Text by Paola Minoia, Photos by Rosaura Gutierrez
In the end of February, we received delightful news from the Academy of Finland. The Academy had decided to fund our project Goal 4+: Including Eco-cultural Pluralism in Quality Education in Ecuadorian Amazonia. This project expands the Sustainable Development Goal 4, which aims to ensure quality education for all, through an attempt to promote recognition of eco-cultural pluralism and inclusion of indigenous pedagogies as part of quality education in Ecuadorian Amazonia.
Inclusion of ecological aspects is important because indigenous groups have strong connections to land and natural resources that are currently threatened by illegal logging, oil extraction and climate change. Defending eco-cultural pluralism means protecting both the natural environment and indigenous peoples from poverty and the risk of cultural disappearance. The project studies indigenous young people’s spatio-temporal accessibility to upper secondary schools and tertiary education, realization of eco-cultural diversity and sumak kawsay or buen vivir principles in upper secondary education, indigenous students’ transition to tertiary education or working life, and politics of intercultural education.
The project duration is four years (March 2018- February 2022) and we will work in close cooperation with the Universidad Estatal Amazonica, which is active in the field of cultural pluralism and indigenous identities, especially through the collective Retomando Raíces.