We partner with local Ecuadorian communities in all of our educational programs. In Rehearsing Change, our semester-long abroad program, they host international students, participate in classes, and collaborate with our team in organizing and facilitating the entire experience. In short-term programs, they often take the lead in the planning, organization, and facilitation, with support from our team. All communities are considered equal partners in each and every program and project, and have power in decision-making. We respect their agency and do not attempt to "change" communities, but rather work with them to confront the challenges they are facing & imagine creative solutions together.
Our partner communities are located in two regions of the country: the Ecuadorian Andes & the Ecuadorian Amazon. We have worked with each of these communities for many years, and consider them not only part of our work team but part of our family.
Quito & the Andes
Situated in the breathtaking Ecuadorian Andes only 30 km south of Quito, Píntag is a rural, agricultural community that prides itself on its inspiring community projects, from resisting mining in their community to seed banks and eco-tourism. The direct link for Pachaysana's work in Píntag is through an alliance with the Píntag Amaru Movement, a collective which promotes spaces for learning and exploration of identity as peoples with an almost infinite historical content.
Click here to learn more about these projects and Pachaysana's work with Píntag.
Our first community partner in Quito, Nina Shunku is a cultural house and hip-hop collective located in the city's historical center. The collective's members range from circus performers and breakdancers to rappers and tattoo artists, demonstrating its dedication to diverse artistic creation. However, its main projects are dedicated to Art for Social Transformation, becoming a benchmark at the South American level thanks to its cultural center and its constant work with diverse cultures. Their name "Nina Shunku" translates roughly to "heart of fire" in Kichwa.
Click here to learn more about these projects and Pachaysana's work with Nina Shunku.
Casa Machankara is a cultural house located just south of Quito's historical center, on the shore of the Machangara River which runs through the city. The house's mission is to re-imagine & revitalize our relationship with water through both local and international projects, as well as to maintain the memory, history, and identity of Ecuador's original cultures. They offer spaces of healing rooted in indigenous cultures, such as sweat lodges or temascales.
Click here to learn more about these projects and Pachaysana's work with Machankara.
Vicundo is a small, tight-knit community located on the equator in the Andes mountains just north of Quito. They participate in multiple community-based tourism projects, including, notably, Quitsato: a monument on the equator that challenges visitors to engage critically with geography & re-imagine a more just representation of the world map.
Portal de Guajalo
Our newest partner community, Portal de Guajalo, is located on the mountainside of south-east Quito. Led by a powerful directive of women leaders, they are constantly creating projects-- from a new community center to community gardening-- to improve and bring together their community.
Click here to learn more about these projects and Pachaysana's work with Portal.
Quito Eterno is non-profit foundation located in Quito's historical center whose mission is to create experiences and spaces for reflection on the art, history and traditions of Quito, through pedagogical and theatrical tools. Their work generates reflection and dialogue on national identity and international community.
Click here to learn more about Pachaysana's work with Quito Eterno.
Mushullakta is a Kichwa community in the Alto Napo region of the Ecuadorian Amazon. After years of participating in lumber extraction and monoculture, they have changed their path and are now deeply committed to reforestation, sustainable agriculture and ancestral education. They are charged as caretakers of the Sumaco-Napo-Galeras National Reserve and have started their own alternative education system for their children.
Click here for more information about Pachaysana's work with Mushullakta.
Our first-ever community partner, La Mariscal is a powerful, tight-knit community of sugar cane farmers in the Pastaza Province of the Ecuadorian Amazon. The existence of this community is due to the brave decision of three families to migrate from their native province of Cañar in the mountains to the Amazon about forty years ago, changing their territory but not their customs. Over the past six years they have been developing a community-based ecotourism project to create more opportunities while protecting the rainforest that surrounds them.
Click here to learn more about these projects and Pachaysana's work with La Mariscal.
Tzawata is a small indigenous Kichwa community located in the Napo province of the Ecuadorian Amazon. They are currently engaged in a struggle to regain their ancestral lands. While their land belongs to them, the State and mining concessions stay otherwise. The community literally sits on top of a gold mine and an oil resevoir, resulting in global pressures to access its natural resources. They are also engaged in projects to preserve their language & cultural identity.
Click here to learn more about these projects and Pachaysana's work with Tzawata.
Bavoroe / Dureno
Bavoroe and Dureno are both small, indigenous A'i-Cofan communities who have been heavily impacted by oil extraction in their ancestral territories. Although facing tremendous struggles, they pride themselves in maintaining their language, music, and oral history.
Click here to learn more about these projects and Pachaysana's work with Bavoroe and Dureno.