Health, Culture and Nature
To support indigenous peoples and organizations in the Ecuadorian Amazon with the revitalization and strengthening of their cultural systems, particularly the education and health systems, for the improvement of their current life situation.
Our starting point is where health, culture and nature meet and interact interdependently.
WHAT WE DO
Sacha Warmi promotes a more critical and profound reflection on issues related to interculturality, especially to support the construction of "original health"(salud propia) and intercultural programs among indigenous populations in the Ecuadorian Amazon.
Executive Director, Intercultural Health Programs
Women, Families and Territories Program
Economic Entrepreneurship Programs
Between the months of March and May, while some were taking advantage of the pandemic to deforest the Amazon, we decided to use part of the confinement time to reforest it.
Indigenous and intercultural health systems For today or tomorrow? Without a doubt, the current health crisis has pushed the issue of health to the forefront. In other words, health, which in a “normal” situation used to be one of our last concerns, has now become a priority. We all know that this issue used toContinue Reading THE LESSONS OF COVID-19
Online presentation made on Tuesday June 2nd for the Ecuadorian Society of Ethnobiology and the Latin American Society of Ethnobiology (SOLAE) by Didier Lacaze Introduction Good afternoon, everyone. My name is Didier Lacaze. My background is not academic. It is based rather on a life experience of about 40 years, in direct contact with theContinue Reading The Rebellion of the Animals, the Plants…Nature
Newsletter March-April 2020 Support to victims of the river flood in Pakayaku (Pastaza) Bobonaza River flooding (17.04.2020) left tons of mud in the community of Pakayaku Actions: Restoring water system – food and kitchenware. After the rising of the Bobonaza River, which flooded a large part of the community, on March 17, the support actionsContinue Reading Newsletter March-April 2020
Here is a new video in which we propose a recipe of some plants to strengthen our body and prevent us from diseases in this complicated period and of course after
I am not the first person to propose addressing the health of indigenous peoples in the Amazon from the perspective of collective rights. I would only like to go a little deeper into the subject, aiming for a slightly distinctive view on health, education and economy, not only from the perspective of the collective rightsContinue Reading Indigenous Health, from the the laws and rights of Nature
What do the recent dramatic floods of the Bobonaza River and the Covid-19 epidemic have in common? Both – the floods and the epidemics, are the result of deforestation and over-exploitation of animals – hosts of viruses and other pathogenic agents. They are the result of an extractivist relationship between cities and forests. If thereContinue Reading The Rebellion of Animals, of Plants… of Nature
For some time now and from various media we have been hearing that we are living through an unprecedented crisis; that this is a historic moment, which according to some marks the true beginning of the century. We are told of “a new world”, that “nothing will be like before”… But what does this meanContinue Reading BUILDING BRIDGES BETWEEN TODAY AND TOMORROW – A message to the Kichwa indigenous peoples of the Ecuadorian Amazon
On March 17, 2020, in the Ecuadorian Amazon, Pastaza province, due to a never-before-seen flood of the Bobonaza River, the houses of the Ancestral Kichwa People of Pakayaku all remained under water and people lost everything; Two suspension bridges were destroyed, the water system and the chacras or food gardens, which are where people get most ofContinue Reading CALL OF SUPPORT FOR THE DAMINIFIED OF THE KICHWA COMMUNITY OF PAKAYAKU, DUE TO THE OVERFLOW OF THE BOBONAZA RIVER.
Yesterday, Rosa and Didier traveled to Pakayaku to recognize and assess the damage caused by the rise of the Bobonaza River on March 17 and meet with Pakayaku authorities and members. Going down the Bobonaza from Canelos to Pakayaku (1h30) People have started to set up tents with the plastics and to connect parts ofContinue Reading Reconnaissance trip to Pakayacu – 03/24/2020
Victoria is a biologist by training, with experience in etnobiology and more specifically etnobotany. She is a specialist and teacherin rural development. With values and ethical principles applied toward revitalizing traditional wisdom, knowledge and practices in the communities, which she has been involved with. Victoria is convinced by the importance of the holistic knowledge and cultural values of indigenous people, as a guiding principle for the conservation of nature. She is very thankful to the Nasa community from the Andes Mountains in Southwest Colombia, with whom she has learned about fight and gain political strength for the permanence of indigenous community.
