blog

Fundacion Pachamama is Dead – Long Live ALBA [Part VI of an Investigative Report]

The Art of Annihilation

February 5, 2015

Part six of an investigative report by Cory Morningstar with Forrest Palmer 

Fundación Pachamama Investigative Report Series [Further Reading]: Part IPart IIPart IIIPart IVPart VPart VIPart VII

 

The Achuar

The Achuar are a group of indigenous peoples in the Amazon, with a rich, ancient culture. Their territory resides over 700,000 hectares of the last unspoiled region of Amazon tropical rainforest in Ecuador. Until the 1970’s, they lived untouched by the modern world. Since 1991, the majority of the Achuar in Ecuador belong to a political organization called FINAE (Federation of Ecuadorian Achuar Nationalities). Today, the organization is called NAE (The Ecuadorian Achuar Nationality or Achuar Nation of Ecuador) and the Achuar people that NAE represents are organized into ten regional associations that contain a total of 68 communities and approximately 8,000 Achuar people. [2]

Pachamama Alliance Website: “The Achuar are a group of indigenous peoples of the Amazon Basin, currently numbering around 6,000. Their ancestral lands – nearly 2 million acres in all – straddle the modern borders of Ecuador and Peru, a remote area that has allowed them to preserve their way of life with little outside influence or colonization.” Yet this is hardly true. The information that follows on the Pachamama Alliance site states as much: “Throughout their history, the Achuar have been self-sufficient and autonomous, sustaining their family groups through hunting and gardening. Once semi-nomadic people, most Achuar now live in small villages, a result of contact with Christian missionaries in the 1960s. While their remote territory largely protected them from colonization, the Achuar did experience some change to their ancestral way of life and observed the destruction of neighboring indigenous cultures and communities.” It is incredible and simultaneously incredibly patronizing that while Pachamama Alliance acknowledges the Achuar have been self-sufficient and autonomous – at the same time they influence and encourage the Achuar to become part of, thus dependent upon, thus trapped in, an economic system incapable of reform. Pachamama continues that “[W]hile the Achuar expressed that their work with Pachamama in Ecuador was important, they also insisted that it was equally important for their Northern partners to ‘change the dream of the North’ – to work within their own ‘modern’ culture, shifting it from wasteful consumerism to a less destructive, more sustainable paradigm.” While this may sound lovely, Pachamama’s “work” in Ecuador does not contribute to “changing the dream of the North” – rather, it enables the nightmare of the North to continue.

“Nate [Saint] had spent the past three months flying over an Auca village he called Terminal City, showering it with candy, pots, combs, tools, machetes, and even photos of the smiling men holding the same gifts to familiarize the Indians with their suitors. He had made fourteen drops in all. If he did not occupy Auca territory soon, Rachel [Saint] [3] would.” — Thy Will Be Done, Operation Auca, The Akha Heritage Foundation

 

“History, Stephen said, is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.” — James Joyce, Ulysses

Video (below, 4:27): “… the third wave of missions into the jungle… Take a look at the way CLIPAE (Council of Indigenous Leaders of the Ecuadorian Amazon Region) is raising up Indigenous people to serve the Indigenous Church…. The work is not easy and some of the villages are extremely remote, at times taking up to 8 or more days to walk to.”

http://vimeo.com/36366029

One could argue that the authors of this article demonstrate paternalism in rejecting the notion that the Achuar were/are free in all decision-making capacity and have embraced Western values of their own free will. There is no doubt that these dynamic men, women and communities embody an ethical intelligence far exceeding any intellect claimed by the Euro-American. That being said, an ethical intelligence is no match to the pathology espoused by defenders/believers in a predatory capitalist system dependent upon infinite growth where White “values” embodied in the global economy are forever sacrosanct and must/will always dominate and prevail.

The colonization of Latin America has never ended. Like a chameleon, it simply changes it colours. Like a parasite, it simply changes its hosts.

