote “Oil and Water.” Below are her lyrics and reflection from this experience.

Oil and Water

I lost myself on cobbled roads
Left a piece of me beneath each stone
I saw my hands, they were blacker than coal
I washed them and your river swallowed me whole
The drive is winding up and down
The highway cutting through this mountain town
And I got no sleep at all last night
I arose to bloody noses, sparkling in the light

Who will I be
When the clock's reset and you're just a memory?
Shame...

January 21, 2019

Happy New Year, from the Pachaysana Team!  In this first blog post of 2019, we decided to share a collaborative collage of different messages and thoughts from each one of our staff.  Enjoy!

Giving & Receiving within Self

After the holiday season, I am questioning and exploring the potential that “giving” and “receiving” can have.  December has been a month filled with an abundance of gifts (birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, New Year’s Eve).  I have felt expected to give tangible items to those I love, and in turn, receive. This year, my colleagues have cha...

November 20, 2018

During the summer of 2018, Pachaysana, along with Casa Machankara, Cultural Center Nina Shunku, and the Nunkei Zulu Collective, collaborated on a community based research project, focused on the healing potential of Hip Hop.  Together, we conducted 6 focus groups and several individual semi structured interviews to members of this community. We overwhelming observed that Hip Hop had transformative impacts on the lives of Hip Hoppas through dialogue with locals participants.  

“We were born to be free and Hip Hop also helps us to be free. I mean, I  feel good...

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