Educational emergency in the Shuar territory

Text:  Tuija Veintie, Photo: Comunicación Confeniae

The Federation of the Shuar Nationality of Pastaza (FENASH-P) declared a state of emergency in education.

People gathered for the assembly in Tsuraku, Pastaza.

On 20 January 2021, the FENASH-P organized an emergency assembly to discuss and bring forward the untenable educational situation in the Shuar territory. The event gathered together people from 34 Shuar communities in Pastaza. 

The Shuar Federation together with the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE) and Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazonian (CONFENIAE) state that intercultural bilingual schools in the Shuar territory in Pastaza lack adequate infrastructure, educational materials and even teachers, and the pandemic has seriously aggravated the educational inequality. The emergency assembly set an agenda for the necessary improvements in education in the Shuar territory: Continue reading “Educational emergency in the Shuar territory”

Current issues on gender-based violence and discrimination – reports from Ecuador and the world

Text: Tuija Veintie

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25th of November reminds about the worldwide problem of gender-based violence. Women and girls are particularly at risk of experiencing violence in times of social and economic crisis. This year, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has threatened the health and well-being of people around the world, deepening social and economic inequalities, exacerbating poverty. At the same time, violence against women and girls, and particularly domestic violence, has intensified globally, according to the United Nations (UN, 2020).

Also in Ecuador, domestic violence against women and girls has been increasing during the pandemic. Among others, Indigenous women living in the outskirts of big cities and in rural communities run a particular risk of experiencing violence due to their vulnerable socio-economic situation (Sacha Samay, 2020). Moreover, recent reports bring forward many other forms of violence that Indigenous women experience at the same time when they carry a heavy load of unpaid and unacknowledged care work in their families. In a declaration released in commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the women representing the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE) highlight the multiple forms of violence that Indigenous and rural women experience:

“as physical and sexual violence that many times ends up in femicide; as economic violence when our work is not valued and we do not have the necessary conditions to make the land produce and to commercialize our products; we live the obstetric violence when the medical system abuses us without understanding on our cosmovision; we live symbolic violence when we are discriminated for being Indigenous, and for living in rural areas; the violence is also present in our territories when invaded by the military forces and when destroyed or contaminated with mining, petroleum, and monoculture farming; we live political violence when we are prevented from holding public positions.” (CONAIE, 2020a. Translation from Spanish by author). Continue reading “Current issues on gender-based violence and discrimination – reports from Ecuador and the world”

La emergencia sanitaria COVID-19 no justifica que la educación pública pague la crisis económica

(publicado en Inglés en el blog de ESDLA: Edición especial-Covid19)

Redacción: Paola Minoia

#NoalRecorte campaña en Ecuador.

Covid-19 se está expandiendo en Ecuador, pero aún más rápido ha sido la reacción del gobierno para restringir ciertos derechos. Nadie se atreve a impugnar el bloqueo, uno de los más estrictos del mundo, que prohíbe la movilidad de las personas desde las 2 de la tarde hasta las 5 de la mañana. Sin embargo, algunas restricciones que involucran derechos fundamentales para el pueblo ecuatoriano, es decir, educación para todos, están causando descontento. El enfoque en esta publicación de blog es el derecho a la educación superior, especialmente para los grupos de personas de bajos ingresos que asisten a universidades públicas. Mi conocimiento de la Universidad Estatal Amazónica (UEA), desde mi primera visita en 2015, me permite afirmar que el personal administrativo y académico de esta Universidad, ubicada en la provincia de Pastaza, verdaderamente se compromete a servir a sus estudiantes lo mejor que puedan. Continue reading “La emergencia sanitaria COVID-19 no justifica que la educación pública pague la crisis económica”

Comunidades indígenas por el río Bobonaza en estado de emergencia por inundaciones

Redacción: Tuija Veintie

[Click here for English version]

Las fuertes lluvias aumentaron el caudal de los ríos Bobonaza, Pastaza y Arajuno en la Amazonía ecuatoriana, provocando inundaciones a lo largo de estos ríos. Las comunidades afectadas incluyen a Jatun Molino, Teresa Mama, Chapeton, Montalvo, Wituk, Arajuno y las áreas más severamente afectadas de Sarayaku y Pakayaku.