Earlier it was suggested that we try to imagine Soviets establishing Soviet NGOs espousing Soviet ideologies/policies on American soil during the Cold War. Few would argue that such an undertaking would have been tolerated then or now. Now, for a just a moment, try to imagine if Muslims were setting up residence in Ecuador and throughout Latin America – distributing the Koran throughout the jungles. In this scenario, one’s instant reaction (anxiety/panic for most Euro-Americans) has already been programmed/pre-determined by the establishment via psychological warfare. White skin: good. Brown skin: Irrelevant. Black Skin: Danger. Islam: Extremists. One can send their regards to the Obama Administration who propels the international terror psy-ops campaign largely targeting Muslims and Muslim tribes. Publicly, the U.S. “save” tribal people of Amazonia while Muslim tribal people in the Middle East are framed as terrorists or fanatics. Both forms of power (soft power versus hard power) are imperial in nature.

Kapawi: Integrating the Achuar with the “Modern” World

Michael-Allosso-our-Achuar-guide

Frenemies. Michael Allosso, The Ocean Conservancy, our Achuar guide: “We flew in small planes into the remote jungle near the Peruvian border. Here, a group of indigenous people called the Achuar (unknown to the outside world until 1972) are developing ecotourism as an alternative to oil company deforestation.” [Source] For more on The Ocean Conservancy read Marine Protection Reserves as Privatization Scam, Wal-Marting the Oceans.

 “Along with television, tourism is one of the most potent agents of globalisation – tourists are the shock troops of Western-style capitalism, distributing social and psychological viruses just as effectively as earlier colonists spread smallpox, measles and TB in their wake.” – Green Tragedy: The Blight of Eco-Tourism, June 12, 2002

Replace television with iPads. Add the spread of TB to animals, and measles into the rainforest, and welcome to 21st century eco-colonialism.

Consider that in Chobe, Botswana, mongooses are thought to have caught the human disease TB from rubbish heaps outside a tourist lodge that were contaminated with the human pathogen. Less clear is how the meerkats became infected. [Source] If human pathogens are infecting animals via ecotourism ventures, then we must consider how Indigenous tribes, having been forever isolated from the outside world, can protect themselves from these same pathogens that have been transmitted to animals.

On December 16, 2011, it was reported that “a major outbreak of measles in Kapawi, province of Pastaza, forced authorities to declare a quarantine in the community living around 300 indigenous Achuar…. We have contacted Kapawi Lodge who informed us that operations at the lodge are running smoothly and everything normal – no changes in terms of tourism operations. All staff have been vaccinated.” It is not clear where the measles were contracted from, yet it begs the question as to how Indigenous tribes, including children and elderly who have no immunities to these diseases, can possibly protect themselves. One can be fairly certain that if these communities are receiving vaccinations, such highly controversial conduct would not be readily discussed with the public.

“[D]iscussions about local participation, even in the most inclusive eco-tourism planning, often entail a discourse about the ‘use’ of local cultures for knowledge, employment, and commodity production (Drake 1991). Such discussions limit potential local resistance to development or ‘resentment’ (Olindo 1991) by ‘educating’ locals for employment – so as to have locals function in the service of eco-tourism and not against it (Boo 1991).” — Managing the Other of Nature: Sustainability, Spectacle, and Global Regimes of Capital in Ecotourism, by Joe Bandy [Source]

“Kapawi (lodge) has helped FINAE prepare for such contact with the outside world by linking them to a non-governmental organization (NGO) based in San Francisco that provides technical expertise and funding for a variety of Achuar projects. According to its website, the Pachamama Alliance was created to help ‘preserve the Earth’s tropical rainforests by empowering the indigenous people who are its natural custodians…. Since its inception in 1995, the Pachamama Alliance has raised roughly a million dollars to help revitalize Achuar culture and tradition, defend Achuar lands, and build leadership and capacity in FINAE.'” [1]

One must wonder how Americans help “revitalize Achuar culture and tradition” by creating a dependence on a money economy – development under the guise of conservation? And although Pachamama Founders would have the public believe they were called by the Achuar via what amounts to luminescent dreams and ethereal smoke signals, the spiritual stratagem could be considered liberal marketing bravado for today’s transcendental philanthropist and celestial capitalist.

