/Tag: Ecuador


15 02, 2023

Ecuador: Indigenous villages fight ‘devastating’ mining activity

2023-11-28T16:09:46-05:00Tags: |

In Napo, Ecuador, an expansion in mining activity has been polluting surrounding rivers and Indigenous lands, with concentrations of toxic metals up to 352 times the limit established by environmental guidelines. Eli Virkina, an Indigenous Kichwa community member, says she can no longer drink from the river and is beginning to question the safety of swimming in it. Virkina has witnessed increasing numbers of large machinery, black smoke, and noise pollution along the river in the last few years. Along with physical impacts on her body, she has also discovered lumps in her breasts and changes to her skin. Indigenous communities have been mobilizing across Napo to resist mining through the formation of alliances, including the first women-led Indigenous guard in the Amazon. Positive milestones have been reached, with the Ecuadorian Constitutional Court recognition of Indigenous communities to give the final say on extractive projects which impact their territories in February of 2022. Unfortunately, this ruling was not upheld during the approval of a mining project in Las Naves. The article closes with Virkina emphasizing the importance of Indigenous resistance to the region’s future, saying how it is much easier for mining operations to gain access to the rivers without the presence of Indigenous communities. Photo Credit: Top Image - Napo Resiste

22 09, 2022

New ‘Rights of Nature’ case will have major implications for protected forest and indigenous lands

2024-02-14T10:32:18-05:00Tags: |

Lauren Ellis discusses the importance of a Rights of Nature case set to protect the Ecuadorian cloud forest of Junín. Ellis highlights the work of Dr. Mika Peck, a Senior Lecturer in Biology at the University of Sussex and a researcher who has experience working in this particular setting. Located in the Intag Valley, the Junín cloud forest is under threat by the proposal of an open pit copper mine. In 2020, a ruling by the Ecuadorian court was in favor of Junín forest protection but this decision was appealed and continues to be fought against. Dr. Peck has experience in Rights of Nature cases, as he has previously provided scientific evidence in support of legal protection for the Los Cedros region, where the court ruled that the forest’s rights were indeed being violated by the mining industry. As Rights of Nature cases become more prevalent, Dr. Peck is working on the development of Ecoforensics, a knowledge exchange network where data concerning the environment and ecology can be disseminated and used in legal cases amongst stakeholders. He emphasizes how the emergence of ecological forensics could possess great potential for the progression of Rights of Nature cases. 

25 05, 2022

An Indigenous patrol in the Amazon won a ‘Green Nobel’ after they took gold miners operating on their land to court — and won

2023-11-28T16:18:15-05:00Tags: |

In 2022, Alexandra Narváez, the first female land patrol member of the Cofán Indigenous patrol, and Alex Lucitante, a founding patrol member and human rights defender, won the Goldman Environmental Prize for their work in protecting the Amazon and legal success against the mining industry. The Cofán community comprises about 200 people who reside in Sinangoe and rely upon the forest and rivers within their territories. In 2018, the Cofán established an Indigenous Patrol, called La Guardia, which used technology like GPS devices and drones from the Ceibo Alliance, an Indigenous operated Ecuadorian non-profit, to capture evidence of environmental damage from machines that were mining the Aguarico River. La Guardia discovered that the government permitted mining activity on their lands with no prior consultation or consent from the Cofán community. Some mining machinery contributed to pollutants like mercury and cyanide leaking into the water and soil. La Guardia brought the case to court and with the help of Amazon Frontlines, an NGO that specializes in Indigenous legal defense, were able to successfully win their court case. The case ruling now requires that the Ecuadorian government consults with the Indigenous community before any mining project can take place on or close to their territory. The ruling also halted 52 gold-mining projects and protects about 32,000 hectares of land. Ecuador’s Constitutional Court reinforced this decision in 2022, affirming that Indigenous communities must give consent to oil drilling, mining, or any other extractive projects that impact their lands. With this success, Lucitante and Narváez hope to inspire other Indigenous communities to confront the mining industry. Photo Credit: Goldman Environmental Prize

