Our Land, Our Story
Tzawata is a small Kichwa community in the Ecuadorian Amazon currently engaged in a struggle to regain its ancestral lands. Their story is typical of many indigenous communities, yet because it goes back many generations and contains many legal details it is very hard to understand. This project's objective is twofold: 1) working with the community to more fully understand our complex story and by understanding it become empowered to act, and 2) learn new ways to communicate our story to outsiders. Our activities include workshops and an intern program. In the latter, 3 interns lived in the community for a little over one month to learn the story and then tell it back to the community. Finally, through various dialogues they worked together to create documents that synthesize and more effectively tell the story. More of Tzawata's story can be learned from our June 2014 Newsletter. And check out the community's amazing video, La Lucha, created with the amazing dedication of Maria Nachbor.
Direct beneficiaries: 50 community members; Indirect beneficiaries: Approximately 300 members from 3 communities who share in the struggle for the land.
We are now engaged in a new project with Tzawata called "What it means to be KICHWA: The Living Community," which uses varied means to explore and promote the preservation of Kichwa culture in global times.