Indigenous people in Urban areas
I am Pakcha Samay Villegas Miranda. I was born in Mushulllakta on July 30, 1982. Fourth daughter of twelve sibblings, at the age of 14 I had to leave my home. I went to the city of Puyo to be able to continue my studies at school, which quickly came to end as unfortunately I was not prepared to undertake this path. I needed my family nearby, especially my mother- even though she would punish us very hard. I come from Kichwa and Shuar roots. I understand the Kichwa language, thanks to my grandmother Carmen Vargas. I am here to be a voice and example for all my brothers and sisters, who know and understand that we have a great cultural wealth. That we should feel proud of our roots, we should not let our own culture be forgotten, and no matter what people say, we should look for own way of life. If we start by giving the example, on the way others will join the fight. My life gave a very positive turn after getting to know and understanding better our wise mother nature. Here I am now carrying with me her knowledge for others. I am the mother of three beautiful girls. I work as an artisan with traditional seeds. That’s what I love doing!
Born in the Kichwa community of Canelos in the province of Pastaza, Luis is part of the generations of young indigenous people that is committed to look for achieving better health and wellbeing alternatives in the communities of the Amazon. Luis is an civil engineer but has always been involved in promoting social, cultural and environmental matters. He has taken part in various national and international UN events on climate change and rights of indigenous peoples. He believes that we have to reconsider the way we ……..Different social changes are having a considerable impact on the indigenous culture, in the modern context. Luis believes that health, culture and nature should be seen as one, and technology should be a better fit in the day-to-day of indigenous people. Based on this perspective, it is important that we take advantage of what technology offers, in order to protect our intangible heritage and promote amongst the younger generations, the principles and values of our indigenous cultures, from which we have become so disconnected.
Economic Entrepreneurship Programs
“Since a young age I was brought up with values and principles of indigenous cosmovision. I grew up in a family of great sages (Banku-Yachak) from Napo, and founders of the district of Arajuno, in the province of Pastaza. My grand parents were known to possess great powers to cure diseases with the sacred vine, Ayahusca.” Diana considers herself a kichwa woman, who is committed to strengthen the culture of indigenous people, through intercultural community endeavors, which in turn will generate an income for families in their communities. That way we can avoid the migration of indigenous people from their communities into cities in search for work. Migration to urban areas has become one of the leading factors, contributing to biocultural erosion. Currently, thanks to her career in finance, Diana has undertaken a joint textile venture in Arajuno called “ASOTEXKICH”, which helps to generate job opportunities for 20 kichwa women in vulnerable situations.
With a great passion for health, after obtaining her masters in Public health, in 2015 Eleonore comes to Ecuador, where she works for an international NGO to improve access to primary healthcare in remote Kichwa communities of the Amazon. This is when she realizes the importance to rescue and promote what is left of traditional knowledge and local practices in the communities, instead of trying to impose occidental medicine and beliefs onto these communities. Inspired by the mission and work of Sacha Warmi, in 2017 Eleonore decides to join forces with them, to improve the health and strengthen the health systems of indigenous populations. Eleonore is very motivated to support Sacha Warmi initiatives with the traditional midwives, to make sure that their valuable ancestral practices, and precious knowledge on medicinal plants are not being forgotten, amidst so much change and uncertainty.
Women, families and territories program
Born along the bank of the river Bobonaza, Rosa belongs to the Kichwa nationality from Canelos, in Pastaza. At a very young age she left her community and lived for 8 years in various places across Ecuador. Her experience outside of her community gave her a new outlook on her own culture and made her realize the importance of the traditional ways of life in her own community. Worried about the future of her community, Rosa came back to motivate the women in her community to come together and reflect about their current situation, in order to come up with small-scale cultural and productive projects, which can help improve their current life situation, as well as their family’s.
Thomas’first contact with Sacha Warmi was in 2016, when he did his field work for his master’s degree in anthropology, with the University of Lyon Lumière (France). He conducted interviews with the female midwives of Arajuno and the women ceramist of Canelos, to better understand their traditional knowledge and practices. “Accompanying the midwives in their daily activities, I learned many things that I was not taught in college. But the most interesting and important thing for me was to feel that my work could contribute to the development of the programs that the Sacha Warmi Foundation has, to strengthen these groups and help them gain more technical capacity and autonomy. This is how I got to better understand, the contributions that can be made by scientific research to the benefit of local initiatives-what the social sciences call action-participatory research. Now, from France, I continue to support the Sacha Warmi Foundation with its communication program until I can return to Ecuador to work with Sacha Warmi and the indigenous communities of the Amazon.
Executive Director, intercultural health programs
With 35 years of experience working on indigenous health, Didier has dedicated a of significant part of his life supporting the revitalization of indigenous cultural and health systems, accompanying various communities and organizations of the Peruvian and Ecuadorian Amazon in the development and implementation of diverse life projects. Nevertheless, there is still a lot to be done. Didier is still convinced about the huge value, which encompassesindigenous health systems and traditional medicines in the Amazon. Not merely to help indigenous peoples in attaining a better health and a decent life, but also because this anceatral knowledge and medicine constitute an important legacy for all of humanity.