Vira I. Heinz Women in Global Leadership scholarship recipient Hannah Brown was able to experience the indigenous culture of the Kichwa Amazonian community for one month in the country of Ecuador. At Estación Científica Iyarina, she was studying the topic of Anthropology in the forms of health, population and nutrition, while also studying traditional Amazonian arts making and meaning. Hannah was able to connect with the community through learning basic Kichwa language and speaking basic Spanish, while learning from other peers who had more experience with these languages. In Ecuador, Hannah was able to learn about how the indigenous people in this area thought of themselves and their environment as a whole. She learned how emotions, health and the production of crops was highly devoted to a Kichwa persons’ relationship to the land. Hannah was introduced to the concept of having multiple selves inside of oneself that connect a person to their land, family, and the animals around them, and was able to take the journey in finding this connection within herself.
While in Ecuador, she was able to travel to neighboring communities and facilities to learn about the intercultural healthcare system and how each community member uses traditional forest medicines in combination with biomedical practices. Hannah was also able to accomplish this by going to local hospitals and traditional midwife facilities to compare and contrast the availability of intercultural care, while also interviewing two local women on these topics. She was able to connect with the people and the nature that surrounded her throughout her experiences.
CEE Title: Sustainable is Attainable