Ecuador 2009

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    The students express Appalachian pride amid traditional dress.

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    Students use a traditional canoe-like vessel and mallets to mash manioc, one of Ecuador’s staple crops, before extracting the fibers, adding sweet potato juice and storing the mixture. Students made aswa, also known as “chicha,” which is a fermented beverage offered as a sign of hospitality in the Andes.

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    The female students finish creating the traditional beverage by adding water to the mixture. Given its significance with hospitality and indigenous identity, the students later served the aswa to community members.

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    To attend a nearby community festival, the students canoe across a swollen river after riding in a truck 30 minutes and before having to hike 30 minutes through the jungle.

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    Students show their Appalachian pride before hiking out from their overnight stay in the Amazonian preserve.

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    Students attend the Inti Raymi (Festival of the Sun), which marks the Winter solstice. They were invited to participate in the festival as invited guests with a local community near Cayambe.

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    Two Appalachian students enjoy a mid-afternoon conversation with one of the local clowns who drives the dance-teams along the parade route.

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    Students wear chaps made from either goat or alpaca hair as part of the traditional dress for the Inti Raymi.

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    As part of an anthropological field methods course, students created group research projects surrounding the impact of oil on 17 indigenous communities. After interviewing and interacting with the local Kichwa people, they documented their observations each day into concise field reports.

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    Students divide into groups and create interview questions to conduct research on history, oil, identity/activism and gender issues of the Kichwa culture.

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    Students attend the Inti Raymi (Festival of the Sun), which marks the Winter solstice. They were invited to participate in the festival as invited guests with a local community near Cayambe.One of the research group’s teams. Each student was assigned a role: recorder, scribe, translator, or interviewer.

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    Students walk back to the field site along the only paved road which connects the communities along the southern shore of the Napo River.