6 05, 2022

“Indigenous People Are Fighting To Protect A Natural Equilibrium”: Q&A With Patricia Gualinga

2023-04-16T16:49:32-04:00Tags: |

Patricia Gualinga, a Kichwa leader in Ecuador and member of Amazonian Women (Mujeres Amazónicas), shares her experiences of fighting back against extractive forces that threaten the Amazon rainforest and its surrounding Indigenous communities. Alongside oil drilling, logging, and hydroelectric projects, both formal and illegal mining have become an increasing threat over recent years. Under the guise of “for the good of the country,” the Ecuadorian government continues to prioritize the economy in lieu of the rights of Indigenous peoples. Gualinga clarifies that there is no such thing as a “middle ground” or opportunity for compromise with the extractive industries that Ecuador has become so dependent upon. She points to the history of social neglect and continued marginalization of Indigenous groups that have severed the relationship between peoples and the state. Although there has been an international acknowledgment of the fact that Indigenous people are the best protectors and defenders of the natural world, racist rhetoric persists in framing them as “helpless” or without resolve for solutions that are not inherently economically based. Gualinga challenges these colonial bureaucratic frameworks and the emergence of the carbon credit system by illuminating the global scale of the catastrophe that awaits all people. To be an Indigenous leader, especially an Indigenous woman leader, bears many threats in the name of speaking the truth. However, Gualinga and so many alongside her persist as this work is vital and central to protecting territory as all-encompassing of the ancestry and future of Indigenous peoples. Photo Credit: Jonathan Rosas  

22 04, 2022

Helena Gualinga Is Preserving The Land And Teachings Of The Ecuadorian Amazon

2023-03-05T23:33:01-05:00Tags: |

Helena Gualinga, Native Ecuadorian environmental justice activist and land defender, considers herself a “spokesperson” for the Amazon and uses her voice to speak out against extraction, deforestation, and other forms of colonial and capitalist destruction of the land and waters she calls home. Gualinga has grown up amongst a community of land defenders and Amazon protectors, and she has learned from and rallied alongside her Sarayaku elders in the fight for environmental justice and human rights. Recently, she has been a speaker at the United Nations Climate Change Conferences, and in 2021 she co-led a youth climate march of more than 100,000 people. Gualinga and her sister were the first Indigenous women on the cover of Revista Hogar, a popular lifestyle magazine in Ecuador and used this honor as an opportunity to highlight the many Amazonian women who put their lives on the line to protect their territories, lands, and bodies from violence. Gualinga continues to raise awareness and resist colonialism through her activism, talks, and social media activity.

5 01, 2022

Josefina Tunki: ‘If We Have To Die In Defense Of The Land, We Have To Die’

2023-04-16T15:37:15-04:00Tags: |

Josefina Tunki is the first woman president of the Shuar Arutam people (PSHA), an organization uniting 12,000 Indigenous people of the Condor mountain range in southeastern Ecuador. Tunki was involved in her community as an educator and treasurer before becoming president. Tunki and other members of the PSHA have been threatened because they oppose mining on Indigenous territory. Tunki explains she is not afraid of the police or threats from mining companies; she is afraid members of her community could lose their homes. Tunki strategizes how to fight against mining companies while also being maternal and caring toward those she protects. Photo credit: Lluvia Communication

9 04, 2021

She Built A House From Milk Boxes

2021-04-09T13:21:59-04:00Tags: |

Anna and her friends in Quito, Ecuador, collect trash and reuse it in creative ways. They collect empty milk boxes, compress them, clean them, heat them, shred them and turn them into solid bricks which can be used in various ways. For instance they make furniture, handbags, roof tiling and even a house - for which 1.2 million milk boxes were collected! In this way, Anna is saving 11 million milk boxes every month and helping reduce environmental pollution. Video Credit: NasDaily

