I recently had the opportunity to visit the Sapara Peoples of Ecuador in the beautiful Amazon rainforest with my friend and AHC ally Susie Poncelet, Board Member of the East Bay College Fund. In my brief time in this green, lush and mystical ecosystem I was reconnected to my own indigenous beliefs, deepened my awareness of the ills of consumerism and learned a great deal about the Sapara land, people, language, traditions, rituals, medicine and how our Western lifestyle threatens all with extinction.
Led by indigenous leader and shaman Manari Ushigua, Naku aims to connect with friends around the world, share the rich cultural history of the Amazon and critically awaken the hearts, minds and souls of humanity to what we need to do to support human beings to awaken to the dangers of their consumerist life. Naku has merged his wisdom with Belen Paez of Pachamama Alliance and together they are forming a powerful network to awaken humanity from the dream of consumerism.
Our effort to inspire youth entrenched in a poverty mindset and shaped by our consumerist culture about their critical role in advocating for their communities and the environment through the West Oakland Legacy Project. These youth are learning that they have the power to change their world by changing their mind about how they will live in the world. The leaders at AHC see an opportunity to make a crucial alliance and merge the issues that plague urban communities of color with those that threaten indigenous communities and environmentalists. Using art we will begin to make connections globally, to gain a deeper understanding and express the broader environmental ramifications of land and human exploitation.
We are incredibly excited about the possibility of partnering with Naku. Our hope is to take Oakland youth in June of 2018 to Ecuador to deepen their understanding of the value of the Rainforest and how all life is connected. Stay tuned for more updates and a more detailed blog about the gifts imparted to the world from this amazing place and people. For more information about Naku, visit: www.naku.com.ec
Amana HarrisExecutive Director