Kichwa carriers traveling between Quito and the Amazon Anonymous painting, published in Rucuyaya Alonso y la Historia Social y Economica del Alto Napo, 1850-1950 (Blanca Muratorio, 1991)
Key Periods 1.Early 1900s– most Amazonian Kichwa worked intermittently for whites, but also spent long periods living in the forest. 2.1960s - early 1970s – Ecuadorian government invested in roads and the formation of cattle ranching cooperatives, recruiting settlers from the highlands 3.Rukullakta cooperative forms (1970-71); substantial grants and loans for cattle 4.1980s – cattle projects fail with no new development options. Substantial poverty and suffering. 5.1990s – present. Sustainable development. Not as lucrative because small-scale. Often projects designed with romanticized images of indigenous people. 1.Particularly notion of “community”
Research: Students and I will interview various indigenous leaders and development project participants about: 1.Their experiences with current projects 2.How they compare to past projects 3.Can they imagine a better project? If so, what would that look like?
Compare and Contrast We will compare and contrast various community-run projects with projects that individuals participate in on their own For example, “Runa” is a tea company run by a recent North American college graduate. The company purchases tree leaves from the guayusa tree from farmers willing to grow trees that meet their standards. –“Runa” tea now available in Whole Foods and other health food chains
Participatory Action Research Students will visit a community that has been wanting to increase their involvement in educational tourism for 2-3 days –They have hosted a few student groups already, but typically only for a day We will participate in some of the activities that the community is planning to do with larger student groups We will offer our impressions and feedback on what we liked and what they might want to consider changing.
Thank you To Global Learning for awarding me this fellowship I look forward to presenting stories and pictures from the trip at next year’s conference