"If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time; but if you are here because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together." Lilla Watson
JOIN ME & THE PACHAMAMA ALLIANCE FOR A MAGICAL JOURNEY TO THE RAINFOREST OF ECUADOR MARCH 12-23, 2018!
Please read my blog pieces below for more about my experience in the Ecuadorian rainforest:
In January of 2014, I spent nearly three weeks in the Ecuador, hosted by three indigenous communities~the Achuar and Sapara of the Amazon rainforest and a community of Quichua people in San Clemente in the highlands. For decades now, these peoples have been reaching to peoples of the north to build partnerships to protect and steward this region of our precious earth. The Achuar and Sapara live in pristine but highly endangered rainforest~one of the most bio-diverse regions on the planet, the lungs of the earth. Their ways, livelihood, and lands are directly impacted by our policies, patterns of consumption, and addiction to oil and petroleum based products. Their lands are under direct threat from oil companies who lay claim to their lands and pollute the land and water with oil exploitation (see recent news from Amazon Watch of a catastrophic oil spill in two Amazonian rivers.)
These generous, heart-centered peoples also carry wisdom and knowledge essential for our times. Unlike many from the north and west, they have not forgotten their connection to the earth and the web of Life. They know they protect their land and ways not only for their families and generations to come, but for all of us~they see that their fate is inextricably linked to the north and to the rest of the planet.
At one point in our stay with the Sapara people, the Sapara women turned to the western women and asked directly for our help. "We have marched to Quito from the rainforest (300 miles) and the government would not see us. An oil company has a claim to our land right now, and what will we do?" In that moment, our only thought was that we all needed to stand together, as sisters, and share this message with the world. We took video and audio and interviewed the women who so courageously spoke their hearts. Perhaps it is through partnership and radical visibility that we can create a world where people cannot simply be "removed" or "disappeared" and lands cannot simply be desecrated. And so we are in the midst of exploring how we can continue to build and strengthen this alliance and support this vision and call. This is a powerful opportunity to support traditional stewards of endangered lands to remain on their lands and continue their way of life in peace. This situation touches all of us, truly. These people are friends, mothers, daughters, sisters, grandmothers, grandaughters, fathers, grandfathers, sons, grandsons. I can still hear their laughter ringing in my ears. Please go to Pachamama Alliance for more information and to donate to an organization dedicated to this work. Please contact me with your own thoughts and inspirations. I will update this page with additional information and invitations to participate.
You can hear Grandmother Mukasawa speak about the forest here.
You can hear Maria speak here.
You can hear Achuar Elder Jorge speak here.
Of course there are many essential ways to steward our earth, wherever we are. From fracking to Tar Sands~pachamama ("mother earth" in Quichua) asks us to step up, to be a voice, to dream a new dream, to live~day by day~into more sustainable ways of being. Our laughter and tears water the soils. Our ceremonies and celebrations connect us. Our willingness to meet impossible situations with love, presence, and audacious courage will carry us through to new ways of being. Truly, we are making this path by walking it.