I am Rafaela Iturralde’18, a recent graduate from Quito, Ecuador. I majored in International Affairs and Environmental Studies and focused both of my majors in my home country. As I mentioned on a previous blog post, for the past three years, I have been involved in the Rights of Nature movement due to its importance to my country. In 2008, Ecuador’s new Constitution included the idea of Sumak Kawsay (good living), which considered nature as subject to rights. This summer I interned at the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature, an international organization destined to promote and support the rights of nature in South America and around the world.
The end goal of my internship was the International Symposium to Commemorate the 10 Year anniversary of the Rights of Nature in the Ecuadorean Constitution. For this important event, our role as the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature was not only organizing the logistics of it, but we also had to complete an extensive mapping of the rights of nature cases around the world. After completing this, we had to contact all of the people that we found where involved in the movement and invite them to assist and present at the symposium. This entailed many national participants as well as well-known international rights of nature activists.
The journey of organization and planning was very long and tough but at the same time extremely rewarding when everything followed through and was successful. We had to organize everything, from plane tickets to ground transportation and even a retreat for the key people of the movement for after the symposium. I really enjoyed working with the GARN team. The office was located in the outskirts of Quito, the capital city of Ecuador. With huge windows, you could see the Andes mountains and some volcanoes on sunny days. I have to say, I was excited to go to work every day.