“Almost twenty years ago Carlos Pérez Perasso, co-founder of Conodros S.A., a Galapagos Islands tour operator, linked up with Daniel Kouperman, an experienced adventure tour guide familiar with the Amazon jungle, to help create a hotel in the rainforest. It took them more than a year of discussions with the Achuar before the project could proceed.” [Source]

Perasso (1935-2002) was the former director/heir of the newspaper El Universo, entrepreneur, and founder of the tour operator Canodros. (His son, César Pérez Barriga, is current president and deputy director of the Buenos Aires Canodros as well as manager/heir to El Universo newpaper.)

Daniel Kouperman is a co-founder of Pachamama Alliance and past president (and board vice-president) of the Pachamama Foundation situated in Ecuador.

“Construction began in ’94, and by mid ’95 Daniel asked a group of ‘purposeful tourists’ to come down and help organize support for the project. Among the first group were two exceptional people, Lynne and Bill Twist, who became the founders of non-profit NGO, The Pachamama Alliance, which established a partnership with the Achuar. Construction was completed in ’96 and began operation in April of that year.” [1]

“Ordoñez (manager of the Kapawi Ecolodge & Reserve) says that the intercultural management is complex. The transition of Kapawil Lodge from Conodros to the Achuar, though formalized years ago, is still a work in process. ‘The Achuar colleagues did not comprehend 100 percent how to manage the company,’ he says. That, however, is slowly changing, thanks in part to the Pacha Mama Foundation, a non-profit organization that was created precisely to support the Achuar of Ecuador through various projects.

 

“One of those projects was Aero Achuar in which Pacha Mama helped the community acquire an airplane to establish their own air transportation service. Kouperman, who is also president of the Pacha Mama Foundation in Ecaudor, says two young Achuar members have obtained pilot licenses and are in their first 500 hours of training. Another Achuar member is a fully trained and licensed mechanic.

 

“Pacha Mama was also involved with training future managers of Kapawi. An agreement among Pacha Mama, the NAE (Achuar Nationality of Ecuador), and the Universidad Especiales Turisticas (UCT), has sent four Achuar youth to work towards a degree in Hotel Management at UCT. ‘They are the first [Achuar] who have had education in hotel management … and in a way are looked upon as examples because they are the first to study something in order to take charge of the company. It is a heavy responsibility,’ says Ordoñez.” [December 9, 2011, Source]

“Not all of the changes introduced by Kapawi have been easily assimilated by the Achuar. One challenge has been determining how to divvy up benefits produced by the lodge. “Issues come up, politics are involved, there are struggles for power,” noted Andre Barona. For example, the eight different associations of FINAE receive different amounts of money from tourism, but three of the associations closest to Kapawi generally receive the highest income. One community, Kapawi, receives $700 per month. Of Kapawi’s (the community’s) eighteen families, five dominant families of Quichua descent control most of the money. FINAE and Achuar leaders are generally intimidated by the more powerful Quichua families and so have done little to reclaim money.” [Source: Stanford School of Business Case Study, 2003]

The above documented observations begin to aptly demonstrate how a Eurocentric vision (ecotourism development) first initiated by an outsider (the CANODROS tourist corporation), with the assistance of the U.S. Pachamama Alliance, creates new divisions among the Achuar. The observations below begin to demonstrate how Western values and ideologies begin to permeate into Achuar communities. In the case of a private business venture, the required penetration of Western value is vital:

“To sell Kapawi, Canodros maintains a sales office in the U.S., and participates in travel marts around the word, in any given year hosting booths in Brazil, Argentina, Chicago, Berlin, Costa Rica, New York, Chicago, and Geneva. Time will tell whether such efforts were useful either for the idealistic goal of helping the Achuar integrate with the modern world on their own terms, or for the more practical goal of generating a good return on Canodros’ business investment.” [1]

 

“Another test for Canodros has been mixing two very different cultural modes and perspectives, all in one tourism operation. ‘One of the main challenges of our work is finding a balance between respecting the Achuar culture and way of living, while at the same time having them respect the needs of the business. You have to be patient and have limits,’ offered Jaramillo. ‘Often things come up. Someone comes from community, misses his family, or needs to go hunting. They tell me, “You white people need money, but I don’t need it.” Then they take a machete and just go in the forest. I’ve had cases when I have to go and do a job for them.'” [1]

