Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, schooling in Ecuador switched to virtual formats. Students like Amauta Condorazo Quilumbango Espinosa, a Tandana Foundation scholarship recipient, had to adapt to this new way of learning. In the following letter, Amauta describes a recent semester at his university, including the courses he took and how he took advantage of extra free time to give back and help Tandana.Continue reading “A scholarship student successfully tackles a challenging semester of remote learning”
When their youngest son, David, was five, the Cachimuel family moved to the Cotama indigenous community just outside of Otavalo. He played baseball and soccer with friends and swam in the nearby river. The river – at that time crystal clear, but now seriously polluted by a factory – flows out of San Pablo Lake and cascades over the spectacular ritual falls at the famous craft village of Peguche. He attended a Catholic elementary school in Otavalo, learning from excellent secular teachers and attending mass on Sundays. There was tension in the family, but shared affection remained strong. It was a happy childhood and a firm foundation for a thoughtful life, one centered on learning how to teach others to deal with the circumstances into which they are born. Now 28, David has just completed a job in social work, counseling young people to continue their schooling; now he is looking for another job, working in a human resources department for a town or an indigenous community.Continue reading “A strong family committed to higher education and changing lives”
As a public health professional, I have always been interested in health care systems in Latin America, specifically with a focus on health disparities.
I have volunteered most of my life, while working full-time. I enjoy volunteering and have done so for many years. I had stopped for a while to reflect on my next opportunity, what I wanted to do next. Recently I came across The Tandana Foundation website and read about what they do and their mission. When I talked with Maria Jose, (the Ecuador Program Manager) I thought this was perfect for me as I would get a first-hand view of health care in Otavalo, the available resources, and types of care that the community receives.Continue reading “Healthcare in Otavalo Canton, Ecuador”
After many decades, clean water finally arrived in the community of Gualapuro, Ecuador. The following blog describes the long-time efforts to bring water to this community, including the partnership with The Tandana Foundation.Continue reading “A dream come true: clean water in the community of Gualapuro”
On April 10, The Tandana Foundation will be hosting a virtual venture exploring Dogon dancing and drumming in the Bandiagara district of Mali. Carol Peddie, Kelly McCosh, and Marilyn and Jack Krueger had the chance to experience the warm embrace of Dogon culture firsthand during Tandana’s 2012 trip to visit the villages of Kansongo and Sal-Dimi in Mali. Here we share remembrances of that trip from both our volunteers and local residents Moussa Tembiné of Kansongo, Housseyni Pamateck of Sal-Dimi, and Ada Kanambaye of Sal-Dimi.Continue reading “Dogon dancing: an unforgettable experience”
The following letter was written by Segundo Remache, a recent college graduate who received a scholarship from The Tandana Foundation. In the letter, he shares his thanks for the support he received, the important research he did as part of his thesis, and what he is able to do now after graduation. Since he wrote the letter, his thesis was officially approved. Congrats, Segundo!Continue reading “A dream come true through education”
In 2019, Emily Piwowarski participated in a volunteer trip to Ecuador organized by The Tandana Foundation with her high school classmates from Arendell Parrott Academy. Now a sophomore studying chemistry and marine science at North Carolina State University, she took time to reflect on her memorable experience with Tandana in Ecuador.Continue reading “Looking back on my unforgettable volunteer trip with Tandana – two years later”
In recognition of The Tandana Foundation’s 15th anniversary, we are creating 15 videos featuring cherished members of the organization’s global family. Published in a series of 15 posts on this blog, these videos will highlight key aspects of Tandana’s philosophy, community partnerships, and impactful work that has been done, along with projects still in progress. The videos will serve as a meaningful way to reflect back on what has been accomplished in 15 years as well as provide insight into the Tandana’s future in the next 15 years.Continue reading “Celebrating 15 Years of Intercultural Friendship: Climbing Together”
Last fall, two members of The Tandana Foundation’s team in Mali – Moussa Tembine and Housseyni Pamateck – visited the United States on a multifaceted, cross-country trip. While in the U.S., they co-taught a college class, met with Tandana and local community stakeholders, and attended several of the organization’s events. Along the way, they shared the work in Mali as well as the country’s culture. This is part two of Moussa’s story about their trip and what he learned from his time in the United States.Continue reading “Moussa’s trip to the United States of America: Part 2”
From experience, villagers around the Bandiagara District of Mali have observed how non-profit organizations conduct development work. They have seen which approaches have been successful and which have not. In the following, one young leader explains how The Tandana Foundation’s approach – based on mutual respect, partnership, and community responsibility – has been successful in empowering villagers and bringing them together.Continue reading “A village leader explains how Tandana’s approach is different, and why that’s important”
In 2019, The Tandana Foundation funded six women’s associations’ business proposals in the Bandiagara District of Mali. These women’s enterprises are now starting income-generating activities, including making nutritional seasoning balls out of néré seeds, raising sheep, transforming cotton into cloth and indigo dyeing. Below four women talk about the progress they have made with their income-generating activities.Continue reading “The early success of the women’s enterprises in Mali”
