Support for the Kichwa Indigenous Community in Ecuador
“MY ENTIRE COMMUNITY IS UNDER WATER AFTER EXTREME FLOODINGS! My family, my friends, and people along the Bobonaza river basin have lost their homes, crops, animals, everything. The bridge that connects my community is destroyed. The school is gone. It is the worst flooding ever in the region. I am devastated and I feel powerless from afar. The past days we have been doing everything in our power to prevent the coronavirus pandemic from entering our communities because that would be a complete disaster. And now this…My people need support now. Yesterday we couldn’t find my family members. I have never prayed so much in my life. Thank you Mama Earth for keeping them alive.” -Helena Gualina
Last March, torrential rains like never seen before caused historic flooding of the Bobonaza River in the Ecuadorian Amazon. The floods destroyed everything in its path including homes, schools, bridges and food gardens in the Kichwa community of Sarayaku. Amidst this climate crisis, the community called for international solidarity for immediate humanitarian aid and to rebuild what was lost.
Grand Circle Foundation provided $20,000 in support and community “mingas” or workdays were organized to reconstruct two of the traditional schools and add school rooms and desks to the community high school. Additional funding will support the following:
- Complete reconstruction of traditional schools. Add floors and bathrooms to the traditional schools, as well as help rebuild 2 schools in neighboring villages.
- Redevelopment of “ATAYAK” or traditional programs including: education, healing and tree planting.
- Indigenous women’s initiatives, including community aid during COVID-19, making and selling crafts and agroforestry.
- Implementation of Living Forest Proposal at local, national and international level.