Explore indigenous Andean and Amazonian worldviews in Ecuador by engaging with community-based organizations, local government entities, and scholars. You will examine the philosophic principle Sumak Kawsay, a plentiful life in harmony with nature, and learn how it provides the foundational framework for an alternative paradigm to development, in which community wellness and autonomy are prioritized.
Using an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary perspective, you will study concrete cultural practices of care and healing, including traditional healing and ethnobotany in the Kichwa worldview. You will also discuss how these practices sustain political mobilization, indigenous government, and epistemological decolonization. In the capital city of Quito and during educational excursions to the Andean Highlands and the Upper Amazon Basin, you will engage with local initiatives promoting bilingual cultural education, performing arts, and cultural and language revitalization. In addition to your homestay in Quito, you will participate in a short, rural stay in an indigenous Kichwa community, where you will have direct exposure to Andean worldview principles such as reciprocity and redistribution and participate in collective agricultural work known locally as minka.
- Examine how the indigenous philosophical principle Sumak Kawsay, a plentiful life in harmony with nature, provides an alternative development paradigm.
- Visit community-based organizations and local indigenous government entities in the Andean highlands and Upper Amazon Basin
- Explore concrete culture practices of community wellness and care including traditional healing, ethnobotany, and performing arts.
- Examine how concepts of indigenous autonomy sustain political mobilization, indigenous government, and the revitalization of cultural practices, languages, and education.
2 semesters of college-level Spanish