Under the premise that scientific research must leave the academic cloisters and become a contribution to the development of the country, the USFQ College of Social Sciences and Humanities (COCISOH), founded the Center for CIS Sociocultural Research. Since its creation in 2011, the Center has developed a series of projects, both, pure research and consulting in areas related to art, culture and the cultural heritage of Ecuador. The CIS is made up of a solid base of researchers from the faculty of social sciences and humanities, who at the same time are full-time professors at USFQ. Research work and consulting projects are carried out with the highest quality standards and based on state-of-the-art analysis, which generally result in publications in important national and international academic journals.
Interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research is the basis on which the center's work is based. Based on the expertise of our researchers, the following main areas of competence have been defined:
- Archaeological research,
- Anthropological research,
- Research on cultural and community tourism
- Research on cultural landscapes
- Research on public cultural heritage policies
- Historical Research
- Geographical research
- Memory research, architecture
- Research on autonomy and local development
- Other areas of cultural heritage and multiple communities
Archaeological research is one of the most developed areas within the Center. The experience of in-house researchers and CIS associates extends throughout the country: Costa, Sierra, Amazonia, and Galapagos. We maintain an emphasis in different parts of the country, we carry out community archeology, and our experience covers archaeological research of a wide geographic spectrum as well as theoretical and methodological. We also offer advice for community archaeological tourism programs.
Community Archeology Program
The Community Archeology program is the only one in the country, linking researchers and students from USFQ with local communities that have asked to research and value their archaeological heritage. This kind of "Minga" (from the Quechua for "collaborative work") generates the exchange of local knowledge with the academic, stimulates interest in culture and heritage, and allows establishing community development projects based on archaeological heritage. The Center has worked in the community of Tingo Pucará in Cotopaxi, Colta in Chimborazo, Coaque and Julcuy in Manabí, and Valdivia in Santa Elena. Some of our researchers have worked in the Agua Blanca Manabí community in community archaeological tourism.
Our research team maintains specific and general interest in local communities. While several study migratory processes and urban minorities, others dedicate themselves to political ecology and ethnographic work. We have researchers in our plant on the anthropology of tourism. The CIS has carried out investigations in Loja, Zaruma, Chilla, and Shuar territory, in the Chimborazo region, as well as on the Ecuadorian coast.
The CIS promotes community tourism based on processes that reinforce local identities. Therefore, it seeks to develop sustained and consensual research programs of local memory, past and present, in order to incorporate them into the various local development plans.
We seek to reinforce the precarious sociocultural institutionality of the territory and for this, we also focus on the analysis of public policies and the generation of local management models.
Memory and heritage
A comprehensive vision of ancestral and current heritage focuses on the analysis, protection, and enhancement of cultural heritage. For this reason, the CIS also focuses on the analysis of historical documents, local and national archives, in order to keep memory alive. Thus, the CIS conducts research on archives and libraries within the country.
The Bioethics Code
The CIS is managed under international research standards, strictly complying with USFQ Research policies. In this scenario, any USFQ project dealing with living human subjects must first have the analysis and approval of the bioethics committee where situations on informed consent are resolved, and other codes on the management of the information obtained in field.
The CIS has offices and modern information analysis laboratories on USFQ's Cumbaya campus. We are located in Basement 5 of the Hayek building. Cartographic analyses will be carried out at the USFQ Geographic Information Center. For the preparation of digital works, we have USFQ Audiovisual Laboratories. All the aforementioned laboratories have state-of-the-art technology. Additionally, the CIS has two more laboratories (materials, paleobotany) on the USFQ Campus in the city of Riobamba.
Establish strategic alliances with other research centers, local government communities, NGOs and private companies at all levels, in order to develop research in the socio-economic and cultural area. Become a leading center for Sociocultural Research in Ecuador.