José Gualinga

Flowering trees against the oil industry

As part of our 2019 field mission, we met José Gualinga, head of the organisation “Atayak” and one of the main leaders of the Kichwa people of Sarayaku.

Sarayaku is a village in the heart of the Ecuadorian Amazon. The community still lives in a traditional way, in harmony with nature. For 30 years the Kichwa people of Sarayaku have been fighting to protect their territory, its biodiversity and intangible heritage from incursions by oil companies.

In 2006, the people set up the Frontier of Life project, Sisa Ñambi, to create a border of flowering trees around traditional Sarayaku territory.

In this video José reminds us of the importance of protecting the forest for indigenous communities and explains the Sarayaku people’s connection to it.

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