Protecting the Source: Highlights from South America

Pachamama Alliance works in partnership with indigenous people to attain permanent protected status of the sacred headwaters region of the Amazon basin in southern Ecuador and northern Peru. This is an area of pristine tropical rainforest recognized as containing the highest levels of biodiversity in the entire Amazon basin.

Protecting Indigenous Lands is Protecting the Source

We continued to provide ongoing monthly financial and logistical support to 8 indigenous governing organizations in Ecuador. These organizations represent the interests of indigenous communities working to protect 10 million acres of pristine rainforest in the face of strong governmental efforts to open it up for oil extraction.

We also funded and helped organize trainings, workshops, and special assemblies where indigenous communities came together to learn their individual and collective rights under national and international law. These events are spaces where indigenous people can develop a common vision and strategies for the protection of their territories.

Ecotourism Projects Reduce Dependence on Fossil Fuel Industry

Finding alternative income sources to provide local self-sufficiency is critical to saving the Amazon. We continue our work with the Achuar people and the Sápara people to maintain and enhance eco-tourism projects in their communities. This includes offering trainings to strengthen administrative, marketing, and customer service skills.

Jungle Mamas Works to Protect Future Generations

In 2015, the Jungle Mamas program trained the final group of Community Maternal Health Promoters—indigenous women who will be providing training in healthy birthing practices and maternal and newborn care in nearly 100% of Achuar territory (1.8 million acres and over 70 communities). Additionally, the program is empowering women to take more active roles in community decision-making. These women are emerging as committed and powerful voices for the defense of indigenous territory and culture.

Defending the Rights of Nature Is an Ongoing Issue

We continued to work closely with the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature, supporting it in spreading the idea of legal rights for nature, a concept that was enshrined in Ecuador’s Constitution in 2008. We are supporting the Global Alliance to hold tribunals and mock trials around the world to bring awareness to rights of nature in specific environmental legal cases. This includes support for a Rights of Nature Tribunal at the UN climate conference in Paris in December 2015 (COP 21)

Inspiring the future: 2015 Highlights—Around the World

With roots deep in the Amazon rainforest, our programs integrate indigenous wisdom with modern knowledge to support personal and collective transformation aimed at bringing forth an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, socially just human presence on this planet.

Up to Us Engagement Pathway Expands

The Up to Us engagement pathway is a set of programs and activities designed to wake, inspire, and engage people to become “pro-activist” leaders—people actively taking responsibility for creating new futures in their communities.

Awakening the Dreamer

The Awakening the Dreamer Symposium is a half-day transformative, educational, workshop. The Symposium has been presented in 81 countries, in 16 languages, by a team of close to 5000 trained volunteer Facilitators. In 2015 we released the Awakening the Dreamer Online Course— a self-guided course containing the videos and messages of the Symposium.

Game Changer Intensive

Nearly 3000 people enrolled in the Game Changer Intensive— an online course that picks up where Awakening the Dreamer leaves off and catalyzes the inner work of transformation, inspiring and equipping people to engage in effective collective action. In 2015, we enhanced the content and ramped up the frequency to every other month. Participants hail from all 50 U.S. states and over 30 countries.


In 2015 we created new trainings and leadership models to support and strengthen Pachamama Alliance Communities around the world—local hubs where people work together to bring about a new future for life on Earth. As a result, a group of Latin American leaders is currently building local Communities in Brazil, Guatemala, and Costa Rica, in addition to the 7 other countries in the region. In the U.S., 8 new Communities were created and the 23 already in existence were supported in expanding their work.

Movement Partners

We continued to support key Game Changing Movements aimed at addressing the root causes of two of the most pressing issues facing us today: climate change and unrepresentative democracy. We partnered with organizations that are central players in building movements to tackle these issues, and we guided people to get involved at the grassroots level.

Life-Changing Trips to the Amazon and New Mexico

Over 165 people experienced our work first-hand by participating in 13 immersions to the Ecuadorian Amazon at the invitation of our indigenous partners. We also continued our Journeys in the North with a powerful offering to the high desert of New Mexico.


Protecting the Source: Highlights from South America

Building International Solidarity through Dissolution of Fundación Pachamama

The forced closing of our sister organization in Ecuador, Fundación Pachamama, brought together an international outpouring of condemnation of efforts within Ecuador to repress civil liberties, for the good of all civil society organizations that are at risk in Ecuador. Our work to support indigenous nationalities and defend the Amazon continues despite the loss of our legal entity on the ground.