24 04, 2020

Meet Isabel Wisum

2020-04-24T15:51:56-04:00Tags: |

Isabel Wisum became the first woman to be elected Vice President of Achuar Nation of Ecuador (NAE) in 2016, and the first woman to have a leadership position in that community. She has supported the maternal and neonatal health of other women in the Amazon rainforest, empowering generations of women as rainforest guardians. A trained community health promoter, her leadership inspires other women of NAE to participate in the local decision-making process, helping to build resilience for her culture, land and people. Photo Credits: Pachamama

21 02, 2019

Afro-Ecuadorian Women As Carriers And Purveyors Of Traditional Medicine

2020-04-24T16:31:04-04:00Tags: |

Women in Afro-Ecuadorian communities are uniquely and historically responsible for traditional medical practices. Like Indigenous Ecuadorians, Afro-Ecuadorians have made the rich botanical resources of Equator the foundation of their medicinal treatments. Traditional medicines are often coupled with healing practices such as singing songs and saying prayers for spiritual ailments as well. However, women practicing Afro-Ecuadorian medicine are now facing threats to their traditional practices due to restrictive policies that label ancestral medicine as “alternative” and from increased pesticide use, and cheaper western healthcare services. Photo Credit: Raul Ceballos

15 10, 2018

We, The Industrialized Ones, And The International Rights Of Nature

2018-12-19T17:26:25-05:00Tags: |

In 2008, Ecuador re-thought its democracy and included “Rights of Nature” in its constitution. Following in these footsteps, Shannon Biggs (United States), Casey Camp-Horinek (Ponca Nation, United States), Pella Thiel (Sweden), Pablo Solón (Bolivia) and Henny Freitas (Brazil) have also started the process to incorporate the Rights of Nature into national legal frameworks. Mari Margil, associate director of the U.S. Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, helped draft state-wide legislation, the first of its kind in the world. Pablo Solon, an environmental and social activist as well as former ambassador of the United Nations, acknowledges that nature helps humans be more humane. Similarly, Patricia Gualinga, former director of Sarayaku Kichwa Native People’s head of international relations, views nature as an actor in democracy rather as an outside subject. Photo Credit: Hugo Pavon/Universidad Andina

7 09, 2018

California Leaders Must Keep Fossil Fuels In The Ground

2023-03-29T13:07:10-04:00Tags: |

One week before the 2018 Global Climate Action Summit Leila Salazar-López, Executive Director of Amazon Watch, calls on leaders in California and worldwide to take the necessary steps to phase out fossil fuel reliance. Salazar-López puts pressure on the California governor to take direct action to reduce the production of fossil fuels in the fifth largest economy in the world which purchases around half of all oil exported from the western Amazon basin in Ecuador. She argues this continued level of oil extraction leads to disproportionate health and safety impacts on low-income communities and communities of color both in her home state and in the Amazon rainforest. Photo credit: Ivan Kashinsky/Mongabay

18 05, 2018

The Erin Brockoviches Of Ecuador

2020-10-05T16:40:01-04:00Tags: |

In the Ecuadorian Amazon, women from different indigenous frontline-communities are leading the protests against further oil and mining concessions. As they see the wellbeing of the people and an intact environment as inextricably linked, they frame their struggle against resource exploitation as a human rights issue. In the areas affected by former oil drilling, the water and soil contamination from former oil wells pose a great health risk to the residents and deteriorate formerly fertile soil. Additionally, women living in towns where oil extraction occurs have been found to face a greater risk of gender-based violence. Photo credit: Rodrigo Buendia/AFP/Getty Images

14 03, 2018

Ecuador: Indigenous Women Protest Lack Of ‘Consultation,’ Environmental Damage Caused By Mineral, Oil Extraction In Amazon

