Union of Indigenous Yagé Medics of the Colombian Amazon
INDIGENOUS ANCESTRAL MEDICINE PROGRAMS
Help us take our future into our own hands by supporting indigenous traditional medicine and community health.
The current pandemic hasn’t stopped the Colombian armed conflict. Since January 2020 over 172 human rights and earth rights activists have been assassinated in Colombia. Extraction of hydrocarbons, illicit crops, illegal mining, land-grabbing, monoculture farming, cattle ranching and the presence of legally and illegally armed groups in our ancestral lands place our communities at risk of “cultural and physical extermination”, as stated by the Colombian Constitutional Court in 2009.
We are the Union of Indigenous Yagé Doctors of the Colombian Amazon
Our organization was created in 1999 and includes five indigenous ethnicities from southwestern Colombia. We work to preserve the Amazon rainforest and to revitalize and protect our cultures and our ancestral medicine. We are spiritual authorities, medicine men and women of knowledge, and our role is to ensure the health of the territories and the physical and spiritual wellbeing of our communities and territories.
We’re asking for your help.
- Women healers: forming small learning groups to carry out field trips to collect and identify medicinal plants, and to develop educational workshops and learning material to transmit this knowledge to other women and the communities.
- Yage healers: protecting our ancestral knowledge and community health by supporting a Yagé (ayahuasca) elder for one year. Elders are the spiritual leaders in their territories of origin – we will provide them with financial support to provide medicinal and spiritual care for their communities.
Our goal is to raise $200,000 to secure the future of our peoples – these funds will help us to implement community health activities in each of the five territories covered by our organization.
The pandemic is endangering our survival: We’re responding by strengthening traditional medicine
Historically indigenous people have been excluded from the privatized, bankrupt and inefficient national Colombian health system. We rely on our medicinal knowledge and traditions to protect our communities.
In the face of the current pandemic, we have closed-off access to our territories to prevent the spread of the virus. Simultaneously, we are working to strengthen our own botanical/medicinal practices based on knowledge of the amazon rainforest: the greatest pharmacy in the world.
We are staring in the face of physical and cultural extermination
In 2009 the Colombian constitutional court ( Resolution 004 ), declared 34 (out of 102) indigenous ethnicities at risk of “ physical and cultural extermination.”
COVID-19 has generated great concern among indigenous peoples of throughout the Amazon Basin. The pandemic threatens our ancestral cultures because it could potentially wipe out older generations that are the repositories of our resilient knowledge of spiritual and medicinal practices.
Within this volatile context, our organization is implementing programs focused on revitalizing and strengthening communities’ health. These consist in carrying out health activities based on traditional medicine, organized by women healers and elderly ayahuasca healers.