HEALTH, INTERCULTURALITY AND RIGHTS

The proposal of interculturality in Ecuador, specifically aimed at health, has been around for more than two decades, although its political, organizational, normative and institutional precedents date back to the end of the 20th century. ‘Interculturality’ reflects and summarizes different political projects, in some cases parallel, in others complementary and in others contradictory.

The term “Interculturality” was coined, on one hand, as a project of decolonization, in some cases born out of organizational processes for social or ethnic recovery. It has also been undertaken as part of a project of the State, in other cases framed inside the neoliberal project of ‘diversity’ and in others as a response to the social demands.

From a more general perspective, in Ecuador, intercultural health, points to the need to find appropriate ways and mechanisms so that different health and medicine systems, in this case indigenous and Western, can interact in a more harmonious and complementary way, in order to provide more effective and culturally relevant health services.

Justino Piaguaje, presidente de la Organización de la nacionalidad Siekopai del Ecuador.

Sacha Warmi Foundation supports interculturality in health with indigenous rights as a starting point, as well as a response to the demands of indigenous organizations, from national and local (CONAIE/CONFENIAE), regional (COICA) and international (OPS/NNUU) organizations’ requests.

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.