Working toward Collective Benefit? Reflections on Community Based Participatory Research in Cangahua, Ecuador

Author(s): Zev Cossin; Ariel Charro; Jane Poss; Siobhan Boyd

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "Working with the Community in Ecuador" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

The Pambamarca Archaeological Project (PAP) has conducted research in the Cayambe region of Ecuador for nearly two decades. In that time, PAP has trained scores of national and international students and actively incorporated local community stakeholders in efforts like the development of small-scale heritage tourism projects. It became clear that these efforts could be re-framed to accomplish the goals of a "community based participatory research" (CBPR) program that conducts research "with, by and for" local communities. In 2018 we laid the groundwork for a CBPR program in Cangahua to more effectively work toward those goals. From the perspectives of both project and community members, this paper reflects on the steps taken and considers the messy process that often results when attempting to push CBPR from theory into practice. In particular, we discuss the opportunities of community-driven research plans, building capacity through archaeological training of community partners, and the rich exchanges between international field school students and local organizations. Other questions remain: How does one balance the diverse perspectives, constituencies and social circumstances of local communities that are never monolithic? How do archaeologists balance methodological rigor with multivocal knowledge sets and community-driven agendas toward a practice that provides collective benefit?

Cite this Record

Working toward Collective Benefit? Reflections on Community Based Participatory Research in Cangahua, Ecuador. Zev Cossin, Ariel Charro, Jane Poss, Siobhan Boyd. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 452463)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -82.441; min lat: -56.17 ; max long: -64.863; max lat: 16.636 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 25860