 

“Visibly, however, Achuar may not appear as traditional as tourists would like. Though they continue to use some of their Achuar necklaces and headbands, and though they paint their faces for special occasions, most often they wear western clothes. Kapawi cultural experiences were described in Traveler’s Magazine this way: ‘There’s no glossing on Achuar villages themselves, which to First World eyes look desolate and poor. The Achuar wear Levi’s and t-shirts with logos….'” [1]

 

“‘Right now, they don’t feel they own the project. They know it, but don’t feel it,'” related Jaramillo. “At this point, if the project loses money, they won’t care. Kapawi has been exerting so much effort while the Federation has been able to sit back.'” — Gabriel Jaramillo, administrator at Kapawi [1]

 

“Yet, despite the awards, Kapawi has had to struggle to sustain profits and keep the tourists coming. ‘It’s definitely not easy to run Kapawi,’ conceded Andre Barona, General Manager for Canodros. ‘You have to be committed in at least two senses: for the impact you want to make and the bottom line. No one gets stock options for lessening impact.'” [1]

ClayInCanoe_fullsize

Photo: Tourists in a boat with an Achuar naturalist/guide at Kapawi Lodge, Ecuador, 2005.

As previously stated, Kapawi, the most expensive ecotourism development in the Ecuadorian Amazon, was to be given entirely to the Achuar in the year 2011. By that time, it had been estimated that Canodros would have paid $664,959 in rent (a rate later renegotiated/increased), and $150,000 in accumulated tourist fees to the Achuar (10.00 per tourist), along with helping leverage several hundreds of thousands of dollars in NGO contributions. Yet, the transfer happened ahead of schedule:

Pachamama.org, November 1, 2009: “Nearly two years ago, Kapawi Ecolodge was transferred to full ownership and close to full management by the Achuar nation. As anticipated, it has been a time of much change and learning for the Achuar, as they develop a deeper understanding of what it means to successfully run a world-class lodge located right in the heart of the Amazon rainforest. Kapawi Ecolodge has always been very special to Pachamama as the two organizations came into being at around the same time. Since then Pachamama has been a close ally to the Achuar supporting them in this bold and challenging project.” [Source]

Yet while Pachamama Alliance boasts publicly on their website that “Kapawi Ecolodge and Reserve is a thriving refuge run by the indigenous,” the reality, again appears quite different.

Although this early transfer is essentially framed as a “gift” by the generous developers/colonizers, in reality, it has been given back years ahead of schedule, [4] at least in part because it was a financial drain to the Canodros tourism corporation:

“A travel company called Canodros is running it. The agreement was that they would run it on Achuar land for 15 years and then give it back to the Achuar people, but sadly the owner of the company has now passed away and his sons didn’t share his vision for Kapawi as it wasn’t making much money. So they’ve decided to give it back after 10 years and unfortunately they haven’t been doing what was planned, training people or looking after the employees in the way that we would like to see them looked after.” [August 21, 2007, Zoe Tryon – Anthropologist and All-round Amazonian Woman]

Compare the above version to the “I Am Achuar” website which is registered to a private registrant in California:

“As planned, Canodros transferred the ownership of Kapawi Ecolodge & Reserve to the Achuar on January 1, 2008. The project is now operated by the Achuar through their tour operator CEKSA (Complejo Ecoturistico Kapawi Sociedad Anonima), a legal structure that has a category of a Tour operator, in charge of the ownership, operation and management of the lodge. [Source: http://www.iamachuar.org/] It is worth noting that the Achuar now have the responsibility of a legal corporation.]

To be clear, we have an indigenous population that was formerly sustainable in a true sense, now fully responsible for a corporation – a struggling tourist resort – with all/any liability, debt and stress that accompanies it. [Although some reports regarding the feasibility/profitability of Kapawi are conflicting (Rodriguez reports that earnings of over $1 million in direct and indirect contributions for the Achuar were distributed to local communities from Kapawi’s profits between 1996 and 2005 ($1,226,000) [Source]), the fact that the Canodros corporation incurred great financial cost to unload it approximately 4 years prior to the contract ending, is most telling.]

