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