Mind, Art and Learning – Mental health in the classrooms of Ecuador.
Where? Quito – Ecuador
Participating Institutions: Colegio Atenea, Colegio Fiscal Calacalí, Unidad Educativa Equinoccio and Colegio Pensionado Universitario.
Participants: Health professionals (therapists, acupuncturists, nurses and psychologists). Independent participants with functions in public and private institutions (Hospital Carlos Andrade Marín, Fullbright, Universidad Internacional del Ecuador, British School Ecuador and others).
Dates:  January 6 (adults) | 6 hours
January 12 and 13, 2024 (adults) | 3 hours / 5 hours = 8 hours
Host: ASIRI Health / Neuro Human Design.
A project funded through the Rose grant through the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

In this workshop, a part of the novel “The City and the Dogs” by Mario Vargas Llosa was read to a group of health professionals, which included participants with psychologists, therapists, acupuncturists, social workers, art therapists and nurses.
It was relevant to conduct this workshop with the collaborators of the organization in Ecuador, Neuro Diseño Humano, beforehand in order to make known the project that would be carried out the following week with educators, directors and personnel of psychology areas of public and private schools.
Surprisingly, when I was telling about the Pre-Texts initiative in our neighboring countries and the social impact it had during the Mayor’s Office of Antas Mockus, one of the members of the Neuro Diseño Humano (NDH) team, Mario Ojeda, burst in with his story: Mario told us that he used to be a cultural agent, participating as a mime in the traffic lights of the city of Bogota for a couple of weeks. He told us that standing at the traffic lights for 20-30 seconds was a civic act of the highest responsibility; it was an opportunity to connect with the citizens. The whole city stopped to learn, to observe them and without words to express themselves, through the promotion of culture and the arts in moments of conflict, they transformed every corner of the city. He told us that through the “poetry of movement” they could transmit hope to the citizens.


During the toughest week for Ecuador, starting the year 2024, with an unprecedented increase of violence ever seen in the country and with the declaration of a state of emergency. The Pre-Texts workshop in the city of Quito was about to be cancelled and was postponed. However, with the support of local authorities, the energy and willingness of courageous teachers and the logistical and technical support of the local NDH team, the workshop was kept on schedule. Francisco Alvarez, Master of Public Health at Harvard University (MPH’24), who was awarded the prestigious Rose Fellowship at the Harvard School of Public Health – Harvard T.H. Chan of Public Health, carried out this mental health promotion project through the Pre-Texts protocol.




  • Indicator of development in all fields (economic, political, emotional, etc.).
  • Stimulates imagination in order to comprehend texts.
  • Inspires personal expression.
  • Engages a range of experiences at a safe distance.


  • Starts with creativity, a universal human drive.
  • Depends on facts and critical reflection.
  • Requires reinterpretation of given material.
  • Develops best with a diversity of proposals.


  • Derives from diversity as a source of pleasure.
  • Thrives on admiration of everyone for everyone.
  • Appreciates facts and critical reflections.
  • Recombines materials and experiences.