A tropical forest in the Ecuadorian Amazonia. The indigenous Kichwas of the Sarayaku community (1200 people) lives in its depths. Their existence is part and parcel of the philosophy of “Kawsak Sacha” (living forest/jungle). “Kawsak Sacha” perceives the forest as a living being that is formed of and communicates with all the beings that live there: its protecting spirits, animals, plants, trees, waterfalls, swamps, mountains, rivers, etc.
After a long and painful struggle against the Argentinean CGC petrol company and Ecuador´s government, they managed to cancel the oil extraction project in their land. The community of Sarayaku proposes the introduction of the legal category of “Kawsak Sacha” as a protected zone, in which oil and mineral extraction, logging, and any other type of human extractive intervention, is prohibited.
It’s impressive how a society that looks poor at first glance, due to the lack of material goods, manages to interpret the notion of wealth differently; by prioritizing the natural world, communal life, simplicity, creativity, solidarity and happiness.
¡Allpamanda, causaimanda, jatarishún!” / For land, for life, rise up!