Meet the Community Technicians: (2) Teófilo Mendúa
Name: Teófilo Mendúa
Role: Senior Community Technician
Meet Teófilo Mendúa, one of the senior Cofán technicians in the ClearWater project. Like many of his Cofán neighbors, Teófilo moved to Ecuador from Colombia. In the Cofán community of Dureno, Teófilo has found a more tranquil landscape where he has been able to raise a family of 10. Teófilo is the proud father of several children, including 2 college graduates and a young baby named Elvis. He is a family man and probably one of the nicest and calmest beings on earth. His patience and wisdom makes him a perfect teacher for the younger technicians working on the ClearWater project.
“The other indigenous nationalities need to learn, because they need clean water too”
Teófilo is extremely skilled with his hands. In addition to his construction skills, Teófilo has also proved to be one of the most skilled artisans amongst the Cofán. Today, he is one of the few Cofán who still remembers how to make crowns, spears, daggers and blowguns like his ancestors. But making and selling crafts is becoming a dying tradition for the Cofán and craftsmen like Teófilo are disappearing. In the future, Teófilo hopes to pass this art to his children.
*About the bios: These bios were transcribed and written by Adrian Schwartz: Adrian Schwartz is the ClearWater field assistant who is working closely with the community techncians to document their great work. Adrian is French Ecuadorian and is currently studying anthropology and mapping in the United States.