2020-12-02T20:03:36-05:00Tags: |

Ecuador’s National Assembly recently passed a law intended to benefit regional development and expand social services for the most impoverished; however, dozens of Indigenous Amazonian women are protesting the law’s support for continued mining activities and oil extraction, which are responsible for environmental contamination and human displacement threatening the indigenous way of life. These activists are camping outside the presidential office until president Lenin Moreno meets with them and hears their mandate to reject extractive industries, ensure food sovereignty, and deliver intercultural education, among other concerns. Photo credit: CONFENIAE  

13 03, 2018

Ecuador’s Indigenous Women’s Restless Defense Of The Amazon “Living Forest”

2018-10-11T17:02:34-04:00Tags: |

On International Women’s Day, in Puyo, the capital of Pastaza, Ecuador’s biggest Amazonian province, over 350 Indigenous women from across Amazonia marched to pressure the Ecuadorian government for failing to meet commitments to Indigenous communities.  The march was followed by a 3-day gathering led by female Indigenous leaders from the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon (CPONFENAIE). With leaders from 7 Amazonian nations present (Andoa, Achuar, Kichua, Shuar, Shiwiar, Sapara and Waorani) attendees established the Assembly of Amazonian Women. During her long awaited speech Patricia Gualinga, the well-known Sarayaku leader, outlined her community’s proposal to protect the Amazon, Kawsak Sacha “Living Forest”. The proposal seeks to leave responsibility of forest protection to Indigenous communities who have a holistic relation to nature. Photo credit: Andrés Viera V. (March in Puyo on Women’s Day)

9 03, 2018

Indigenous Women March In Ecuador, Vow To ‘Defend Our Territory’

2020-10-23T22:23:24-04:00Tags: |

Indigenous women leaders throughout the Ecuadorian Amazon are committed to the longstanding fight for Indigenous territorial autonomy, women’s rights, and environmental protection. On International’s Women Day, about 350 of them gathered in the city of Puyo to protest the extractive industries in their communities and their role in mass displacement and environmental contamination. For leaders including Hilda Ande of the Quichua nation and Ena Santi from the Sarayaku territory, legal and physical protections for women are critical needs because of the acute violence and abuse women face due to exploitative industries disrupting traditional lifestyles and ecosystems. The march began with a traditional cleansing ritual to pay respects to the earth and reignite their spirits and ended with speeches by numerous women representing diverse nationalities such as the Quechua, Woarani, Zapara, and Sarayaku. Photo credit: Kimberley Brown/Mongabay

7 03, 2018

Guardians of the Amazon Rainforest – Women Rising Radio

2019-04-13T15:59:20-04:00Tags: |

Indigenous land and rights defenders, Gloria Ushigua of Ecuador and Aura Tegria of Colombia, share the heart moving victories and struggles of their people against mega extraction projects on their land, weaving in significant moments from their personal stories. Gloria Ushigua is President of Sapara Women’s Association in Ecuador. She was publicly mocked on television by Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa after protests in 2001 and violently persecuted after organizing significant mobilizations against oil drilling in 2015. Aura Tegria is an indigenous U’wa lawyer on the Legal Counsel to the U’wa people of Colombia. The childhood memories of her people organizing to protect their land inspired to become the U’Wa defender she is today. After intense protests, campaigns and legal action in 2014 and 2015, they successfully kicked out Occidental Petroleum followed by the successful dismantling of the large Magallanes gas well from their land. Part of the U’Wa resistance has also been against the Catholic and Evangelical church that historically promoted cultural extermination through their boarding schools for indigenous children and other oppressive practices. Both women share the history of their people’s resistance since colonization, their personal stories linked to that resistance, the recent struggles of their people and the inspiring victories.Photo Credit: Amazon Watch

2 11, 2017

WECAN Speaks With Mirian Cisneros, Woman President Of The Pueblo Of Sarayaku, Ecuador During The UN COP23 Climate Talks

2017-12-28T14:52:58-05:00Tags: |

Mirian Cisneros, woman President of the Kichwa Pueblo of Sarayaku in the Ecuadorian Amazon, speaks with the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN International) while in Bonn, Germany for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change COP23 climate negotiations. Mirian shares thoughts on the significance of being a woman leader of her community, and about her people’s message to the world during COP23. Photo credit: Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network

