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Abstract

This ethnographic study is situated in the complexities and dilemmas of international aid education (IAE), the volunteer sector and cross-cultural learning and teaching. It examines the challenges and opportunities faced by three international volunteers (IVs) teaching in Indigenous communities in rural Ecuador. Through onsite observations and interviews, along with discussions with principal participants (IVs), and secondary participants (three local teachers and the volunteer program director), we present a narrative of the IVs experiences, pedagogical approaches and the factors which affect culturally relevant teaching (CRT) practices. This illustration serves as a platform for a cross-comparative analysis of key themes and issues related to CRT and anti-colonial education in the sphere of IAE. The paper concludes by identifying the implications of IAE may have on the local education and Indigenous knowledges and highlights issues and concerns that must be addressed so that anti-colonial CRT can occur within international cross-cultural contexts.

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