The concept of Kawsak Sacha (living forest) is not new; it’s just common sense. And the Kitchwa men and women know exactly why this is important. Every single element plays a key role in the life of the forest, and so the oil has to stay in the ground.
Oil companies are desperate to take over Sarayaku lands, but the people stand firm in spite of intimidation and harassment and defend their home. They are aware that as soon as the oil companies are allowed to start digging, everything will change for the worst. It really is a life or death issue: the people will no longer be able to grow their own foods and the water will become unfit for human consumption.
Sarayaku is a territory situated by the Bobanaza river in the Amazonic region of Ecuador. The people that live in these rich lands know that all the negotiations they are being pushed to participate in, are really about somebody trying to make more money. They have tried to convince them that it’s for their own good; that the digging will bring modernization to them, more jobs, more advantages, but the truth is clear. The people of Sarayaku have no need for a Western ideology and lifestyle. They are happy to live life as they have been doing for many generations.
A delegation from Sarayaku, Ecuador travels all the way to Paris, France to present their Living Forest proposal. A living forest prohibits the extraction of oil because of all the contamination and devastation that it brings.
The people of Sarayaku know that they are not only fighting for themselves. In demanding the preservation of the rain forests, they are making sure that people all around the world can continue to have fresh air to breathe.
They built a canoe to illustrate the concept of Kawsak Sacha and the plan is to sail it all over the Northern Hemisphere spreading their message of life.