Collectivity, Participation, and Solidarity Within the Afro-Ecuadorian Communities of Guayaquil, Ecuador
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The purpose of this project was to identify factors that promoted or prohibited participation in Afro-Ecuadorian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the city of Guayaquil, Ecuador. This project also focuses on the formation and function of collectivity and solidarity in the Afro- Ecuadorian communities of Guayaquil. Guayaquil is the largest and most populated city in Ecuador, as well as the economic capital of the republic, and now due to migration, it is the largest city associated with blackness. Afro-Ecuadorians have suffered invisibility, racism, racial inequality and racial discrimination, and as a result, they have experienced varying disparities in education, health, and employment in their communities. Assuming that Afro-Ecuadorian NGOs help Afro-Ecuadorians gain access to resources that are difficult to obtain, participation in these organizations should be significant. In order to collect the data for this dissertation, I engaged in ethnographic methods, which entailed convenience sampling and snowball sampling. I also created surveys, which I used to speak to 150 people who lived and worked in Guayaquil. In addition to the surveys, I conducted interviews with willing participants who had completed the surveys. Both the surveys and the interviews contained closed and open-ended questions. The questions focused on a variety of topics, some were more focused on demographics, and others focused more on actual experiences and expectations. The methods utilized also included participant observation and taking pictures. The data I collected was very informative, even though the results of the dissertation did not support the assumption that there would be higher levels of Afro-Ecuadorian participation in the Afro-Ecuadorian NGOs in Guayaquil. The methods utilized did produce information about factors that impact Afro-Ecuadorian participation, and the roles of collectivity and solidarity in Afro-Ecuadorian communities in Guayaquil. The one-on-one interviews provided enough information to develop an additional theme that I did not originally anticipate. This theme involved the power of words (namely the word negro), and the negative impact that it has had on the psyches of Afro-Ecuadorians living in Guayaquil. Lastly the people who participated in this study helped me create suggestions aimed to turn a somewhat hostile Ecuadorian society into one that is more hospitable, and where Afro-Ecuadorians would feel more accepted. These suggestions include incorporating positive imagery of Afro-Ecuadorians in the media, so negative stereotypes and stigmas associated with Afro-Ecuadorians would decrease and self-esteem, and acceptance for Afro-Ecuadorians would increase; adopting an Afro- Ecuadorian curriculum to educate everyone on Afro-Ecuadorian and culture; increasing collectivity that is not limited to Afro-Ecuadorian communities, but includes non-Afro- Ecuadorian communities and international communities; providing Afro-Ecuadorians with more opportunities for educational and economic empowerment; and creating a culture of promoting blackness through the use of Negritude.
Francois, Savannah Shenise Hicks (2018). Collectivity, Participation, and Solidarity Within the Afro-Ecuadorian Communities of Guayaquil, Ecuador. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from