27 06, 2017

Women Of The Cloud Forest Take On Mining Giants

2017-10-27T01:09:17-04:00Tags: |

The Intag cloud forest has been a hotspot for mining corporations for decades. A group of strong-willed women are taking a stance against these companies to protect the area’s biodiversity. Headed by Silvia Betancourt, The Coordination of Women, an umbrella group of 13 collectives, is fighting mining companies and ecological contamination. Marcia Ramirez, the leader of an anti-mining group, wants to prove that women too are capable of leading. She believes women dedicate more time to taking care of nature and are thus vulnerable to slight changes in the environment due to the nature of their daily errands. Photo credit: Naomi Renee Cohen

31 03, 2017

One Woman Against Big Oil And Patriarchy

2017-09-04T09:07:58-04:00Tags: |

In 2013, Alicia Cawiya, Vice-President of the Huaorani Nation of Ecuador, addressed the country’s Constituent Assembly in Quito denouncing the oil companies and defending her Indigenous brothers and sisters from other groups, and their culture. After her powerful speech, Alicia became an inspiration for Indigenous women and a respected national political figure and Indigenous activist. Later, she wrote to the Permanent Representative for China to the United Nations to protest the violation of Indigenous rights by the Chinese state company Andes Petroleum that resulted from the agreements signed with the Ecuadorian government in 2016. In addition, she helped to organize a Women’s March to demand that Indigenous territories be declared a petroleum-extraction-free zone. Alicia is the founder of the Huaorani Artisanal Women’s Association and she continues to fight for women’s economic empowerment. Photo credit: Elle Enander

15 03, 2017

Indigenous Women March To Defend The Amazon And Indigenous Rights

2017-10-17T19:21:36-04:00Tags: |

Over 500 Indigenous women and their allies from seven nationalities (the Andoa, Achuar, Kichwa, Shuar, Shiwiar, Sapara and Waorani nations) took to Ecuador’s streets to protest a contract the government signed without Indigenous consent. Ecuador’s government ignored the wishes of Indigenous nations when it granted a Chinese oil corporation access to 500,000 undeveloped acres in the Amazon. Many of the marchers were moved to action by the murder of Indigenous earth defender Berta Cáceres and paid tribute to her life and legacy during the protest.

28 02, 2017

Court Issues Ruling In World’s First Rights Of Nature Lawsuit

2017-10-28T22:55:06-04:00Tags: |

Ecuador’s Esmeraldas Provincial Court recently handed down its decision on the world’s first constitutionally-based Rights of Nature lawsuit. The Afro-descendant community of La Chiquita and the Awá community of Guadualito asked the court for repairs and suspension of all harmful plantation activities performed by Los Andes and Palesema Oil Palm Companies. However, according to the court’s decision, the responsibilities for remediating damages were assigned to the state and not oil palm companies. Unfortunately, even after the Court’s decision, the companies continue violating the Rights of Nature by dumping chemicals and wastewater into the river and extracting palm oil from plantation fruit. Photo credit: Hazlewood

26 01, 2017

Chevron’s Massive Pollution In Ecuador Frames Death Of Legendary Nurse Rosa Moreno

2017-10-26T13:38:47-04:00Tags: |

This story, published by Amazon Watch, honors the life and legacy of Rosa Moreno, a nurse who dedicated over 30 years of her life to treating cancer and fighting on the frontlines of a dire environmental health crisis in her Amazonian village of San Carlos. San Carlos is located near dozens of Superfund sites or open-air pits filled with toxic oil sludge. These dump sites, presently owned by the American-based Chevron Corporation, continue to funnel waste into the local drinking water sources. Photo credit: Amazon Watch

