A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of watching Flavio join world famous musicians Hamsa Lila on-stage for Yuri’s Night at NASA Ames Research Center!
Here is video of Flavio addressing the thousands of party-goers, dancers, artists, entertainers, space enthusiasts, and scientists – and playing his traditional Ecuadorian flute from the jungle. Enjoy!
Flavio getting ready to go on stage to jam with Hamsa Lila!
We have 6 days left before our initial 30 days of fund-raising is up. Thankfully the message of our efforts has been relayed down to the land holder in Puyo, Ecuador and he’s generously offered a time extension until May 5th! But, that comes with a small $3,000 penalty. Gah! We can do it though. We’re over 15% of goal of $73,000. We got this!
Over the weekend co-founder Shalaco Sching and I took all of the online/web suggestions we’ve received and built them out into a single page. That now stands as the “Home” page. The new blog which you’re reading now will be the place to get all of the up-to-the minute information about the 300 Acres project.
We’re enthusiastic about all of the opportunities coming up in the next 30 days. Stay tuned – follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
Our Map of Trees (representing donors who have given $50 or more) has received over 53,000 views! (see below)
Donations come in from all over the world: England, Australia, Canada, and all over the U.S. from Washington to New York!
We’re raising more funds on Razoo than Paypal – which means we’ll incur few fees for transferring the money out.
Today we received a letter from an 8th grade girl in Santa Cruz, California who recently met Flavio Santi (inspiration for the 300 Acres project) when he visited her school.
Here is her letter in it’s entirety -
Flavio Santi recently came to my school. Nature Academy, a charter school for grades 6, 7 and 8. He shared about living his life in the Amazanga community in the Ecuadorian rain forest. He played his home made wooden flute for our class. I enjoyed that. Through his music it is very clear to me he is connected to spirit.
He told us the long history of how (mostly American) oil companies and mining companies have been coming into their country and destroying the sacred land. How the water and air becomes polluted by the process of extruding the oil and minerals.
I would think that the people in power would have learned from the past mistakes that have been made in history. For example the Native American Indians. They have lost most of their land and original culture.
I feel very sad for the people in Ecuador. They should not have to buy the land that was originally the land their ancestors cared for and guarded, and is sacred to their people. Flavio’s people never claim to “own” the land. They are guardians of the earth. That is what we all need to be! This entire true story is based on greed. I do not understand how big companies have the right to just go in and take sacred ancestral land and then destroy it.
I am very happy to have met Flavio Santi…I call him my friend and I believe in his mission. He is an excellent messenger. He gives me hope.
Meet our new friends and latest supporter ForestEthics. ForestEthics takes action working in the US and Canada to protect wild places, wildlife, and human well-being in Endangered Forests.
ForestEthics exists to protect Endangered Forests, wild places, wildlife, and human wellbeing. Our innovative, inspiring and effective campaigns challenge corporations and catalyze environmental leadership in industry, governments and communities. Our work creates solutions that last for generations to come and emphasizes addressing climate change, which compromises all of our efforts if left unchecked
Thanks to everyone of our supporters, from all over the world. This week alone we have had supporters from Switzerland, Germany, England, Australia, as well as from all over the United States!
Thank you all so very much. Every donation from $5-$150 is a step towards empowering the indigenous peoples in Ecuador to preserve their riches and expand the School of Guayusa. For all of this we are incredibly grateful.
To date we’ve raised $7,640!!
It has been so incredibly inspiring to see a forest of supporters sprouting up on our map over the last two weeks!
If you would like to lend your support head over to Razoo where we can accept donations without being charged service fees. And please continue to help us spread the word. We have made leaps and bounds towards our goal but we still have a long way to our overall goal of $70,000. Share Flavio Santi’s message that “we can change our attitude in the way that we look at developing nature.”
It is my esteemed pleasure to introduce you to the man who inspired (and continues to inspire) the 300 Acres project, Quichuar healer and Director of the School of Guayusa – Flavio Santi. I met Flavio when he came to Google for the Google Earth Outreach/Indigenous Mapping Summit just a few weeks ago. He came to learn Maps, Earth, and ODK – our mobile data collection system, and take them back to his people as new cultural preservation tools.
Denise Zmekhol whose film Children of the Amazon has won numerous Best Picture and Best Documentary awards, had the opportunity to interview Flavio – that of which is seen here for the first time. Her editorial staff got the video to us as soon as possible (huge thanks to them!), and 300 Acres co-founder Shalaco Sching posted the video with subtitles (thanks to dear friend Miranda Reyna-Metzler who translated the video).
I’m sure you’ll be inspired by his immersive storytelling, the stunning photos of his people and the Amazanga land, as well as the delightful instrumental music from his native land. Whether you’re acquainted with the Spanish language or not, you’re sure to feel the depth and breadth of his mission – to protect the lands of the Quichua people, and the plea to people everywhere to collaborate in order to save our Earth for future generations.
My name is Flavio Santi, I come from Ecuador, from the central Amazonian jungle, from the Amazanga community.
