Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Teaching material from recycled material in Pano

The Kichwa special education teachers here in Napo province have a huge challenge in their hands.

There are no books or other material for special education and they get almost no material from the schools or the education department.

Most of our teachers have created their material together with us.

At first it was hard for them, although they had their creativity and they were accustomed to create material, they did not know what to do for special education students.

Little by little they have been learning more about special education and what kind of activities, methods and techniques you can use.

During this time they have been creating their own material, from scratch.

Since they only have the jungle around them and the recycled materials they can find, the ingenuity and creativity they have is really admirable.

Here is a look at the material that the special education teacher for youths and adults from Pano kichwa community has created for her students.
Trees made from paper pieces, colored rice (fruits and leaves) and string (roots).
Maria Elena is a crafts and sewing teacher.

She used to work with teenage students at a Kichwa high school.

Until education department decided to reduce the number of teachers in the institute.

She was given two options,
Either she could resign or she could work as a special education teacher at a local elementary school.
Chikra or traditional bag made from colored string.

She decided to take the challenge and try it out.

Like the other teachers in the program, she was given a month long teacher training about basics in special education and sent to a school.

It was a challenge but she rose to it.
Chikra or traditional bag made from colored string.

At first she worked with students with learning disabilities but since we could see her capabilities and creativities when it was possible,

She was offered a place as a special education teacher for youth and adults with disability.

In a new program where she prepares them for independent adult life.
Kichwa family made from colored stones.

Her creativity and knowledge of traditional kichwa crafts makes her invaluable.

And so does her drive and will to go on and help her students to start a new, more independant life.

Maria Elena has many dreams for her students.

She wants to teach them to do artisan crafts that they can sell and earn their own money, for the first time in their lives.
Differed material made by the teacher.
Her students ages vary greatly.
The oldest is over 70 years old and can't leave her home, so Maria Elena needs to visit her at her home after school hours.

The youngest students are just over 18 years old.

But all of them are delighted to have an opportunity to study and feel themselves usefull and normal, like other students. 

Like one of them told me, I can be useful, he said, I come to the school like other students and do useful things. And everyone greets me here, like I belong.
Year circle with the names of the months in Kichwa and picture of their meanings.


  1. I used to be able to find good information
    from your content.

    Feel free to surf to my web site twitter hack ()

  2. You can tell these teachers are really invested in their students. They really put some ingenuity in these.

  3. What a great use for recycled products. Looks like they're enjoying themselves. I love doing craft type stuff too, especially with the kiddos.

  4. I think that this is so amazing.. Here in our schools the kids have too many luxuries with smart boards, and things like that, that they do not know what can happen if the schools could not afford them.

  5. "I can be useful." <<< that is so true, and it is awesome that teachers like this can help these students realize their potential!

  6. I guess when you don't have too many options but you really want to learn, you can always become creative and use any resources. I remember the days when I was in school, we used to use a lot of recycled stuff. Today kids are too spoiled, they get everything handed to them on a golden plate.

  7. What a beautiful woman and what a gift she is to that community. Thank you for sharing in such a beautiful way!

  8. Love this! What a wonderful person--thanks for sharing!

  9. Wow, so neat and an inspiring. I loved seeing all of the projects.

  10. Wow, those are so great! You are so amazing! Amber N

  11. Maria Elena sounds like an amazing, big-hearted woman! And thank you for sharing a little of her with us. :)

  12. I know I ALWAYS say this, but I enjoy all the pics that you always post on your site. The pics are so great, they help me to see everything through your eyes - thank you!

  13. Whay A Amazing Person Love All The Creative Art!

  14. I think she was meant to be in a position like that! Very good ideas, I never thought to use these things to teach.

  15. What fun way to recycle. All those crafts look fun.

  16. I am truly fascinated by how they were able to make the materials they needed. The amount of creativity there is incredible!

  17. She's really making a difference in their lives. I love that she wants to teach them to do these amazing crafts.

  18. Very nice! The colored string bag reminds me of hook work my grandmother used to do.She was handy at that kind of thing. :)

  19. Wow that looks so fun and love that its recycled! fabulous!

  20. love the ways they come up with reusing, simple and yet using what they have - love it!

  21. I like the spining wheel! How creative!!