In the words of our interns and project participants.

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Pachaysana: Arts fos Social Change in the Ecuadorian Amazon

Embracing Experience

Many who receive our newsletters are associated with universities, and as you well know, the passing of Labor Day translates into the beginning of a new school year. The time is overwhelmingly optimistic; it brings forth new beginnings and turns our sights toward a future where all is possible. While Pachaysana also uses this time to refocus and prepare for our pilot semester of Rehearsing Change, to begin in January 2015, we do our best to walk a path similar to those who practice indigenous cosmovision. 

Many indigenous communities believe that focusing your gaze on a mysterious future is unwise, for it is an unknown. Rather, they suggest that we walk into the mystery with our sights fixed on the past. In other words, imagine walking backward toward the future, embracing your past, your experience and the stories of your ancestors. Then, upon confronting obstacles that emerge from the unknown, we turn around and overcome them boldly, empowered by timeless wisdom.

In the spirit of Pachaysana's journey into the unknown, we decided that it is best to learn from our experience. With a new school year upon us, we recently collected reflections from 3 of our interns and one program participant. Here we share a brief selection of each. Click the links to read the complete text in our webpage. We hope that you find them inspiring and cause for your own personal reflection.

Pachaysana: Arts fos Social Change in the Ecuadorian Amazon

"A Learning Community"

"I saw a change in the little less than 2 months of my work with Pachaysana. This change was from a system of me interrupting the community members' lives to all of us interrupting each others lives. We all became agents of change and educators within our seemingly different worlds by understanding how we are inter-connected, and then using our diverse knowledge for the task of joint teaching. For me we transitioned from the role of strangers to allies, who ate, bathed, learned and worked in harmony with the community, all within the common grounds of a desire to understand one another. I learned how to collaborate, and through my experiential learning became conscious of how seemingly individual work can be strengthened through communal and joint efforts." READ MORE

Maria Nachbor is a senior studying Peace and Conflict Studies at Juniata College.
Pachaysana: Arts fos Social Change in the Ecuadorian Amazon

"It's all connected"

"My work with Tzawata and Pachaysana in the spring of 2014 taught me about the way communities like Tzawata and Mariscal Sucre experience government policies and development plans in resource-rich areas like the Amazon region. This work not only taught me about the importance of organizations like Pachaysana as a means of alternative education for communities, but for people around the world because “todo está conectado”. As we move toward sustainable, ethical development in rural Ecuador, I hope that we can remember these ideas. In my own studies and professional development, I will continue to act in solidarity with communities like Tzawata and seek research opportunities to continue work in the Ecuadorian Amazon." READ MORE

Osha Waterdu is a senior at Beloit College studying Alternative Education
Pachaysana: Arts fos Social Change in the Ecuadorian Amazon

More than a host family

"As Pachaysana's first intern, I worked in the Quito office and the community of Mariscal Sucre. Because of my interests in economic sustainability of Amazonian communities, I conducted independent research while living in the community. During that time, I had countless life-changing moments. For instance, when my host family and I went camping, my host-grandpa asked me to kill a chicken for our dinner (the same chicken I took care of in the community). First, I hesitated, full of fear. However, with my host family's help, I successfully killed the chicken  and had an amazing dinner (the best chicken I ever had." READ MORE

Akiko Toya is a first year graduate student at Cornell University studying Public Affairs-Public Policy. She is a graduate of Soka University of America.
Pachaysana: Arts fos Social Change in the Ecuadorian Amazon

Beyond the textbook, more than a classroom

"You don’t always remember what you read, but you remember what you see. As an environmental studies major, the destruction of the rainforest is part of my studies. I’ve learned about overhunting, deforestation, climate problems, and the big one - mining for petroleum. I double major in Spanish, so when I decided to study abroad in Ecuador, my goal was to see these big words and put a name to a face. I went on Pachaysana’s Toxic Tour over spring break and in the process, I met a lot more faces than I had anticipated I would. Each face had its own story." READ MORE

Lauren Horning is a senior at Washington and Jefferson College studying Environmental Studies.

The time to apply for Rehearsing Change is NOW!

Pachaysana and the Universidad San Francisco de Quito remind you that applications for our spring 2015 semester of Rehearsing Change: Empowering Locally, Educating Globally are open, The application deadline is October 15. Link directly to last month's newsletter for a summary of our program, or visit our webpage.

Rehearsing Change is "study abroad that makes a difference," a program like no other in the world: Community-Based in the Ecuadorian Amazon, Fair-Trade Learning in which international students study full time with local counterparts, Spanish immersion with exposure to indigenous languages, a one-of-a-kind curriculum with creative/arts-based methodologies that link academic coursework to real-life application, and a diverse faculty. If you are a student, JOIN US; if you are faculty, staff or friends, RECOMMEND US!
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