I just came back from Ecuador where I spent some time with the Huaorani of Bameno. I wanted to thank you all both from me and from the whole community of Bameno for your support. We were able to raise money for the minga, the working meeting the Huaorani will hold on 18-19-20 of January to discuss important issues regarding their land rights and territory defense. Also with this fundraiser we were able to raise money to help Ahua, Penti’s father and a great Huaorani warrior, to get good treatment at the best hospital in Puyo after his hunting accident. Ahua was in very serious condition, his leg infected badly and his life was in danger. However, after 6 days of good care in the hospital, Ahua got well and made it safely back. I visited him during my stay in Bameno and I am happy to report he is doing fine. His wound healed, he is able to walk normally and go about his life as before. Moreover, the third day I was there he went … hunting again, a very good sign that he had recovered.
I also want to send big thanks to all of you that helped with collecting electronics equipment to replace all the equipment that had been stolen from Penti in November of 2011. Penti and the community of Bameno received a laptop, 3 digital cameras, USB memory sticks, SD cards and an external memory that will allow them to communicate for free (they can get wireless in a few spots in Coca). This way they will be able to capture images that will promote their tourism business, the only income-generating activity besides individual seasonal work that few engage in. Picture taking will also enable them to tell their story, get evidence in case they run into illegal loggers on their territory or discover any illegal activity in their rainforest, collect testimonies of all their work – reunions, gatherings, community life – festivities, everyday lives, and collect evidence that will reinforce all the work they are doing.
Given that Maloca started its activity fairly recently, we had a pretty good 2011 activity – an August Fundraiser, a December Fundraiser and a Holiday Electronics Equipment Collection.
We are planning more events, fundraisers, and surprises for 2012, and I hope that your interest in the Huaorani will remain strong.