Latin American Studies ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 4-29-2020


Agroecology, a concept in continuous evolution embraces science, practice and sociopolitical aspects. Its meaning is gaining space of debate and global interest as an alternative for building sustainable food systems and resilient communities, not only from the environmental perspective, but from all the dimensions of sustainability. The Andes region is recognized for its agrodiversity and for its history of agricultural activity; nevertheless, the effects of unsustainable agricultural practices inspired in the principles of the so called “Green Revolution” are evident. Conventional agriculture has decreased the capacity of resilience of the agroecosystems and their associated communities. Agroecology is often perceived as a strategy to cope with land and social degradation; however, its meaning is understood in different ways. The Cayambe and Pedro Moncayo counties are in the northern Andes of Ecuador (approximately at 2,850 masl) and have been engaged in agroecological initiatives for about three decades. The population is a mix of indigenous and mestizo people with a high proportion of poverty. Their small farms are embedded among larger industrial agriculture areas.

This dissertation consists of three articles. The first article explored the historical motivations, compensations and expectations that farmers and external stakeholders had from agroecology. The second article analyzed the sources and dynamics of agroecological knowledge and associated practices. The third article investigated the perceptions of the impact of agroecology using art-based methods at three scales: the individual, the farm and the community. This dissertation problematizes aspects of the historical dynamics of agroecology in the study area.




sustainable agriculture, diffusion of agricultural knowledge, art-based cartography, non-verbal interview, perceptions of impact, traditional agriculture

Document Type


Degree Name

Latin American Studies

Level of Degree


Department Name

Latin American Studies

Second Department

School of Architecture and Planning

First Committee Member (Chair)

Kristina Maria Lane

Second Committee Member

Claudia B. Isaac

Third Committee Member

Laura L. Harjo

Fourth Committee Member

Chris S. Duvall