SËRA Foundation 2022

Defenders of the Amazon Forest and Ancestral Culture

Photo: Erin Creo

After the success of last year BCC are delighted to continue supporting the SËRA Foundation in 2022 and further connect our international community of tree climbers and outdoor enthusiasts with these forest defenders in a global campaign to protect the Ecuadorian Amazon, learn from the people who have resided there for millennia and share their story of resistance.

The money raised from sales of our BCC products, direct donations and raffle this year will go towards providing material and equipment for their new school and help create a sustainable source of income for the community to continue to live in harmony within the forest.

The story so far

On the 20th of January 2021 a chance encounter with an online crowdfunding campaign led to a conversation with author and activist Beth Pitts who has been supporting the resistance of indigenous communities in Ecuador for nearly ten years.
Beth's work led us to the Sëra Foundation, a grassroots indigenous youth organisation co-founded by Amazon defender Jimmy Piaguaje who set up the the community organisation  to protect their territory and their ancestral culture.
The community is part of the endangered, indigenous Siekopai Nationality (which literally means ‘multicoloured people’), who live in the fragile Amazon rainforest ecosystem.

Their language is Paai koka and they are renowned for their use for over 1,000 different medicinal plants. Read the full interview with Jimmy Piaguage here.
 
There used to be over 30,000 Siekopai living in an immense territory that stretched an estimated 7 million acres from Ecuador into Colombia and Peru. Currently only around 1600 Siekopai remain, 900 in Peru and 700 in Ecuador, where they live in a 50,000-acre fragment of rainforest, surrounded by oil exploitation and oil-palm monoculture plantations.

 

In response to this existential threat, the group of young Siekopai leaders developed innovative projects to document ancestral shamanic knowledge and created environmental youth workshops to ensure this wisdom is passed on from their elders.

The SËRA Foundation visiting Pambiliño Forest school
Photo: Beth Pitts

'Our dream is to transform the school in our community and implement a curriculum blending ancestral Siekopai wisdom with aspects of modern knowledge' Jimmy

You can watch Jimmy's short films on medicinal plant use here.

For more details on how to support the SËRA Foundation and their fight to defend the Amazon go to our Get Involved page or donate directly here.

BCC is hugely grateful for the help of Beth Pitts, author and activist, for her help in connecting with the the group of young Siekopai leaders in Siekoya Remolino.