The Situation

Historically, efforts towards cultural recovery in the Amazon have been characterized by outsiders “leading the way,” by attempting to preserve cultural practices and languages in a pamphlet, a book, a video, or some other “product,” while other initiatives, mainly driven by local governments, fund indigenous themed festivals, beauty pageants, and competitions in which indigenous cultural practices are shared with, or are presented as entertainment for city-dwellers.

The Vision

Our work stems from the belief that cultural pillars and keystone practices can only be identified by the indigenous people themselves. From there, we work to promote cultural practices by practicing them, we recover traditional plants by planting them, and we work to reconnect youth with the forest and its spirits through ceremonies that have served that very purpose for millennia.

Without our culture, our language, who will we become?  Other people, I think.

- Nemonte Nenquimo, Waorani.

Explore our work in the field

If lost, ancient medicinal plants and traditional crops that were gifted to indigenous peoples from forest spirits or visiting shamans and then handed down from generation to generation, would forever sever these Nations from millennia of accumulated knowledge, indigenous science and healing systems. Together with communities, we are replanting them.

For thousands of years, ancient skills and knowledge, for thousands of years, have been transmitted with the same basic principles: elders and youth come together; practicing, weaving and building; in a traditional space and at a traditional pace and rhythm. Together with communities, we are promoting these practices.

Through ceremonies, communities heal, analyze current affairs, and, in general, maintain their social structure and deep spiritual connectivity to the forest. Without ceremony, a cultural crumbling-away is seemingly inescapable. Together with communities, we are supporting ceremony and building ceremonial spaces.

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