Telling the Siekopai Story with Jimmy Piaguage Part 2
In this 10 part series BCC had the privilege to interview Jimmy Piaguaje, co-founder of our 2021 chosen charity SËRA Foundation. A youth leader of the Secoya Remolino community and Siekopai Nationality Jimmy lives in the Ecuadorian Amazon surrounded by oil exploitation and oil-palm monoculture plantations.
In response to this existential threat, Jimmy and his community have developed innovative projects to document ancestral shamanic knowledge and created environmental youth workshops to ensure this wisdom is passed on from their elders.
Here we listen to their story and join them in the next phase of their journey in protecting their lands and future.
Do Siekopai have a right to their land?
'Yes, thanks to the struggle of our grandparents, of my father, they succeeded in establishing our territory of 44,000 hectares. But what is happening with our territory currently?
We are surrounded by oil companies, by monoculture palm oil plantations. Our territory no longer provides us with the food that has always come from the jungle.
The animals that allow us to live in harmony with our territory, are no longer there. Before the arrival of the conquistadors, we had an enormous territory of more than 2 million hectares.
There have been various attempts to divide the Siekopai territory, but recently the nationality has said that we don’t want any more oil exploitation in our territory, because it doesn’t even provide us with resources to eat, we can’t accept it.
We are the territory of resistance. South of us are other Siekopai communities that want the road to be built, but we have said no, that we don’t want the road in our territory because we don’t want more invasions.
We are the frontline that is preventing the incursion of the road into the heart of the Amazon. What the oil companies have done is transport the crude oil by boat on the Aguarico river, which has eliminated all the fish. In the last three years, there have been no fish in the Aguarico river. '