Playing with cousins and neighborhood friends in the town river, a player on several basketball teams, her high school’s best chemistry student, and a traditionally clad member of an Andean dance troupe, María Belén Cachimuel’s early years suggested that she would use her many talents to become a versatile woman with a clear role in her community. She began by helping her family to make and sell crafts in the Plaza des Ponchos, a famous local handicrafts market. At thirty, recently graduated from law school and learning the practical side of her profession on the job, she is fully living up to expectations. Her long-term goal, though, was decisively shaped by the time she spent volunteering for Tandana’s twice-a-year medical clinics for underserved people in outlying indigenous communities around Otavalo, Ecuador.Continue reading “Belén and the Medical Clinics”
Mónica López is a young woman with a strong faith in God, as evidenced by the t-shirt she wore to our interview, featuring a representation of the Lion of Judah. Like the Lion, her faith has given her the strength and determination needed to succeed. The following is Monica’s story, told in her own words, and excerpted from the interview.Continue reading “How faith, family, and funding opens doors”
Nayeli Anrango, a member of the Panecillo community, received medical care through Tandana’s mobile clinics in October 2018 after experiencing several epileptic episodes that caused seizures, falls, and loss of consciousness. According to the doctor that saw her, this was a case of child epilepsy and she needed to see a neurologist.Continue reading “Tandana changes Nayeli’s life”
All the villages that are members of the Olouguelemo Association continue to reap the benefits of the association’s work. Recent projects have targeted reforestation, erosion control, and increasing water access. Below five residents from several villages around the Bandiagara District of Mali share their thoughts on Olouguelemo’s most recent endeavors.Continue reading “Five thoughts on the Olouguelemo Association’s recent efforts”
All program coordinators dedicated to social justice and civic engagement are faced with the challenges of community engagement and community building due to the pandemic’s social distancing requirements. How do you connect with others and make substantive change in your community without being able to interact with others or physically enter into a community? My response: we must expand our definition of community.Continue reading “A shared philosophy of mutual support and learning”
Thanks to sponsorship by the O’Donnell Visiting Educator Program and the Center for Global Studies at Whitman College, Associate Professor of Biology Leena Knight and Founding Director of The Tandana Foundation, Anna Taft (Whitman ‘02), organized a course titled Health in Ecuador and Mali: Pandemic, Race, Culture that took place remotely this fall for Whitman College students.Continue reading “Bringing global perspectives and multiple forms of knowledge to higher education”
This year, there are 30 new Savings for Change groups that The Tandana Foundation has helped form in eight villages in the Bandiagara District of Mali. Most of the new groups have 22 members, one group has 27, and two groups have 30 with a total of 681 participants. So far, the groups have collectively saved $3,064.06. The 30 groups, involving 789 women, that started in 2019 held their fund-sharing ceremony after a year of saving. The total funds divided up were $12,269, with each member receiving between $10 and $11.
Below, three women who have joined SFC groups share their thoughts on the success of the saving and credit program in their townships.Continue reading “Reflections from women members of the Savings For Change program in Mali”
To continue to support education in Ecuador, The Tandana Foundation worked especially hard this year to offer its annual summer school program despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.Continue reading “It was a success: Tandana’s first virtual summer school in Ecuador”
As part of her master’s in international education, Nicole Melendez, one of The Tandana Foundation’s program coordinators in Ecuador, completed a research project called “Supporting Latinx College Students Study Abroad.” Melendez specifically looked at U.S. students who identify as Latinx who are studying at post-secondary institutions across America.Continue reading “Tandana’s program coordinator conducts important research into supporting Latinx college students study abroad”
To continue making and fostering global connections through their work, The Tandana Foundation adapted its ESL (English as a second language) and storytelling internship positions in response to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. To ensure the community’s and the interns’ well-being this summer, Tandana hired Mallory Woods from Pennsylvania and Hannah Nivar from New Jersey as ESL interns, and myself, Nadyieli González Ortiz from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, as a Storytelling intern, to join the organization’s team in Ecuador remotely.Continue reading “Inside Tandana’s Virtual Host Family Program”
Last fall, two members of The Tandana Foundation’s team in Mali – Moussa Tembine and Housseyni Pamateck – visited the United States on a multifaceted, cross-country trip. While in the U.S., they co-taught a college class, met with Tandana and local community stakeholders, and attended several of the organization’s events. Along the way, they shared the work in Mali as well as the country’s culture. This is part one of Moussa’s story about their trip and what he learned from his time in the United States.Continue reading “Moussa’s trip to the United States of America: Part 1”
As part of the Northeastern University Alliance of Civically Engaged Students (NU|ACES), a group of students visited the community of Gualapuro, Ecuador for a week-long service trip with The Tandana Foundation. I spoke with many members of the group about their experience on the trip and how the trip inspired them to launch several different fundraising efforts to benefit the community after returning. Continue reading “On the fruits of intercultural friendship: a story of Northeastern students in the Gualapuro community”
