A brief history

Since 1996, the Pachamama Alliance has worked in partnership with the Indigenous people of the Sacred Headwaters region of the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador to defend their land and culture on their terms. It was called into being by the Achuar (one of the Amazonian groups of this region) who recognised that., to protect their forest, they needed to reach out for allies to the very world that threatened them.

This call was heard by Lynne Twist amongst others. The work to support the indigenous people's to protect their land, forest and culture is accomplished through strategic programs carried out by the Pachamama Alliance's sister organization in Ecuador — Fundación Pachamama.

Our Relationship with the Pachamama Alliance

Susannah and Ya'Acov have been deeply involved with the work of the Pachamama Alliance since Bernadette Ryder introduced us to the "Awakening the Dreamer" Symposium in the early 2000's. This brilliant programme was created by the Pachamama Alliance in answer to the Achuar's request to change the "dream of the north" ie to awaken the industrialised world from the dream/world view/underlying unexamined assumptions which mean we think its OK to destroy the very infrastructure of life we all depend upon.

As we all know, the Amazon is the lungs of the world. Not only that, but the territories at stake contain some of the most bio-diverse eco-systems on earth, which matter in terms of the long term resilience of planetary life and have much to offer humans, as well, of course as having an ineffable right to be here. Then there are the people. As one of the participants on a recent Pachamama journey with us said “I knew that the Amazon was the lungs of the world, but what I didn’t know ‘til now was that the people are the heart of the world”.

In our experience, these people have so much to share with us that is utterly precious. Their strength, gentleness, sensitivity, patience and wisdom is like nothing we’ve ever experienced. Their knowledge of how to live in community, how to dream, their use of medicinal plants and much more make them “stars of hope” for our time and for our evolution as a species. Their way of life is totally inter-woven with the jungle that they live within.

Hearing the Call

Augustine, the young tribal leader who speaks so passionately in the video below told us that their ancestors had foreseen this time. They had foreseen that the Achuar would reach out to stand with and for the forest with people from all over the world. And they foresaw that the forest WOULD stand. The Pachamama Alliance is results from that reaching out, and we (including you if you are still reading this) have heard the call.

The fierce passion of a young Achuar leader.

The Long Dance

The Long Dance represents our yearly ceremony of a giveaway for life on earth, in which we dance deep, pray and raise money for the Fundacion Pachamama to support the Sacred Headwaters Project and back up our prayers with material commitment.

The Lungs of the World

The Amazon is a huge CO2 sink, giving a strong stabilizing effect to the world climate. The forest contains an immensely rich bio-diversity that is an essential part of life proofing our planet. The indigenous inhabitants of the Amazon embody a way of being which is a star of hope and possibility for us all. If we lose these, the Amazon rainforest, often called the lungs of the world, and the people, who have been called the heart of the world, and the bio-diversity, part of the life of the world, we lose a huge part of our planetary inheritance, and a huge aspect that underpins our hopes for the future of life on earth. The territories of the Achuar are still intact, still virgin, still in their full bio-diverse glory. There is so much to protect. And these territories are severely threatened right now. Please stand with the Achuar, the Sapara, and with the Pachamama Alliance and with life on earth. The time is now.

So there you have it. On our recent journey in the Amazon we were often faced with the agonizing question: ”What will happen?” And we know that we don’t know. But we do know that what happens depends on what many, many people do, or don’t do, … including you and me. If you want to take this opportunity to step up and become a donor partner to the Pachamama Alliance, you will be supporting work on many levels that has the best chance of success. There are no guarantees, but energy and money invested in hope in this way has every chance of paying high dividends in terms of real hope for the future.

For more on our personal relationship with the people and spirit of the forest, see the Amazon Blog.

With love, Susannah and Ya’Acov Darling Khan

It has begun #1

Susannah Darling Khan
In that quiet pause after Christmas and before New Year, we went slowly enough to recognise what, perhaps, deep down, we already knew. We realised that it just did not feel right for me to...
1 February 2023
4 min read