Protecting Indigenous Lands is Protecting the Source

Supporting special assemblies where indigenous nationalities come together to discuss their constitutional rights and define their work to defend their territories is a fundamental part of our work to protect the source—the most bio-diverse part of the entire Amazon basin. We provided such support to five indigenous nationalities in Ecuador. We also began a thorough social and environmental baseline analysis of the two blocks of land currently leased by the government for oil exploration.

Naku Ecotourism Project Reduces Dependence on Fossil Fuel Industry

Finding alternative income sources to provide local self-sufficiency is critical to saving the Amazon. We continue our work with the Sápara people to establish the Naku Ecolodge and offer trainings to strengthen administrative, accounting and customer service skills.

Jungle Mamas Works to Protect Future Generations

The number of Maternal Health Promoters has increased to a total of 42 throughout Achuar territory and 170 clean birth kits were distributed to support the healthy births of a new generation of rainforest guardians. The team is implementing a pilot project with health education videos in collaboration with the Global Health Media Project to see how technology and visual aids can be used to improve learning and knowledge retention.

Defending The Rights of Nature Is An Ongoing Issue

We led legal actions in national and international courts to enforce rights of nature and collective rights of indigenous peoples. This included cases in Ecuador involving the Condor Mirador mining project, Sarayaku community, Peoples Living in Voluntary Isolation, and Yasuní Park.

The Threat Of Climate Change

We are contributing to the civil society debate within Ecuador on mechanisms for the conservation of tropical forests to mitigate and adapt to climate change and are in discussions with the Ministry of Environment on public policy in this arena.

Inspiring the Future: Highlights from Around the World

"Up to Us" Engagement Pathway in Full Swing

This engagement pathway is designed to awaken, educate, connect and engage a critical mass of "pro-activist" leaders committed to bringing forth a thriving, just and sustainable world. The pathway has various steps:

  • Awakening the Dreamer Symposium – A half-day transformative, educational, awakening workshop. Thanks to more than 4500 trained volunteer Facilitators, the Symposium now has been presented in 82 countries worldwide. Provides a great foundation.
  • Game Changer Intensive – This new online course was piloted to more than 830 people. Picking up where the Symposium leaves off, the Intensive catalyzes the inner work of transformation and inspires and equips people to engage in effective collective action.
  • Communities – These provide a structure and an opportunity for people to connect with like-minded people at the local level, to continue to learn together about the key social and ecological concerns of the day, and to engage and work together on local, national and global issues.
  • Movement Partners – We supported two key game changing movements aimed at addressing the root causes of the most pressing issues today in the United States: our unrepresentative Democracy and Climate Change. We partner with organizations that are central players in building these movements and that guide people to get involved at the grass-roots level through their local chapters.

Speaker Series Engages People on Key Issues

We hosted 7 live video conversations with key thought leaders of our time, on topics ranging from Indigenous Perspectives on the State of Our Planet, to GMOs. More than 3200 registered for these events.

Heart Opening Trips to the Amazon and New Mexico

Over 150 people participated in 12 life-changing immersions to the Ecuadorian Amazon at the invitation of our indigenous partners, the Achuar, Sápara, Shuar, and Sarayaku community. We also continued our Journeys in the North with two powerful offerings to the high desert of New Mexico in collaboration with ceremonial leader and wisdom keeper, Arkan Lushwala, and the Arawaka community.

2013 in South America

As the government of Ecuador continues with its plans to develop millions of acres of pristine Amazon rainforest for oil production, the success of our Ecuadorian partnerships in forwarding an alternative development model based on well being, human rights, and the Rights of Nature has become more crucial than ever.

Indigenous Voices Speak Up for Preservation

Fundación Pachamama (FP) provided funding for numerous workshops and assemblies so that indigenous communities of the Ecuadorian Amazon were fully informed about plans for oil development in their lands, and so that their voices calling for territorial preservation were clearly heard. This was all part of FP’s overall effort to find common ground between the need to protect the environmental and cultural richness of the Amazon and a commitment to help the Ecuadorian government achieve its legitimate and necessary long-term social development and poverty reduction goals for its people.

