Daniel "Miyagui" Acosta
Community Coordinator and Assitant Instructor
Daniel was born in Ecuador, where his parents instilled upon him the importance of working with the communities of his country. A communication specialist, community activist and defender of Mother Earth, Daniel’s mission is to work with the children and youth, helping to bring them into a more intimate relationship with the earth, agriculture and the protection of seeds. He lives in Santa Teresa de Pintag where his community projects crossover between art, liberation pedagogy and agro-ecology. Currently he is carrying out a Seed Bank project, which seeks to build greater consciousness of local identity via the cultivation and curation of diverse seeds. Somewhat of a renaissance-man, Daniel has studied, both formally and informally, Communication, Political Law, Global Education, Local Empowerment, Theatre, Film, Permaculture and Agroecology.
Daniel works closely with our partner communities to coordinate the Rehearsing Change program and provide support for our many grassroots development and education projects. He also coordinates aspects of our coursework, assuring that they are effectively applied to community needs. Finally, Daniel assists with instruction in our Design and Evaluation of Projects course.
Director and Lead Instructor
An educator, activist and artist, Daniel specializes in the use of participatory theatre as a means of education, empowerment and development. Originally from the United States, he has lived most of the last 15 years in Ecuador, where he has worked with indigenous and marginalized communities, in both rural and urban sectors, while teaching at the University San Francisco de Quito. In his current role as Executive Director of the Pachaysana Institute, he is developing research on Fair Trade Learning and how international education programming can simultaneously serve local education programming. He is also active in co-developing participatory, arts-based research that rethinks the way in which we construct/reconstruct cultural identity. Daniel’s most recent community arts projects focus on Ecuador’s troubled Amazon region, where he facilitates workshops on conflict transformation and community empowerment among indigenous and settler peoples. In addition to his work in Ecuador, he lectures and leads workshops at universities across the United States, most recently with American, Brandeis, Brown, The Ohio State University, University of Kansas, North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Texas at Austin and Tulane. Previously, he co-founded the internationally renowned cultural educational organization, Fundación Quito Eterno, lectured/researched under a Fulbright Scholar Grant in Quito and directed study abroad programming in Ecuador. He holds an MA in Education from the University of Tulsa and an MFA in Theatre from UCLA. Daniel offers a diverse array of Presentations, Workshops and Residencies in Ecuador and abroad.
Program Coordinator and Assitant Instructor
Activist, youth worker, and artist at heart, Chelsea Viteri, was born and raised in Quito, Ecuador. She completed her undergraduate and graduate studies at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts with a major in Theater Arts and a minor in International Development. Her Masters’ degree is in Community Development and Planning. Chelsea is excited to be living again in her home country Ecuador.
A youth worker for over 6 years, Chelsea has worked with youth from diverse communities, utilizing artistic expression as a means to create community and foster creative healthy containers for youth. Chelsea has been heavily involved in organizing for social justice advocacy and education, implementing artistic mediums including: documentaries, poetry, theater and music. She has conducted research centered on the experiences of women in the midst of extractive industries in Latin America. In Guatemala she carried out an oral history project with the women from La Puya, a community actively resisting a mine. Most recently, she conducted research on the experiences of women in Tundayme, a rural-indigenous town located in the middle of Ecuador´s first mega mining concession in Ecuador.
In her spare time, Chelsea enjoys hiking, writing and making music. She is very excited to be part of Pachaysana and to work with students, through the arts, to strive to decolonize our minds and collaborate in intentional and non-extractive ways.
Chelsea works closely with the Rehearsing Change program and its resulting community based projects. She also assist with instruction in our Theatre for Social Change course.