26 12, 2016

Indigenous Women Artisans Defend Their Livelihood And The Environment

2017-10-26T23:14:11-04:00Tags: |

Sumara and other Indigenous artisans are using traditional techniques when crafting necklaces and pottery to generate sustainable incomes for their families. The women live in an area of the Ecuadorian Amazon often greatly exploited by extractive industries. The HAKHU Project supports the women artisans so they may continue nurturing their culture’s traditions and highlight forms of non-extractive economy that ultimately empower Indigenous people. Photo credit: Ian Frank/HAKHU Project

29 09, 2016

Gloria Ushigua Works To Defend Indigenous Territory In The Ecuadorian Amazon

2017-10-09T21:19:09-04:00Tags: |

Gloria Ushigua, President of the Sápara Women's Association of Ecuador (Ashiñwaka) is actively working against state and privately-run oil companies’ efforts to develop the Pastaza Province of the Ecuadorian Amazon. Despite increased harassment, intimidation, and persistent threat of violence, Ushigua has persevered in her defense of Sápara land and right to a traditional way of life in the Amazon. Photo credit: Land is Life

2 06, 2016

Indigenous Woman Leader Threatened For Defending Environmental And Human Rights

2017-07-16T14:48:47-04:00Tags: |

Gloria Ushigua, coordinator of the Indigenous Sápara women’s organization Ashiñwaka, faces great danger in her home in the Ecuadorian Amazon as a result of her determined work to stop the expansion of oil drilling and the displacement of her community. Since 2010, she has defended her community Llachama Cocha from the encroachment of foreign and state-sponsored fossil fuel extraction. Photo credit: Frontline Defenders

8 03, 2016

Indigenous Women Of The Amazon And Allies March For Climate Justice And Indigenous Rights On International Women’s Day

2017-10-12T14:43:28-04:00Tags: |

On International Women's Day, Indigenous women of the Andoa, Achuar, Kichwa, Shuar, Shiwiar, Sapara and Waorani nations marched in opposition to a contract between Chinese oil conglomerate Andes Petroleum and the Ecuadorian government. Rosalia Ruiz (Sapara) and Alicia Cahuiya (Waorani) spoke about defending their ancestral territory for their people, their rights and climate justice. Photo credit: Amazon Watch

7 03, 2016

Women Of The Amazon Defend Their Homeland Against New Oil Contract On International Women’s Day

2017-12-15T13:25:31-05:00Tags: |

In response to January 2016 action by the government of Ecuador to sign a new contract with Chinese oil company Andes Petroleum, giving permission to explore and drill for oil in the country's pristine southeastern Amazon Rainforest, Indigenous women leaders from across the country are speaking out to denounce this latest cultural and ecologic violation. Gloria Ushigua (Sápara) and Patricia Gualinga and Ena Santi (Kichwa) share thoughts in advance of a historic gathering and march of women in Puyo, Ecuador, on International Women’s Day 2016. Photo credit: Emily Arasim/WECAN

2 02, 2016

Indigenous Women Come Together To Reject Ecuador’s Contract With Big Oil

2017-10-14T12:52:52-04:00Tags: |

Indigenous women leaders from the Sapara and Shiwar Nations, from the Kichwa, Kawsak Sacha, and Sarayaku Peoples, and from the communities of the Bobonaza Basin banded together to make a public declaration in defense of life, the land, and buen vivir (good living). In their public letter, published by Amazon Watch, the women denounce Ecuador’s contract with Andes Petroleum. The women state that the Ecuadorian government pushed this contract without prior consent from Indigenous communities and outline how the contract directly endangers the water, the forest, and Indigenous lives.