 At the beginning of years 1970 the Achuar was the only Jivaros that [had] not suffered any loss of culture due to the contact with the western world. In 1995, the Achuar signed an agreement to develop the project Kapawi Ecolodge & Reserve, which became his first source of income. On 1996, Pachamama Alliance was founded on San Francisco, California. At the same time, the Pachamama Foundation, its Ecuadorian office was founded in Quito. [Source: Canodros Website]

lynne-allen-gilberto-lynne

Photo: North American tourist marries Achuar tour guide

Pachamama excels in sharing stories of eagles and condors …. Yet one can be quite certain they will not be sharing stories of American Kapawi tourists who married their Achuar tour guides any time soon. One cannot know exactly how many times this occurs, yet at least one instance is evident, as described by the Kapawi tourist/U.S. citizen, Lynne Allen, on her personal blog. Allen recounts that on her last canoe ride of her 5-day stay, her guide professed his love for her. Allen describes her frustrations in obtaining a VISA for her new husband [“I tried sponsoring Gilberto on a student visa to the United States. The U.S. immigration people were not cooperative, despite the fact that he was admitted to the University of Florida’s language program, a six-month-long intensive. I had to guarantee that I had $9000, so my bank wrote me a letter verifying that fact…we soon realized that a spousal visa was probably our best chance to be together.”], as well as his integration into American values [“I introduced him to some of my family’s customs, such as a rather over-the-top Christmas, with loads of presents, well-filled stockings and a huge dinner with friends.”]

Allen states “[T]here has been no transition from the old culture to the new one and the villagers have picked up the worst of the new culture. They have little or no education or training. But they do have cell phones, internet accounts, televisions and DVD’s. They would pump up the generator and watch movies on television despite telling me stories about how they had nothing. Everyone would call me on their cell phones and ask for money.” – A Shuar Indian from the Amazon Jungle of Ecuador and A North American Teacher Find True Love (Emphasis in original.)

And we are to believe this is success?

Economic Colonialism via the School Curriculum

“Neocolonialism is the practice of using capitalism, globalization, and cultural forces to control a country (usually former European colonies in Africa or Asia) in lieu of direct military or political control. Such control can be economic, cultural, or linguistic; by promoting one’s own culture, language or media in the colony, corporations embedded in that culture can then make greater headway in opening the markets in those countries. Thus, neocolonialism would be the end result of relatively benign business interests leading to deleterious cultural effects.” [Source]

Disciplined capitalists of hegemony leave nothing to chance. The Kapawi eco-tourism project would be no exception. A high quality English instruction program commenced in the Kapawi Achuar community and Kapawi Ecolodge in November 2005.

“Create a program designed specifically for the needs of the Achuar community in terms of content and teaching methods, to maximize, not only the efficiency of the results, but also the enjoyment of studying English and the acceptance of the English program as part of the community by the Achuar.”

At the beginning of the description of the project, the author highlights the “temptation” of the Achuar (“it is very difficult for them to resist the temptation” (of short-term revenues). It is not surprising such terminology is used in reference to the Achuar when one considers a Catholic mission is situated in Kapawi:

“Volunteers will be living in the Catholic mission at the community (there is no religious pressure) which provides a very comfortable stay and volunteers will have their own room. There are four very nice sisters who work at the mission and the school who make one feel very welcome.”

A reference to the Catholic mission is also found on the Kapawi blog: “The community worked with the people from the hotel for the installation of almost 500 meters of pipeline so that in a future we can take the water near to the village house and from the catholic mission which is in Kapawi.”

“Unfortunately, Achuar leaders trained in the short term won’t be the ones managing the project in 15 years; rather, today’s twelve-year-olds will be in charge. With that in mind, Kapawi has helped get materials about tourism and ecotourism added to the regular school curriculum. Meanwhile, an environmental education project funded by a private donor connected with Pachamama offers six weeklong workshops each year to grades one through six.” [1] [Emphasis added.]

