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.

Re-storying Metaphors as Decolonization

August 5, 2020

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August 5, 2020

This blog post was originally published by one of our partner organizations, Counterpoint: Navigating Knowledge, on 28 July 2020 and can be found here

In their seminal article, “Decolonization is not a metaphor,” Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang speak to many of us who read this blog, calling for activist scholars, educators, and organizers to reconsider adopting the words “decolonizing” and “decolonization” in their vital work in social justice. Their argument is sound: decolonization is about the “repatriation of Indigenous land and life” (p. 21), and any efforts th...

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?

October 26, 2016

This post was originally shared on our Facebook page, which we encourage you to visit and follow.

Having lived in Ecuador for the better part of 16 years, I like to use October as an opportunity to reflect on my national identity and question why the United States is so committed to the “discovery of America.” This year has been exceptionally challenging for me, for it is the first time I have been physically present in the United States during Columbus Day in many years.

(Andres Alvarado, of the Kichwa community of Tzawata, doing traditional dance in the Plaza de...

April 16, 2016

Much of Pachaysana’s work relates to identity: individual identity, national identity, but most especially cultural identity in an ever-changing world. Since our work brings together local communities, most especially indigenous and farming communities, and international students, the evolving nature of cultural identity is always at the forefront of our dialogue.


For several years, I have been writing about cultural identity in Ecuador and what role education plays. This work will soon be published in Spanish, in a book called “The Myth of Identity.” Over the co...

December 6, 2015

People often ask about our work with small rural communities in the Amazon region and whether or not, as outsiders, we are concerned about having a negative impact. It is both my favorite and most painful question because no matter how many times I have answered, it always takes me into the deepest reflection. My response always starts by reminding the questioner that we only work with communities that are already experiencing significant interventions from the outside world. While these interventions are different in nature, they imply the need to adapt to a glo...

November 7, 2015

Humans are a fascinating species. Like all other animals we require food, water and shelter to live. However, unlike the rest, we have a special need. While our bodies crave alimentary sustenance, our souls, our essences, our very identities crave stories. What would our identity be like, or how would life be, without stories? Can you imagine human existence without the sharing of stories around a fire, at home, in school, at a bar, at work? There would be no reason for books, film and television. Say goodbye to music and visual art. Forget about our highly devel...

August 28, 2015

This blog entry is meant to be interactive. It is designed to be read in about 5 minutes, with four short 1 to 2 minute breaks for reflection-expression. I find it best to do this with a pencil/pen and paper, so if you still use those things, then get them out. Here we go…


Wherever you are in life, I want you to look back on your experiences in formal education thus far. Think of school/college/institute, where you learned from teachers, books and fellow classmates. What are the dominant images? Focus in on these images and see them in movement, so that it is...

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