En Sarayaku el puente principal se ha derrumbado. Foto de Comunicación CONFENIAE

En la comunidad indígena Kichwa de Sarayaku, los caudales de Bobonaza y sus afluentes, Kali-Kali y Sarayakillu, crecieron rápidamente el martes 17 de marzo, causando graves daños a la infraestructura. La comunidad de Sarayaku se encuentra en estado de emergencia e informa que las inundaciones han dañado los hogares, centros educativos, el centro de salud, así como los principales puentes y senderos que conectan diferentes partes de la comunidad. La pista de aterrizaje de avionetas, que conecta a la comunidad con las ciudades y hospitales más cercanos, está destrozada. Además, las inundaciones han dañado tuberías de agua, cultivos y ganado. (Consejo de Gobierno de Sarayaku-Tayjasaruta, 18 de marzo de 2020).

El centro educativo comunitario Wituk sufrió graves daños. Foto de Comunicación CONFENIAE.

La situación en la comunidad Kichwa de Pakayaku, también junto al río Bobonaza, es igualmente alarmante. Según la Confederación de Nacionalidades Indígenas de la Amazonía Ecuatoriana (CONFENIAE), en Pakayaku, se destruyeron tres puentes, decenas de familias perdieron sus hogares y cultivos, y la infraestructura que proporciona agua a la comunidad sufrió daños. (Comunicación CONFENIAE, 18 de marzo de 2020).
Continue reading “Comunidades indígenas por el río Bobonaza en estado de emergencia por inundaciones”

Flooding emergency in Indigenous communities by the Bobonaza river

Text: Tuija Veintie

[Haz clic aquí para version en Español]

Heavy rains increased discharge in the Bobonaza, Pastaza and Arajuno rivers in the Ecuadorian Amazonia, triggering flooding along the rivers. Affected communities include Jatun Molino, Teresa Mama, Chapeton, Montalvo, Wituk, Arajuno, and the most severely affected areas of Sarayaku and Pakayaku.

In Sarayaku the main bridge has collapsed. Photo from Comunicación CONFENIAE

In the Indigenous Kichwa community of Sarayaku, river flows in the Bobonaza and its tributaries, Kali-Kali and Sarayakillu, rose rapidly on Tuesday, 17th of March, causing serious damage to infrastructure. The community of Sarayaku is in a state of emergency and reports that flooding has damaged people’s homes, schools, the community health center, as well as the main bridges and trails connecting different parts of the community. The airstrip, that connects the community to the nearest towns and hospitals, is shattered. In addition, flooding has damaged fresh water pipelines, crops and livestock. (Consejo de Gobierno de Sarayaku-Tayjasaruta, 18 March 2020).

The community school in Wituk suffered serious damage. Photo from Comunicación CONFENIAE.

Situation in the Kichwa community of Pakayaku, also by the Bobonaza river, is equally alarming. According to the confederation of the Indigenous nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazonia (CONFENIAE), in Pakayaku, three bridges were wiped out, dozens of families lost their homes and crops, and the infrastructure that provides fresh water to the community suffered damage. (Comunicación CONFENIAE, 18 March 2020).
Continue reading “Flooding emergency in Indigenous communities by the Bobonaza river”

Podcast: Pluralismo ecocultural, extractivismo y los Kichwa de la Amazonía Ecuatoriana

Katy Machoa & Paola Minoia
Katy Machoa & Paola Minoia.  Foto: Tuija Veintie

Paola Minoia: “Junto con Katy, nos entrevistaron por la serie de Podcast sobre Extractivismo y Alternativas.” La serie forma parte de diferentes iniciativas sobre este tema coordinadas por la unidad de Estudios de Desarrollo de la universidad de Helsinki, entre las cuales se encuentra la próxima Conferencia Exalt 2020Crisis concurrentes y futuros sostenibles: extractivismo global y alternativas” en octubre de 2020.

“En este podcast, hablamos sobre el proyecto, cómo Katy y yo comenzamos nuestra colaboración, y por qué creemos que el conocimiento intercultural está relacionado con diferentes formas de justicia: epistémica, ambiental y territorial. Katy habló de sus experiencias vividas en la Amazonía ecuatoriana y, en particular, de desalojos y destrucción de aldeas en la comunidad de Nankints debido a las nuevas explotaciones mineras.”

Se puede acceder al podcast a través de este enlace. Hay tres versiones: una versión integral que incluye presentaciones en español de Katy y traducciones de Paola, una en español y una en inglés solamente.

“Espero que disfrutes de esta conversacion, y cuéntanos lo que opinas!”

 

Podcast on Eco-cultural pluralism, Extractivism, and the Kichwa people of Ecuadorian Amazonia

Katy Machoa & Paola Minoia
Katy Machoa & Paola Minoia.Photo: Tuija Veintie

Paola Minoia: “Together with Katy,
I have been interviewed by the Podcast series on Extractivism and Alternatives.” The series is part of different initiatives coordinated within the unit of Development Study of the university of Helsinki, among which the forthcoming Exalt Conference 2020 on “Concurrent crises and sustainable futures: global extractivism and alternatives” in October 2020.

