There are no books, curriculum or other official material for special education in Ecuador.
The teachers get almost no material from the schools or the education department.
|Creating visual material for the students.|
When I started working with them here in Napo they constantly asked me to teach them how to make material that they could use in the classroom.
I can do some crafts but it has never been my calling.
|Rainbow rice made with acrylic paint.|
There are people who can create awesome treasures from scratch.
I’m not one of them.
I tried to think material that I would be able to replicate and teach them.
The teachers were happy with the little things that I could show them and teach them to do.
|Different kind of visual sensory material.|
|The red and black together stimulate the sight.|
Until I noticed how much more creative and capable they are than me.
It was quite a humbling experience.
After all, I was the one teaching them and telling them how to be a good special education teacher.
But when it comes to creating DIY teaching material, I’m just a backward student.
|Happy and sad, how do you feel?|
The real magic started happening when I started showing them different ideas, gave them the material and then left them to create on their own.
Not all of them are DIY geniuses.
But the wonderful thing about Kichwa culture is that it is very communal, everything is done together.
|A landscape with a figure of a woman, made with sand and acrylic paint.|
And if someone knows a little bit of something, they share it with everyone.
Then another person shares a bit more and together they create incredible ideas and beautiful material that I can only admire.
|Rectangle and square getting ready.|
My job really was just giving them an idea.
How about we do some sensory material, something for the students to explore their senses.
And then I let them have all the fun they wanted, and just enjoyed being part of something special.
|A traditional Amazonic Kichwa home.|
|A tree made from lentils and sand.|
|Traditional Amazonic Kichwa houses, a Kichwa man and woman with traditional clothing made from soda bottles. With different kinds of sensory stimulis you can find at home, like the sun, or apples, or a cacao fruit.|
Special education teachers sing Karullaktamanta, a song in Kichwa.