The Correa ‘phenomenon’ in Ecuador: between ‘buen vivir’ and neo-developmentalism, by Mauricio Torres & Pol de Vos

One of the initial decisions of Correa was the convening of a Constituent National Assembly. The new constitution was officially launched in July 2008 and ratified through a popular referendum in September of that year.
The new Constitution defines Ecuador as a sovereign, independent, intercultural, multi-national and secular country, committed to a development model based on the (indigenous people) idea of “buen vivir”. In ancient Quechua, the term “Sumak Kawsay” means “good living” in harmony with our communities, ourselves, and most importantly, our living, breathing environment. According to Ariruma Kowii, an Ecuadorian (indigenous) writer and poet and also a leader of the indigenous movement,  Sumak Kawsay is “an ancient Andean conception of life that has remained in force in many indigenous communities until now. Sumak means the ideal, the beautiful, the good, the realization, while Kawsay represents the life, in reference to a decent life, in harmony and balance with the universe and human beings. In sum, Sumak Kawsay means to live the fullness of life”.

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