In our country we are 48% indigenous population. I am dedicated to working on cultural and spiritual conservation, as well as on the protection of nature and of nature’s sacred places.
On behalf of the Ecuadorians, I bring the message that we can change our attitude in the way that we look at developing nature. We want to participate in this development.
We have cultural wealth. We are not poor; we are rich. We are rich in our jungle because we have knowledge, culture, and spirituality. We have riches in the jungle: petroleum, gold…”green gold”, as says biogenetics. We also have other medicinal plants. Our jungle is a natural pharmacy. Our jungle is our supermarket, so we are rich. But they are robbing our lands.
In the Amazon, in Ecuador, we face right now a great threat of petroleum, logging, and gold mining interests. We also face threat in the sense of the privatization of sacred places and the privatization of water. This worries us as indigenous people that live in the interior of the jungle.
I bring this news and important thank you to the Google company for the technologies that they are developing that serve nature and the world. The use of these technologies is very important in order for us to protect nature.
I want to invite the young people of the north, the (dear) grandmothers and grandfathers, missionaries, military people, the Catholic church as well as other religious groups, I wanted to invite you all to say that we should come together to look for the best way to save the earth so that our future generations live in a healthy earth; an earth without wrong-doing.
Thanks to our outreach at the South by Southwest Festival and partnership with Square, we were able to raise over $1,000 in 36 hours! A huge heartfelt thank you goes out to everyone who donated during this time!
Our new total is – $4,465.30!
The total thus far is a cumulative total of our outreach on Razoo.com, our mobile transaction outreach on Square, and our 300acres.com ChipIn donations. I wish there was a way to show it all in the ChipIn but unfortunately it’s not possible.
Here are thebest ways to donate and spread the word about the 300 Acres project:
Donate via the website – Click on the ChipIn widget on any page (upper right hand corner) and donate directly to our Paypal account
Square is an SF company that has launched a hand-dandy iPhone/iTouch device that allows users to accept credit card payments anytime, anywhere.
Ex-coworker and friend Jordan Alperin was the first person to make the case and connection for me to work with Square to raise funds quickly and easily for 300 Acres. He pointed me to Cameron Walters, friend and co-founder of Square who was out last night at SXSW raising funds for a charity focused on creating clean water for communities. I was ecstatic when Cameron bestowed the credit card device, however one boundry stood in my way of accepting donations quickly… I didn’t have an iPhone or an iTouch.
So I spent some time this morning at the AT&T store, got myself an iPhone – and in less than an hour’s time I raised $81.00 with my Square device.
3/15 Update: Our grand total raised through Square is now over $500!
Square is a game-changing company and their technology is well done, their customer interface is excellently designed, and every person who contributes to 300 Acres using Square has walked away with a smile!
A few friends and advocates have been asking – “What does my donation go to?” Good question. Here’s the gist..
Your donation will go towards securing 300 acres of pristine rainforest for the Amazanga people. This land was seized from them in the 1940’s by the Ecuadorian government and *this* is their chance to get it back!
Your donation will also go towards helping the Amazanga people achieve their vision of developing their natural medicine school in a pristine part the jungle that is accessible to the elders that are the teachers and holders of the forest’s sacred wisdom. In this way, the indigenous people of this part of the Amazon will have a place to truly protect and share their culture, traditions and ancestral wisdom. With such an incredible and accessible forest as its base, the School of Guayusa will be able to host healers, teachers and students from throughout South America and the world, uniting communities and preserving natural healing traditions for future generations.
Another question we’ve been getting is“What’s at Stake?”…
Without the sufficient funds this land will be sold to a group of investors from Ambato, Tungurahua. This sacred land is under severe threat of gold mining, logging and development. If the land fell to this group then the land would most likely be divided – which is explicitly against the wishes of the Amazanga people.
Justin Wilson, Interpreter for Flavio Santi just emailed me to let me know that we raised $625 from their various public engagements in the Bay Area! Thank you so much to everyone who has contributed to the project.
I really wish I could bring the total up on our Chip In widget to make this more apparent, but I can’t… so I’ll just total it up here:
From today until Tuesday March 16th I’ll be attending the SXSW Conference in Austin. If you’d like to chat about fundraising or marketing opportunities, or if you just want to meet and have tea – contact me directly via email or on Twitter @nataliaenvy.
The Amazon rainforest and its indigenous peoples are disappearing rapidly. This has serious consequences both locally and globally, for our environment and for the cultural diversity of our planet. I hope we can all support Flavio Santi in his courageous mission to save the ancestral lands of his people.
- Rebecca Moore, Manager of Google Earth Outreach
I met Flavio Santi, of Quichua Shuar heritage and a member of the Amazanga community, when he was a participant of a Tribal Geo Tech Workshop - focused on learning Google Earth to map his disappearing homeland in Ecuador. His aim was to get the word out. Many indigenous peoples identify with Flavio's predicament. Please help the Amazanga community save their homeland.
-Rosemarie McKeon, Board Member of the Indigenous Mapping Network
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