Voices

My purpose for these interviews was to identify questions that triggered my interviewees to talk about how they define their relationship to nature. There were two questions in particular that I felt captured the essence of what I was looking for: “What do you think of environmental degradation?” and “Why is nature important?” Here are some of the responses that I heard. (Direct quotes translated from Spanish.)

What do you think of environmental degradation?
Calixto, Kallawaya (Andean Shaman): “Climate change is humanity’s fault. We angered our earth. We didn’t ask permission to take oil, minerals, etc… We have to coexist with Pachamama and restore equality. Nature is not an object.”

Grover, Kallawaya: “Environmental destructions ruins the equilibrium of the planet. It creates bad energy. Also, we have to give back to Pacha [the universe], and sometimes we can’t because cycles are disrupted. And so this in turn creates more unrest. “

Why is nature important?
Wilmer, age 17, lives in a rural town in northern Bolivia: “It is the air. If we contaminate it, we are hurting ourselves. We need to orient ourselves more with Pachamama.”

David, farmer in northern Bolivia: “I am an animal too. The environment needs to be good for me to be good. My life depends on nature. Nature connects generations. We are approaching something like what happened with dinosaurs, except it wasn’t their fault. This time it’s our fault. We are killing ourselves.”

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  1. Hi Chloe,
    My name is Linda, I m the Youth Director of the Amala Foundation, a humanitarian service organization in Austin, Texas that works to unify communities in service and inspire youth to lead with a heart-centered global perspective. We recently learned about the beautiful work that you are doing. We are celebrating the powerful impact you are making in the world, and are inspired by your devotion to this cause. We work with youth around the world to create global peace initiatives. Every summer we hold a peace leadership conference called the Global Youth Peace Summit, and we think you’d be a great fit for this program. The Summit unites over 70 refugee, immigrant, American and international youth from over 25+ different countries for an eight day peace conference, devoted to heart-centered dialogue, authentic expression and exploration of self and world. The Summit is a sustainable peace movement that offers young people an opportunity to directly experience themselves and their world, through the eyes of equality, acceptance and compassion. The Summit challenges and inspires youth to honor differences, explore commonalities and create One Village united by values of love, respect, honesty, community and service. With the recognition that sustainable peace begins within, the Summit is a vehicle for healing, personal growth and connection. Wanted to see if this might be something you’d be interested in being a part of. The Summit takes place August 6th-13th in Wimberley, Texas. For more info, check out
    our video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcvqv-gYyw0
    and website: http://www.amalafoundation.org/gyps.html
    Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Phone #: 512-554-7251 Email: youthprojects@amalafoundation.org Thank you for the incredible work you are doing in the world…and the WAY that you’re doing it. Beautiful service.

    Gratitude,
    Linda
    Youth Director, Amala Foundation

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