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UW Honors students at La Universidad Tecnológica Equinoccial in Quito, Ecuador

Jul 27, 2017
Honors study abroad students and faculty with their hosts in Ecuador
Students and faculty collaborate in pilot program. Credit: La Universidad Tecnológica Equinoccial

Honors students and faculty were featured this week in a front-page story by La Universidad Tecnológica Equinoccial (UTE) in Quito, Ecuador. The article announces the start of a collaborative educational pilot between Michelle Habell-Pallán, (UW, Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies), Jaime Cardenas Jr. (Seattle Central College, History), and UTE, who will host the first two weeks of this immersive four-week program. 

Ecuador is one of two countries on Earth that has constitutionally redefined itself as a "plurinational state." Responding to Indigenous and Afro-descendant social movements for justice and dignity, and propelled by gender equity activists, Ecuador has helped to re-think cultural and national identities by centering the demands of communities most vulnerable to neoliberal policies. This international studies pilot: "Sumak Kawsay: Well-Being, 'Race', and Gender in Ecuador" investigates the 'good living" concept. Dr. Lozada, Director of International Relations at UTE says. "The Program's main objective is to share information about the historical and social context of 'good living' focusing on Ecuador's policies implemented, and the success of diversity initiatives".  

The group of 14 UW Honors students will learn from local teachers and student forums where representatives of different Ecuadorian ethnic groups and students with physical disabilities share their experiences around the work of inclusion. Students will also tour key areas in Ecuador and conduct service-learning projects with registered non-governmental organizations (NGOs), creating or expanding the digitial presence of each organization. The final projects will improve accessibilty and visibility of organizations that reinforce and expand Indigenous women's and Afroecuadorians' cultural rights; gender equity; and LGBTQ (human) rights in Ecuador and beyond.