“The community has a school built by missionaries.” [Source]

 “It was a proud moment for the Achuar nation who clearly understand that university education is essential to the development of future Achuar leaders, not just in eco-tourism management but in all fields if the Achuar are to achieve a sovereign, holistic and sustainable development that strengthens the Achuar nation as a whole.” — Pachamama.org, November 1, 2009 [Source]

Profitability must be prioritized over safeguarding both living ecosystems and culture, as that is the nature of the capitalist beast. Even legitimate concern can only lend itself as far as the profitability of eco-tourism may allow. Profit not only outweighs protection; in the 21st century, profit, along with growth, is sacrosanct.

[English] “is taught by Professor Kate Krumrei (25 years), volunteer Texas (USA), which qualifies the Achuar as good students, but they must overcome shyness to communicate more fluently with foreigners. During his academic training, Kuji particularly enjoyed accounting classes and costs. ‘The most important thing in business is to establish how much you spend and how much you receive, so know your profit.'” – April 18, 2010

 

“Achuar leader added that young people are the most committed to the operation of the ecolodge, because they believe that through tourism revenue will more and more natives can finish high school, attend college and become professionals.” – April 18, 2010

 

“At Kapawi, there is an English teaching program offered to every worker. Ramiro Vargas, an Achuar guide, traveled to the United States to attend a language school. When he returns, he will replace a non-Achuar naturalist guide; the idea is to continue program until the Achuar are properly trained to run lodge and the marketing structure.” [Source]

A minga (Quechua) is a traditional work cooperative of sorts, a communal work party in the Andes and the Amazon. A fairly new venture (2012), International English Minga (IEM), in partnership with the University of San Francisco, the Pachamama Alliance and NAE, refers to itself as a catalyst for “wide-scale collaboration” giving way to “global community work parties and common purpose” and building “better pedagogy.” The said mingas (which include approximately 17 Americans who fly into the Amazon) focus on the teaching of the English language to the Achuar. Although this is said to be a partnership of exchange, there is no indication of the San Francisco student teachers reciprocating by learning the language of the Achuar – which is endangered. A well-intentioned White saviour/Minga veteran believes that “this Minga will be a catalyst which brings the concept of Minga into this new century – that experts of all kinds will want to come and want to partake in this amazing new way of teaching and learning.” While minga implies it will safeguard indigenous peoples’ interests, it demonstrates superiority and reinforces coloniality by imposing “expert” knowledge from the “West” upon the local people.

One must note the willful (perhaps instilled is more accurate) disregard and avoidance of any examination of White/First World privilege with no meaningful efforts whatsoever to counteract it. Rather, they are completely oblivious to it. Yet, this, too, is to be fully expected in our corporatized educational institutions.

It is of interest that in the photographs provided by the students on the IEM website, the Achuar people are rarely painted when in a natural social setting. Although the face/body painting was reserved as a practice for special occasions, today the painting is fully exploited for the benefit/entertainment of Kapawi tourists and outsiders. Stunning photographs of the beautifully painted Achuar serve as the prime advertising imagery for attracting international tourism. In the 2011 thesis, “Take a Picture with a Real Indian”: (Self-) Representation, Ecotourism, and Indigeneity in Amazonia, Ami Temarantz explores Indigenous identity in the online marketing of three ecotourism lodges, including Kapawi. The paper demonstrates how those (the Indigenous) exploited by such “social experiments” [5] (experiments designed to create dependency upon international tourism and an industrialized capitalist economy), are compelled to engage in the “ecologically noble savage myth” vis-à-vis emotive and spiritual “language that appeals to the Western ecological imagination” – in order to attract the Euro-American tourist in a highly competitive and aggressive industry. Under these social experiments, aspects of everyday life (the lives of Indigenous peoples) may or may not be suppressed “in order to cater to the fetishistic tourist image of ecological nobility” an Indigenous authenticity preferred by the West. Yet, not surprisingly, authenticity is willfully avoided by the tourist when it comes to perceivable threats (dangerous insects, for example) or physical difficulty (such as having to trek through the jungle carrying one’s own luggage). The adoration and desire for authenticity, as if by magic, all but disappears when access to luxury on demand is threatened. As an example, the romanticism of Indigenous authenticity would no doubt quickly dissolve if a tourist had to launder their own bedding each day in the river.

