Rural alternatives for local development: An intercultural analysis (case study from northern Ecuador)

Anita Krainer, Karla Alejandra Hidalgo Palma, Maria Matilde Conejo Males


This study takes a historical and analytical tour of the experiences, ways of life and community knowledge oriented towards the construction of alternatives to achieve development in the communities of Cotacachi and Yunguilla, Ecuador. Rural development has been an extremely neglected issue by the Ecuadorian government and local authorities. In the 21st century, this neglect continues to impact peasants and indigenous people, manifesting itself in all kinds of inequalities that affect the quality of life of their families. From this reality, alternatives for change arise within the communities and community organisations, which are oriented towards local development and thus avoid deterritorialisation.

During this process, the cooperation of external actors such as foundations and non-governmental organisations has been of vital importance. In addition, the intercultural approach presents social and economic development in accordance with the national reality itself. However, on some occasions, the traditional knowledge of local communities is not valued because it is empirical, oral and transgenerational. In this sense, bioculturality highlights the relevance of community dynamics and their attachment to the natural environment. For this study, a qualitative methodology was applied, together with qualitative techniques and instruments. The present work informs on two cases of rural development that are born from the active participation and empowerment of local actors, located in the northern Andean region of Ecuador.


Bioculturality, Traditional knowledge, Dialogue of knowledge, Eco-development, Transgenerational

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