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.

Kernels of Wisdom

May 6, 2020

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May 6, 2020

In judging my relationship to the environment around me, I have often found myself in a state of awe and wonder about the myriad of processes that must have occurred to make the natural world the way that it is. I can look at a section of trees in a forest, pondering how long they must have stood, silent witnesses to the world moving and developing around them. I can gaze at a meandering river, tracing the route through solid rock that it took perhaps millions of years to cut through. I can spot an elephant in the savannah, suddenly sensitive to the hundreds of g...

October 3, 2018

“Hip Hop has been my salvation. If would have never met Hip Hop I don’t know where I would be. I love Hip Hop.”

 (Laksmi B-Girl)

From its birth in the 70’s in the Bronx of New York, Hip Hop has crossed borders and surpassed generations to reach many hearts of youth around the world. The youth of Quito are no exception.

Quito has a vibrant Hip Hop community which continues to grow and impact the culture of the city and the lives of many. This summer, Pachaysana in collaboration with the University of Northwestern, Cultural Center Nina Shunku, and Casa Machankara emba...

August 6, 2018

“Cock-a-doodle-dooooo,” the rooster shrieks. It’s 2am. I drain out the noise, knowing that I have another hour or two before I have to wake up.

“Liza warmi!” my host mom screams.  This alarm is not one that I can snooze. My vision is still blurred by the hazy darkness, but I know that it must be around 4am. It is time for guayusa.

I untangle myself from my mosquito net and climb outside to soak up the heat from the burning candela.  More people accumulate, as the tea steeps and steams.

An elder tells a tale of the community from m...

April 21, 2018

Kisses fly from body to body to body because cariñoso is a community standard

Mande, a people whose identity was once ripped from their bodies by subservience to incas, to los hombres blancos.

But beneath this white paint, pokes out hints of a rainbow too brillante to be completely obscured by europe’s ominous shadow

Frases como achachay y wawa pepper their speech with their raices, they can not escape the powerful draw of the sunshine on the mountain.

My host mother tells me of the beauty of su sobrina “que bella, ella es como una gringa!” she exclaims from a beauti...

April 10, 2018

"Gringo" is a Term of Endearment

When I first got to Ecuador, I couldn’t believe how much I saw things I recognized, from characters on television shows to imported candy bars to brand name clothes with English writing on them. On the bus, in the mall and even on the iPod’s of my Ecuadorian friends, I constantly hear songs in English that at one point were also popular in the US, (not always the currently popular ones). I see signs that are in both Spanish and English to cater to the tourists that come here, and I see food chains I thought were distinctly North Am...

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