About us

Project Summary:

Cimate change is a global ecological problem that seriously threatens children’s futures worldwide. Yet, the effects of climate change are drastically different for children in the Global North and South. Children in the South experience greater social, environmental and economic consequences than children in the North and have fewer opportunities to voice their concerns. Thus climate change is a significant social injustice.

In the remote Andean community of Ingapirca, Ecuador, climate shifts are exhausting the land and profoundly changing Indigenous cultural and social relationships. Massive numbers of Cañari people have migrated to the North for employment, often leaving their children behind in the care of relatives. Although these children are key stakeholders in the sustainability of land and its ancestral knowledge, few opportunities exist for them to consider themselves as protagonists and knowledge creators in response to local and global ecological crises.

To mitigate the effects of this injustice, the Uncommoning in the Andes project seeks to develop pedagogical methodologies that will strengthen Andean children’s agency in the struggle against climate change in their remote community

To achieve these objectives, this project addresses the following research questions:

  1. How might educators and researchers co-create and collaborate in the struggle against destructive climate change in remote Andean communities in Ecuador?
  2. What roles might community leaders and educators play in creating conditions to enhance child-world relation for collectively responding to climate change in Andean communities?
  3. How can Andean children engage and reinvigorate their ancestral knowledge?


Veronica Pacini-Ketchabaw is a Professor of Early Childhood Education in the Faculty of Education at Western University in Ontario, Canada, and the co-director of the Pedagogist Network of Ontario and the British Columbia Early Childhood Pedagogies Network.  Veronica’s writing and research contribute to the Common Worlds Research Collective (tracing children’s relations with places, materials, and other species), and the Early Childhood Pedagogies Collaboratory (experimenting with the contours, conditions, and complexities of 21st century pedagogies).   Veronica is currently the principal investigator of the SSHRC Insight Grant Transforming Waste Pedagogies in Early Childhood Education, and the SSHRC Partnership Development Grant Exploring Climate Change Pedagogies with Children.

Cristina Delgado Vintimilla is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Education at York University. She is also a pedagogista within the Italian tradition. Cristina’s area of research is pedagogy as living knowledge and as that which thinks and troubles the project of the Human within educational contexts. Currently, her research focus on the creating pedagogical inquiries and pedagogies that address the complexities of educational contexts (formal and informal) in the Global North and South (see River Plasticities and Itinerant School). As a pedagogista, Cristina is particularly interested in the intersection between pedagogy and the arts as a generative intersection for imagining alternative onto-epistemologies (see Food Pedagogies and River Plasticities projects).

Alex Berry is a PhD candidate at Western University’s Faculty of Education. Within postqualitative framings, Alex’s research puts into conversation research-creation and pedagogical inquiry toward processes that might shape the emergence of alternative child-climate relations, particularly in the Ecuadorian Andes. Thinking in dialogue with mentors Veronica Pacini-Ketchabaw, Cristina D. Vintimilla, and Sylvia Kind, this orientation to research has energized her pedagogical work in Ecuador and her curatorial work in two research-creation exhibits, Disorientating the early childhood sensorium: Micro-interruptions for alternative climate futures and Plastic Childhoods: Noticing toxic intra-dependencies in Andean early childhood. Alex received a Joseph-Armand Bombardier Graduate Scholarship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for her current research in Ecuador, and the Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarship for innovative international research with children for her Master’s research in India with the University of Victoria.

Daniel Duran is an entrepreneur who is deeply engaged with questions of ecology and justice. He has cultivated relation with Inga Pirka and Cañari people for more than a decade.  He is an active member of the ecological group called Tierra Viva. In a more personal manner,  Daniel is intensely involved in processes that legitimize ancestral knowledge and spirituality. 

Marta Escobar is a Ecuadorian anthropologist. She has work as a researcher and consultant for many different international and public organizations such as the Ecuadorian Ministy of Public Health, UNESCO and the Counsel of Nations and indigenous people of Ecuador. Her areas of research focuses on women and children in a variety of contexts: intercultural health, maternal health within ancenstral medicine, the role of women in facing climate change, childhood labour and ancestral artisanal work. Marta has also done research about sustainable and organic agricultural production and the recovery of ancestral agricultural practices. She is the author of La frontera imprecisa, lo natural y lo sagrado en el norte de Esmeraldas and Cambio Climático para mujeres de Bosque Tropicales.