Support Indigenous Communities in Ecuador!

Dear Friends,

In these crazy times we believe that the power of common people and solidarity are great tools to change the world. I want to share with you these two projects that need your support.  I am leaving to Ecuador on December 16th so I will be collecting donations personally until December 14th During the Recraft the Holidays EcoBazaar event at Greenovation. Please come and we will be able to talk personally about all these issues!

#1
The first project is to help buying a camera for a community that is being threatened by the destruction of their territory in the Yasuni National Park in the northern Amazon of Ecuador. The kichwa community of LLamchama is located in the heart of the megadiverse Yasuni National Park (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yasuni_National_Park). They are opposed to oil exploitation in their territories, but the Ecuadorian government has initiated the auctioning process of the oil under these territories. For more information please check the following articles: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/mar/26/ecuador-chinese-oil-bids-amazon,
http://www.pachamama.org/ecuador.

A group of people, including the group Rayas Yasuní, organizes visits to this territory to allow people to see with their own eyes what is happening. My good friend Daniela Ochoa is leading one of the brigades of support and they are going to teach people how to use the current communication media and tools, so they can show and share what is happening with the world! I will be traveling to Ecuador for Christmas, so I can take the camera personally to the community. It makes sense to get a waterproof camera so it will last. The price of a normal camera like that is $150 (including a memory card and a bag) If you are interested in donating please contact me!

#2
The second project is a Christmas celebration that my friends and I have been organizing each year in a different community for more than 12 years. We are not an organization, we are just people wanting to take action and help others. This year for the second time we are visiting a Shuar Community in the Ecuadorian Amazon. San Luis de Iniminkis, a rural town in the southern Ecuadorian Amazon.

More than 400 children live in this area and we plan to bring them school supplies, food, and organize games and theater, with the collaboration of a local group called Guandul Artes (https://www.facebook.com/guandul.artes). From our experience in 2012, we decided to organize other activities that will help to empower this community. Committed people are volunteering their time to bring a workshop that will focus on topics around women and rights. “Women’s welfare is the welfare of the community”.

The Contribution:

We ask for a small financial contribution to organize this celebration ( suggested $20 but more is welcome ), and share with the families of this community a little of what we have and are. This will allow us to provide:

1. School supplies: Pens, notebooks, books, crayons, clay, educational games, etc.
2. Food: With the goal of becoming increasingly committed to our Mother Earth, we want to offer healthy and local food. We want to encourage recycling , use and reuse of environmentally friendly materials as well.
3.Transportation: For volunteers who will attend, including musicians, artists, performers, workshop coordinators and others.

Friends, with your help we can make a positive impact in the lives of the residents of Llamchama and San Luis de Iniminkis!

Please check the video of our visit to San Luis de Iniminkis in 2011!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5fyuMcaW50&feature=share

I will be leaving by December 16, so we can collect donations until December 15!

A sunny hug and joy to everyone!

Yupaichani!
Arum Paitia!
Thanks!

Paola Macas Betchart

Contact Info:

*For more information in the US or other country, please contact Paola Macas Betchart

If you decide to contribute please send a check to Paola M. Betchart to: 62 Harvard St. Front. Rochester, NY 14607
mobile: (585) 270-1683
home: (603) 717-8422
email: [email protected]
*The activities in Ecuador will be coordinated by Daniela Ochoa:
email: [email protected]
mobile: (593) 099 254-5005

More information about us:

Daniela Ochoa, anthropologist with many years of experience, has been working in different rural areas in Ecuador, from the Andes to the Amazon. She has extensive knowledge of the situation faced by its people and the urgent need to work toward solutions for the problems they face. She is currently a faculty professor of Anthropology of the Universidad Salesiana del Ecuador in Quito. She is involved with different social and grassroots organizations in Ecuador like Rayas Yasuní.https://www.facebook.com/rayas.yasuni?fref=ts.

Paola Macas Betchart, born and raised in Ecuador, is an Environmental Anthropologist. Over the past five years she has been working on conservation and development issues, particularly researching natural resources management in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Paola is interested in social justice and sustainability. She organized fundraising activities in Ecuador for the past ten years. Currently, she implements fundraising strategies and coordinates special events at Rochester Greenovation and works part time for the Worker Justice Center of New York as an education and outreach paralegal, serving low wage and farmworker populations in New York State.

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