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.

Uncertain: The Quest for Ecuador's Best Chocobanana and Other Misadventures

“Uncertain” is a key term for Pachaysana students and teachers. The word serves as the perfect response for the questions both logistical and philosophical that arise during a semester of fair-trade, community-based, cultural-exchange education in Ecuador. (Will it rain today? Uncertain. How will the second-round presidential election affect our excursion schedule? Uncertain. How do I navigate my values in conflict with cultural norms?Uncertain. How are you feeling? Uncertain.) The word also encapsulates the Pachaysana mission— “empowering local communities” means following their unpredictably changing needs and goals. And, as Pachaysana director Daniel Bryan often comments, real life is sup

Question, dream and learn with an eye on the sky and an eye on the earth

Since I can remember I was a dreamer, una soñadora. Like many of my classmates, I got constantly called out for staring at the window day dreaming instead of pouring all my attention to the teacher’s lecture. I liked to imagine what the world would look like once I was a “grown up”, or how would it feel like to fly, or be another person in a different reality. That is why the one day a week I had Theater class was such a gift. In this class I could play and move beyond imagining to embodying my thoughts. If I wished, I could be less of a “girl” and explore being a “boy” without being told by teachers “That is not what ladies do”. I could dance and not be called inappropriate. I could recreat

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