10 12, 2015

The Amazonian Tribespeople Who Sailed Down The Seine

2017-10-12T14:34:37-04:00Tags: |

The Kichwa tribe in the Sarayaku region of the Amazon in Ecuador believe in the “living forest,” where humans, animals and plants live in harmony. They are fighting the oil companies who wish to exploit their ancestral land. Indigenous women led their Amazonian tribespeople in sailing down the Seine to make their demands known to the world during protest events at Paris COP21. Photo credit: Amazon Watch

7 12, 2015

Nina Gualinga: We Were Born of the Land Lent to Us By Our Future Generations

2017-12-07T18:25:46-05:00Tags: |

Nina Gualinga, a young woman leader of the Kichwa Pueblo of Sarayaku, writes on her experience growing up deep within the Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest, and the consciousness and responsibility she has developed to take action to ensure that her ancestors are honored, and that future generation's have the opportunities to enjoy the rich, diverse Earth that has shaped her own worldview and life. She speaks directly to Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa, calling him to see and act to respect the wishes of the country's Indigenous movement, which is ceaseless in its efforts to protect the land, waters, creatures, and their communities, customs and livelihoods. Photo credit: Amazon Watch

26 10, 2015

Amazon Women On The Front Lines: The Waorani

2017-10-26T16:32:06-04:00Tags: |

The Waorani peoples, whose ancestral homeland encompass Ecuador’s Yasuní National Park, one of the most biodiverse places on the planet, are fighting for their forests, way of life and cultural survival in the face of expanding oil extraction. Alicia Cahuilla, Vice president of the National Waorani Federation, spoke out in Lima, Peru during the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP20 climate negotiations to advocate against continued exploitation, and share the story of the Asociación de Mujeres Waorani del Ecuador. In the face of deforestation and oil drilling, the Association, now comprised of over 300 women, has developed an incredible land management and just development plan which stresses zero deforestation, wildlife and biodiversity protection, and holistic food production, hunting and wild harvesting. Photo credit: Caroline Bennett

13 10, 2015

How Women Are Saving The Amazon: Nina Gualinga

2017-10-12T14:37:58-04:00Tags: |

With the third-largest oil reserves in South America, Ecuador is home to fossil fuel resources that foreign companies, and consumers, want to extract. Nina Gualinga, an Indigenous Sarayaku woman, has been at the forefront of the fight to preserve her ancestral homelands and the Yasuni National Park, a biodiversity hotspot, from drilling. In 2012, Indigenous groups won a settlement and apology from the Ecuadorian government, who had permitted drilling without prior consent. Photo credit: Amazon Watch

1 10, 2015

Patricia Gualinga & Atossa Soltani – Indigenous Women On The Frontlines: From The South

2017-12-15T13:25:54-05:00Tags: |

Speaking at the annual Bioneers Conference, Patricia Gualinga of the Kichwa People of Sarayaku tells the story of her communities fight at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and every day on the ground - to prevent oil extractions in their homelands, the ‘lungs of the world’. Atossa Soltani of Amazon Watch provides translation and words of support. Photo credit: Bioneers

14 08, 2015

Ecuador’s Indigenous People March Now For Their Children’s Future

2017-07-17T17:03:53-04:00Tags: |

Harkening back to the first colonization of the Americas and the Indigenous uprising of 1992, Indigenous woman leader Nina Gualinga of Ecuador wrote a beautiful letter to urge Rafael Correa, president at the time, to listen to his people's peaceful demonstration and protect their land for their children to enjoy. Photo credit: Amazon Watch

26 03, 2015

A Conversation With Natalia Greene About The Rights Of Nature In Ecuador

2017-12-26T16:28:32-05:00Tags: |

Natalia Green is an Ecuadorian environmental leader who played a significant role in the inclusion and recognition of Nature’s rights in the Ecuadorian Constitution. During a webinar presentation she explains how the country’s hgh levels of biodiversity led the country to shift the paradigm and recognize that human existence should coexist in harmony with Nature. However, as she explains, the implementation of the country’s new legal framework remains a challenge, and that there is an urgent need for real implementation and accountability in the face of continued rights violations.

