The story of this initiative
Monocien is a collective that started in Quito, Ecuador's capital, more than seven years ago. We are seven permanent members with different professional backgrounds: ecology, law, anthropology, sociology, education, economics and environmental communication. Afer the participation in several groups and social movements we decided to start working together to build our dream.
Monocien seeks to create a unique space to conserve and restore the fragile ecosystem, to have a life with the least possible environmental impact and to build more democratic and sustainable social and economic relations.
The first step of our project was to look for a place that had the adequate weather, ecological and social conditions and save money. It started in 2007 and ended in 2011 with the adquisition of a land located in a forest of the Camarones community. We purchased the land to the heirs of the property that had no intention of conserving the forest.
The second step was to build the house. It started in january 2013 and lasted two moths. This step required a lot of effort to save the money, plan and build the house. This step was hard due to the difficult access to the land and the heavy rains this year. However, we did it! You can watch the construction in the following video:
This two steps have been completed thanks to our effort and money. But now we need your help to continue with the third phase. The goal of this phase is to create a summer school where the young people can reflectionate and generate proposals of individual and collective transformation in harmony with nature. In order to accommodate the participants we need to finish the construction of the house and buy the necessary equipment.
We want to create a space to reflect, exchange knowledge and create proposals around four topics: the relationships with nature, the theories of development, social and cultural dynamics, health and agroecology. We want to open a dialogue and combine theoretical discussions with practices such as meditation and art.
In these workshops we will use constructivist pedagogical methods, Paulo Freire theories and emotional education. The pedagogical theories advocate for a way of learning where the participants build their own knowledge from the interaction, dialogue, practice and experimentation of emotions and sensations produced by knowledge, the conversations with others and the contact with nature.
For more detaills see: www.monocien.org.
Why do we offer these workshops?
We have two main reasons that lead us to organize these workshops. First is the absence of an alternative education that includes or combines the political, social, economic topics with ecological ones through theory, dialogue and reflection. It is necessary to understand in a holistic way the origins of the dominant and oppressive thought (and action) that prevails in the world today.
Most of the existent environmental education programs that are offered in South America from organizations that have a similar philosophy to ours (ecovillages, environmental organizations or alternative education centres) offer practical courses or volunteer programs that include: bio-construction, ecological agriculture, elaboration of food products, water treatment systems and leadership. In addition, they do not offer a solid methodological pedagogical proposal that is clear, innovative and comprehensive or they just use the behavioural methodology without making it explicit.
The second reason why we decided to organize these workshops is because we feel the need of systematize our philosophy, experiences, ideology and praxis and share it with others.
Monocien has beeing built with our funds, hard work and hope. Now we need your help to continue this dream!