You stand behind Jaime Muenala’s cement farm house in the majestic foothills of volcanic Mt. Imbabura in northern Ecuador, gazing in awe down the clifflike trail to the green terrace below, and then you find yourself asking the obvious: “Do you go up and down THAT to get to your fields?” Jaime smiles slightly and says, “Si.” In fact, daily. And not just when farming. Continue reading “High hopes: one man’s determination to overcome the obstacles before him”
My body, still accustomed to a lifetime of changing seasons, told me that it was autumn and that Halloween was approaching. I wouldn’t have realized that just by looking out the window from my Ecuadorian host family’s home. Here you don’t experience the four distinct seasons as we are accustomed to in many parts of the U.S. In Ecuador, you have the rainy season and the dry season. Continue reading “Halloween beneath the shadow of Tayta Imbabura, the night a werewolf howled at an Andean moon”
The Better Business Bureau of Greater Dayton has selected The Tandana Foundation as the winner of its 2020 Nonprofit Eclipse Integrity Award, which is its highest honor for ethics, honesty, and integrity. Continue reading “Tandana wins Nonprofit Eclipse Integrity Award for outstanding ethics in community service”
The village-run Olouguèlemo Association continues to train villages around the township of Wadouba in Mali on best practices to prevent erosion. In the following, one of the many individuals to receive this training credits his recent recognition for “best field with the most number of trees” in Wadouba to the erosion prevention practices taught by the association. Continue reading “An award-winning field through use of the Olouguèlemo Association’s erosion control tactics”
I am Vicente Pazmiño, The Tandana Foundation’s community project coordinator in Ecuador. I live in the El Panecillo community in the San José de Quichinche parish, from where our beloved Foundation operates.
Over many years of collaborating with the Foundation, we have completed many projects that benefit the parish’s many communities, and today I’d like to tell you a brief story about a project that brought me a lot of joy. Continue reading “Tandana’s community project coordinator in Ecuador shares a joyous story”
Cristina Fuerez and her younger sister Margarita were born and raised in a traditional, mudbrick cabin on a small farm near the village of Panecillo, Ecuador. Small and dark, having only a single room without windows, plumbing or electricity, the house still stands high on a sloping parcel of hillside that their paternal grandfather managed to secure, in a two-year legal struggle. In the 1960´s, he was forced to walk the seventy miles to Quito several times to obtain the necessary legal papers, when Ecuador finally abolished sharecropping serfdom, known as huasipungo. Many of his indigenous neighbors didn’t manage it and lost the land they had occupied for generations. That grandfather’s spirited defense of his rights, despite obstacles, lives on in his granddaughters. Continue reading “Independence through education and determination”
This summer, several communities that The Tandana Foundation partners with in Segue-Iré, Mali approached the organization for emergency support related to mitigating the spread of COVID-19, after numerous deaths and several positive cases were confirmed. The following is a report written about how Tandana and the communities worked together to successfully respond to the situation. Continue reading “Tandana helps provide emergency COVID-19 support in Ningari”
Like in the rest of the world, the threat of COVID-19 has changed the lives of many people in the communities of the Quichinche Parish in Otavalo, Ecuador.
From the close communication carried by The Tandana Foundation, directed by Virginia Sánchez (Patient Followup Coordinator), with the staff of the Quichinche and Gualsaqui health centers, it has been possible to identify the most relevant challenges in order to work in favor of the communities. Virginia affirms that, “What has changed is the way we are working. We haven’t stopped; we are still keeping an eye on the patients.” Continue reading “A united front: Tandana’s health care support through COVID-19 in Ecuador”
By committing to create and nurture intercultural relationships, Tandana recognizes the value of community as a major driving factor of our work.
In Ecuador, the stories of two members of Tandana’s staff exemplify the way in which experiencing community -whether new or familiar- provides an incomparable opportunity for growth. Continue reading “Two personal stories illustrate the value of community”
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, The Tandana Foundation has been supporting our community partners in Mali through conducting education about prevention measures, assembling and distributing hand-washing stations, and providing supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) to a hospital and local health centers. Members of the Tandana team have also recorded a radio broadcast with public health information that has aired across the Bandiagara District. Below three community leaders share the impact of this work and express their gratitude for the foundation’s support. Continue reading “The impact of Tandana’s COVID-19 response in Mali”
Time spent in the Andes always brings home to the traveler the importance that traditional music enjoys there. In indigenous homes and communities, making music together and dancing is thought of as completely natural, with everyone participating at their own level of skill. Neither praise nor criticism is handed out for what is thought of as something as normal to a shared life as eating and talking. Two young men who have been supported by Tandana take that impulse to sharing even further, both playing traditional instruments in a band that has recorded professionally and performs at indigenous ceremonies and celebrations, while also serving in responsible positions within community government. Continue reading “Building community through music and public service”
No matter how people like to celebrate their birthdays, it’s always nice to be recognized on the day you were born. Since coming to The Tandana Foundation, in January 2019, I have been able to celebrate many birthdays with my coworkers, host family, and friends in Ecuador. Continue reading “Birthdays mean special celebrations with Tandana!”