“In this podcast, we talked about the project, how Katy and I met and started our collaboration, and why we think that intercultural knowledge is related to different forms of justice: from epistemic to environmental and territorial. Katy spoke of her lived experiences in the Ecuadorian Amazon and, in particular, of evictions and destruction of villages in the Nankints community due to new mining exploitations.”

The podcast is accessible through this link. There are three versions: one integral version including presentations in Spanish by Katy and translations by Paola, one in Spanish, and one in English only.

“I hope you enjoy this conversation, and please let us know what you think!”

Discussing intercultural education, politics and activism

In January, members of our research group were actively participating in discussions about intercultural education, politics and activism in two public events organized at the University of Helsinki.

At the Night of Science, the annual block party for science and research, Tuija Veintie and Johanna Hohenthal gave a public talk on intercultural education and the “good life” in the Ecuadorian Amazonia. The talk provided an overview of the intercultural bilingual education in Ecuador and politics of good life (Buen vivir). The former Ecuadorian government promoted the politics of good life, including plurinationality, interculturality and quality education, but at the

Tuija Veintie and Johanna Hohenthal at the Night of Science on 16 January 2020. (Photo: Eija Ranta)

same time the education policy reforms led to a decrease in Indigenous self-determination with regard to their educational system, as well as to diminishing number of schools and educational institutes providing instruction in Indigenous languages and respecting Indigenous knowledges and perspectives.

 

Continue reading “Discussing intercultural education, politics and activism”

“Paquetazo” in Ecuador – schools closed for demonstrations

Text: Tuija Veintie

On Tuesday, 8 October, all schools in Ecuador suspend their classes to guarantee the safety of their students, announced the Ministry of Education of Ecuador. In Pastaza province the classroom doors in schools and at the Amazon State University (UEA) have stayed closed for several days, from Thursday 3 October. Going to classes would be difficult, and possibly dangerous, because transportation in Puyo and around the province is paralysed by roadblocks and demonstrations. The demonstrations started last week after President Lenin Moreno had announced the paquetazo, a package of economic measures to reduce the fiscal deficit of the country.

Santa Clara, Monday 7 October. Photo. CONFENIAE

The paquetazo includes tax and labor reform as well as elimination of fuel subsidies. As an immediate effect of these reforms, the fuel price rose with 100% overnight. Ecuadorian transport unions declared a national strike starting on Thursday, 3 October. The strike ended all bus, truck and taxi transportation in the country. Moreover, the bus, truck and taxi drivers blocked the roads in the main cities of the country stopping all motor traffic. The transport unions ended their strike on Friday 4 October in the evening, but civil society organisations, including the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE), Confederation of the Ecuadorian Amazonian Indigenous Nationalities (CONFENIAE), and the United Workers Front (FUT) continue demonstrations against paquetazo.

Continue reading ““Paquetazo” in Ecuador – schools closed for demonstrations”

Resistance of Kichwa people of Santa Clara against Piatúa hydroelectric power plant

Text and photographs: Tuija Veintie

River Piatúa in Santa Clara, Pastaza still flows free.

Piatúa is a secret river. It has power that no other river has. If I am feeling bad, tired or stressed, I go to the Piatúa river and in the river I start feeling good again. The river cures me” says an upper secondary school student in Santa Clara, Ecuador. Our research group is currently conducting research activities in this region and our interviews with and photographs taken by upper secondary school students show the special role that river Piatúa carries for the students as a sacred river and an important place for recreation and social gatherings. For the students, their families and the small-scale farming the river is a necessary source of water. In addition, the river Piatúa brings income to the local people through tourism as the clean water and landscapes attract tourists interested in nature, recreation and water sports.

Clouds have been gathering over future of the crystal-clear waters of river Piatúa. The Piatúa hydroelectric power plant project, run by Genefran S.A., is located in Santa Clara, between the provinces of Napo and Pastaza. Local Kichwa organisation, PONAKICS (Pueblo originario Kichwa de Santa Clara), claims that the power plant project threatens the environment, livelihoods and culture of the Indigenous communities in the Santa Clara area. Furthermore, the power plant project violated the rights of the Santa Clara Kichwa people as the construction work initiated without prior consultation.

Continue reading “Resistance of Kichwa people of Santa Clara against Piatúa hydroelectric power plant”