How Indigenous communities, now saddled with intense pressure to allure, seduce and satisfy White privilege, can continue to evolve naturally under such conditions appears to be of little interest to White saviours. Again, as throughout history, the Achuar are presented as the lucky beneficiaries of Western development and ideologies, thereby, yet again, assigned to their historic role as the passive novelties/objects of rapacious colonial ambition.

The success of Kapawi depends literally on the Achuars’ ability to tend to and fulfill the needs, wants, expectations and fantasies of the elite rich – the same elite group responsible for the bulk of global greenhouse gas emissions, thus, the same group responsible for the ongoing genocide of Earth’s most vulnerable peoples, nonhuman life, and our collapsing living ecosystems. (The monetarily wealthiest 1% are responsible for 50% of all global greenhouse gas emissions.)

Further, for how long will the Achuar be satisfied spending their lives literally serving White privilege (“a haven of ease, good taste, and understated luxury”) only to return at the end of each long day (or weeks on end) to dirt floors and discarded Nike t-shirts? How this can truly be considered a foundation to build relationships based upon mutual respect and equality is anyone’s guess.

Airplane pilots, mechanics, flying students to English schools in the US, and university degrees in hotel management: if this does not fall under the description of colonization, one must wonder what does.

 

Next: Part VII

 

[Cory Morningstar is an independent investigative journalist, writer and environmental activist, focusing on global ecological collapse and political analysis of the non-profit industrial complex. She resides in Canada. Her recent writings can be found on Wrong Kind of Green, The Art of Annihilation, Counterpunch, Political Context, Canadians for Action on Climate Change and Countercurrents. Her writing has also been published by Bolivia Rising and Cambio, the official newspaper of the Plurinational State of Bolivia. You can follow her on twitter @elleprovocateur]

[Forrest Palmer is an electrical engineer residing in Texas.  He is a part-time blogger and writer and can be found on Facebook. You may reach him at forrest_palmer@yahoo.com.]

 

EndNotes:

[1] Source: Case study: THE KAPAWI INDIGENOUS-CORPORATE PARTNERSHIP FOR ECOTOURISM IN ECUADOR

[2] “Kapawi ?Lodge,? Ecuador:? A? full? partnership? project? with ?the? Indigenous? Organization? of? Ecuadorean? Achuar? nationalities ?(OINAEI).?” [Source] (OINAEI is also referred to as the Indigenous Organization of Achuar Nationality of Ecuador.) OINAEI is now formally recognized as NAE (Achuar Nationality of Ecuador or Achuar Nation of Ecuador).

[3] “Rachel [Saint] was sure that she could testify that the Auca’s destiny did belong to her brother’s sacrifice. It merely confirmed her prophetic visions. The shedding of Nate’s blood atoned for the sins of the Auca (as she insisted on calling the Huaorani, even after learning their language), sanctifying her own calling to bring them out of Satan’s realm. To Rachel, the portrait of tribal life rendered by Dayuma, her informant on the Huaorani language, verified her own belief in a universe molded by the struggle between Good and Evil. Dayuma spoke in a trembling voice of her grandfather’s tales of Winae, the small vampire of the forest night. In these stories Rachel saw not the normal human fear of a jungle full of predators and rubber slavers, but the power of Satan himself. In her mind, there was no question that the tribe’s traditional shaman was a witch doctor doing Satan’s bidding. Likewise, she was sure that the Indians’ polygamy had dark metaphysical, not cultural, roots. The fact that her own brother had suffered martyrdom at the hands of at least one of Dayuma’s brothers was another intimate sign of deep Christian meaning in the Auca destiny of salvation through blood atonement. In June 1957, Dayuma and Rachel began Cam’s (William Cameron Townsend (founder of Summer Institute of Linguistics) whirlwind tour of 27 American cities. A legend was being born.” [The Akha Heritage Foundation]

[4] The transfer of ownership slated for January 1, 2011 took place in June 2008. The Kapawi–Conodros contract signed in 1996 came to an end in 2007. The process (to end the contract/partnership) began in November of 2003 and ended on September 18th of 2007 with the Pachamama Foundation serving as the consultant for the Achuar. [Source]

[5] Paper: Community-Based Ecotourism in Ecuador and Its Contribution to the Alleviation of Poverty