3 11, 2014

Guardians Of Life: The Indigenous Women Fighting Oil Exploitation In The Amazon

2017-10-12T14:29:39-04:00Tags: |

Ecuador’s Indigenous women are at the forefront of movements to resist oil and gas extraction in the Amazon. From marching to Quito to ask president Rafael Correa to protect the Kawsak Sacha, a living jungle, to being indicted for terrorism, to resisting the closure of NGO Fundación Pachamama, these women are standing up against the odds. Felipe Jacome’s photoset “Amazon: Guardians of Life” offers an intimate account of the women’s courage and strength. Photo credit: Felipe Jacome

20 09, 2014

Esperanza Martinez At This Changes Everything Talk With Naomi Klein

2017-10-14T16:21:23-04:00Tags: |

Climate activist Esperanza Martinez discusses the meaning and ramifications of ecological debt in this discussion with Naomi Klein during Climate Action Week. Martinez argues that societies should no longer be destroying areas like Yasuní National Park in Ecuador to unearth fossil fuels and explains why it is essential that social economies must free themselves of fossil fuels. Photo credit: Amazon Watch

7 12, 2013

Patricia Gualinga: Warrior For the Amazon

2017-12-15T13:25:43-05:00Tags: |

Amazon Watch profiles Patricia Gualinga, a Kichwa woman leader of the community of Sarayaku in the Amazon Rainforests of Ecuador. Patricia was a key protagonist in the recent historic indigenous rights victory at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, in which her community received support to their claims of violation by oil companies opening fossil fuel extraction sites in their traditional territories without consent. Through her vocal leadership, Patricia has helped to inspire and empower countless other Indigenous women leaders in her community, and across Ecuador and the Amazonia region, to stand up and speak out with strength to protect their homelands from fossil fuel and mining companies. Photo credit: Caroline Bennett

7 12, 2012

A Message from Gloria Ushigua, President of the Association of Sapara Women

2017-12-07T19:00:21-05:00Tags: |

Gloria Ushigua, President of the Association of Sapara Women, of the Sapara Nation in the Amazonian region of Ecuador, shares a powerful direct message from her community, about the strength of traditional medicines and associated knowledge systems, the need to protect and promote continues local use of them, especially in the face of the threats and devastation of oil extraction in their homelands. Her message was sent to members of the Indigenous Peoples Biocultural Climate Change Assessment (IPCCA). Photo credit: Asociación de Mujeres Saparas

29 10, 2011

Natalia Greene: The Rights of Nature At Bioneers

2017-10-29T00:13:37-04:00Tags: |

Natalia Greene is the President of Ecuador's National Coordinating Entity for environmental NGOs, and has been a key figure in the recognition of Rights of Nature. She surveys the transformational global movement for Earth jurisprudence. During her presentation, she explained that currently, we live in a world where using sustainable development to justify environmental destruction is acceptable. This shows that human beings are disconnected with Nature (“Pachamama”) and treat the earth as a commodity. Ecuador, one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, is a leading example is this trend, where there is an active civil society which advocates for biodiversity, food security and Indigenous rights. In 2008, the most biocentric Constitution the world has known, was passed in Ecuador. However, there is still a lot of work to be done for the implementation of these fundamental rights. This is possible through the “reading” and understanding of Nature. Photo credit: Bioneers

1 02, 2008

Black Ancestral Medicine in Ecuador’s Pacific Coast

2023-11-08T12:58:39-05:00Tags: |

In the North of Esmeraldas region in Ecuador, Afro-Ecuadorian women healers use their ancestral knowledge, along with other medical systems, to create a hybrid healing community. Benita Angulo, colloquially known as Venus, has been a practitioner of her traditional medicine in San Lorenzo for decades. While most places in Ecuador now have access to Western healthcare practices, San Lorenzo has been left out. Parteras (midwives), such as Venus, have been continuing their practice for women in the area. Their practices emphasize natural and local sources of healing, and center the patient in their practice. The Ecuadorian government has not adapted its public health system to meet the diverse population needs, and many parteras are outpriced and traditional knowledge is lost. Traditional practice has unique benefits and roles in Latin American populations, and must be regarded equally to Western medicine in public health matters. Photo credit: Raul Ceballos