Last weekend we had great joy to meet old and make new friends. After travelling with the Bullens Heimann Foundation & the Pachamama Alliance deep into the Ecuadorian Amazonas in February (which was an incredible and remarkable journey), this time the rainforest came to Switzerland.
Reason was a gala to raise money for the protection of indigenous culture and the Amazonian rainforest and fund the Living School of the Amazon. A leadership school for and from indigenous communities. To preserve and share their wisdom for the benefit of all.
The spiritual leaders of the Sapara nation Manari Ushigua and of the Achuar nation Domingo Peas came and bridged the illusionary separation between indigenous and our Western world. To remember and reconnect with who we are – beyond skin colours, circumstances, resources, location, languages, belief systems… – each one of us ‘just’ a human being with one shared home: earth. And thats what happened on Saturday.
The lightness and innocence of the rainforest was there and embraced us.
It was almost as having ambassadors of open hearts, authenticity, genuinity & joy with us, which inspired (almost 😉) all of to open up and forget that we are in ‘serious’ Switzerland 🤪😅.
All that in the face of the severity of the situation.
A few facts stuck with me:
Indigenous people only represent 5% of the earth’s population but are guardians of 80% of its biodiversity and 60% of its rainforests. They receive only 1% of the money spent globally on environmental and climate protection. And are continuously subject to external threats from government and / or corporations eager to exploit the rainforest resources (through deforestation, minerals and petroleum) but also to internal challenges due to loss of culture. As the young people have to leave the rainforest for higher education. These schools are in the cities and don’t value indigenous wisdom and spirituality. As a result, when they return home they are not rooted as much anymore in their indigenous cosmovision but are already somewhat part of the Western mindset.
That’s where the Living school of the Amazon comes in. A school from and for the indigenous communities in the Sacred Headwaters in Ecuador and Peru. So that the youth can become keepers of the long lineage of wisdom. To defend their culture and the rainforest but also share their connection, rich culture and roots with us.
Not to adopt their belief system but to connect with our own roots.
When I asked Manari Ushigua, how he perceives Switzerland he said to me: “The roots are so rich and beautiful here in Switzerland.”
And he wasn’t not referring to the trees. 😉 He seemed not much impressed, worried or angry about the Awareness of us here. Being part of the exploitative culture and abusive mindset that threatens the rainforest.
He just saw through to who we are – human beings. With beautiful roots and cultural lineage. Right here.
Let’s just pick them up. Wake up and reconnect with who we are.
What do you think?! 😃
Big ‘Thank You’ to our great hosts, Nicole, Valentina and Han, to Atossa, Manari and Domingo for all the dedication and initiative – and all the other new and old friends. 🤗
We are looking forward to travelling again to the Ecuadorian rainforest in June, to help and learn more about our interrelatedness and interdependence. ❤️