Sarayaku: Living Well and Resisting Oil


Ecuador 2004 136Deep in the Ecuadorian Amazon, the community of Sarayaku has sustained their way of “Living Well” by keeping extractive oil industries out of their territories.  Saq’ Be’ has a long time connection with the community.  In 2004, my wife and I travelled to Sarayaku where we got to know the people of the community and recognize a way of life that embodies the potential that humans have when in balance with each other and our place. We had the privelage of being welcomed by the children of Sabino Gualinga, a powerful medicine man, with deep roots in a profound healing lineage.  It was also a time when the petrol companies were deploying numerous strategies to remove the community from the territory – modern day versions of the same tactics used to extract people and resources throughout history.  You can read more about that experience here: Cry in the Jungle: Defending Life, Resisting Devastation

The struggles Sarayaku has faced is indicative of both the challenges and the hope that Indigenous communities around the world hold.  These communities have much to to teach the world about how we live our lives and relate to our home:

Sarayaku residents describe sumac kawsay as “choosing our responsibility to the seventh generation over quarterly earnings, regeneration over economic growth, and the pursuit of well-being and harmony over wealth and financial success.”

Through our board member, Karen Marrero, we hope to continue to provide much needed support to the community in their successful efforts to turn back extractive industries, live in right relationship, and to bring that wisdom forward into the world.  Please contact us if you are interested in contributing to support these developing efforts to help Sarayaku.

Please read this timely, and eloquent article that appears in Yes! Magazine:

Deep in the Amazon, a Tiny Tribe Is Beating Big Oil

Adam Rubel
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One comment

  • Adam — thanks for posting the YES! article on the Sarayaku. Good to know of your own involvement with that tribe and other indigenous communities that help us all learn the lessons of how to living “together, with Earth.”

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