People of Sarayaku Receive Restitution Payment

With guidance from FP’s lawyers, the people of Sarayaku asserted their right to bind the government of Ecuador to comply with the 2012 favorable ruling by the Inter-American Court for Human Rights. The government paid reparations of more than one million dollars for damage to their land and people, and has committed to cleaning up the more than 3000 pounds of explosives left in their territory.

Fundación Pachamama Informs Environmental Public Policy and Actions

FP continued as president of CEDENMA, Ecuador’s largest network of environmental NGOs, and made great progress by forming important legal suits, participating in the creation of environmental public policy, and successfully using research, mobilization, and lobbying to halt destructive projects in indigenous territories.

Jungle Mamas Takes Huge Steps in Advancing Safe Motherhood

In a new collaboration with One Heart World-Wide, Jungle Mamas trained 20 Achuar women in a community empowerment workshop. The 20 women will provide prenatal coverage to 47 Achuar communities. To date, Jungle Mamas has distributed 100 safe birth kits to women in approximately 30 communities.

Impact Analysis Begins for the Southeastern Amazon

FP provided financial support for a major scholarly study to research the impact of two divergent future scenarios in the southeastern Amazon—one of oil development and one of conservation. The research, evaluating economic, social, political, ecological, and cultural dimensions, is being carried out by respected universities in Ecuador and the United Kingdom, and will be used to inform FP’s future work.

FP Brings Together Allies for International Workshop on Indigenous Rights

Organizations from Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador who work to defend human and environmental rights, came together for an international workshop organized by FP to explore key issues around prior consultation, right to compensation and socio-environmental monitoring. They also toured environmentally toxic areas polluted by oil spills.

Amazon’s First Solar-Powered Transportation Network is Almost Ready

After a year of preparation, a groundbreaking system of solar-powered boats and recharge stations covering over 40 miles of rivers in Achuar territory is soon to be put to use. The project is in collaboration with the government of Finland, MIT, Ecuador’s most renowned engineering university, and multiple Ecuadorian government agencies, as well as the Achuar people, who will be the owners of the system.

2013 Around The World

The world has changed since the Awakening the Dreamer Symposium debuted in 2005, and the need for conscious, committed change agents is more urgent than ever. In 2013 we designed and piloted a brand new transformational pathway to social action for people after they have taken a Symposium: the Up to Us engagement pathway.

Awakening the Dreamer Symposium Reaches 76 Countries

Pachamama Alliance’s flagship workshop, the Awakening the Dreamer Symposium, has now been delivered in 76 countries—in least 13 languages—to more than 4000 trained volunteer Facilitators worldwide who are bringing the Symposium to their local communities and allied organizations.

Up to Us is Developed

Relying on input from experts on movement building and feedback from our volunteer community, Pachamama Alliance has developed the Up to Us engagement pathway for people after they have taken a Symposium.

Up to Us Pilot Programs Underway

We are piloting several new programs within Up to Us in advance of a full launch in early 2014:

  • Game Changer Intensive — An eight-part webinar series that builds citizen leadership by deepening participants’ experience of their sacred connection to the Earth community and sense of responsibility for its future; empowering them to engage with the root causes holding our current systems in place.
  • Community Action Circles — Intimate local circles of people who meet regularly to educate themselves and put into action the principles of collective citizen leadership.
  • Speaker Series — Live video conversations that engage people deeply with key issues of our time. We piloted three such conferences with a range of speakers on topics of social activism, climate change, and women's leadership.
  • Media Engagement — Media tools to empower our community volunteers to be published in their local media on broad issues of sustainability and social justice.

Game Changing Partnerships Formed

We are partnering with organizations that are aiming at the root causes of two of the most pressing issues confronting the U.S. today—the corruption of our democracy and climate change. We encourage people to engage with these movements by joining with our game changing partners, currently: Move to Amend, doing grassroots organizing around democracy; and Citizens Climate Lobby, organizing around climate change. Both are effectively pushing for concrete achievable political solutions.

High-impact Pachamama Journeys Bring Allies from the Modern World

140 people participated in 10 separate deep-immersion journeys to connect with our indigenous partners in the Ecuadorian Amazon and the spirit of the rainforest itself. In addition to visiting Achuar territory, our journey offerings included visits to Karanqui, Kichwa and Zapara communities. We also piloted a new Journeys to the North program, which visits the high desert of New Mexico in collaboration with spiritual leader and Pachamama Alliance advisor, Arkan Lushwala, and the Arawaka community.