This project seeks to maintain agricultural diversity in the Shuar communities based on sustainable production techniques, in order to avoid genetic erosion, the deep food insecurity caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the practice of curative medicine and intergenerational transmission of their own gastronomy in order to achieve self-determination and good community living.
For the cultural perpetuation, it is vital for the Shuar communities to conserve and transmit in an intergenerational way, the diversity of agricultural species because the Ancestors thrived with this diversity. But, to conserve this diversity of food and healing plants, our Ancestors knew songs and sacred prayers which they communicated with the gods of the jungle – Shakaim and the goddess Nunkui, goddess of production.
The sacred prayers called “anent” gave the fertile force to the Earth and enabled a balanced relationship between man, nature and social cohesion.
The constitution of the Republic of Ecuador prohibits the entry of transgenic products to avoid negative consequences, such as: use of toxins in agriculture, genetic contamination, soil contamination, loss of biodiversity, development of resistance in insects and weeds and unwanted effects on other organisms.
It is urgent to work on the process of empowerment and resilience of the Shuar communities located in the Morona River basin, the Ecuador-Peru border integration zone, because the occurrence of the COVID-19 pandemic left them in a situation of vulnerability and food insecurity. Due to the confinement, the Shuar families exerted a lot of pressure on the natural resources of their small community territories.
With the first phase of the project funded by Seeds of Wisdom in 2019, many human lives were saved as food was distributed to families affected by the pandemic and various sacred medicinal plants were used to treat patients.