The Cofán of Sinagüe: Masters of the River

The Cofán community of Sinangüe is located in the tropical foothills of the Andes Mountains. Just beyond, the landscape levels out into the seemingly infinite Western Amazon Basin. This is the ancestral homeland of the Cofán people. They have lived here in these mountain forests for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Sinangüe offers spectacular […]

From the Oil Well That Changed the Ecuadorian Amazon to a Movement for Clean Water

By Alex Goff, Field Coordinator The ClearWater team of coordinators and technicians of the Siona, Secoya, Kichwa, Cofán, and Waorani nationalities pose in front of the first oil well drilled in the northern Ecuadorian Amazon. The Lago Agrio 1 well was perforated in 1967 by the Texaco-Gulf consortium. It was here that the first barrels […]

A Day with Rogelio

By Alex Goff, International Field Coordinator Rogelio Payaguaje lives in the Secoya community of San Pablo. He has three daughters and many grandchildren. Rogelio is in his mid-seventies, and like all Secoya his age he is still very active, as life in the forest requires. Every day he fishes, collects fruit, and works in his […]

Oil Is Not Life in the Amazon

By Alex Goff, International Field Coordinator The reality of oil in the Ecuadorian Amazon is a series of contrasts: the fuel of the global economic engine pumped out from under a land of prehistoric forests and ancient cultures; the political rhetoric of development and national sovereignty alongside the reality of the highest poverty level in […]

Celestino Piaguaje, the Forest Philosopher

Celestino Piaguaje is a special figure among the Secoya. His life mission has been to bridge Secoya tradition with modern Western thought, to integrate Secoya spiritual belief with the teachings of the Bible. Taught by North American missionaries, he was the first Secoya to read and write fluently in Spanish. Education is a passion for […]

Visiting Yawepare and Clean Water for the Amazon

By Alex Goff, International Field Coordinator It’s a long trip from the Amazonian city of Coca to the Waorani community of Yawepare on the edge of Yasuní National Park in Ecuador, much longer than the actual distance would seem to indicate. After almost an hour at high speeds along a paved portion of the Via […]

Running 42.2 KM ‘ain’t no thang’ for GO Champion Kathleen

GO Champion Kathleen Gordon isn’t just raising money for families in Ecuador, she is putting herself through exhaustion in order to do so. Later this year, Kathleeen will be running 42.2 km to raise money for Rainwater Catchment Systems in Ecuador, which will help hundreds of needy families get clean drinking water.

Why Do-Gooder Became GO Champions

When Tony, Michelle, and I formed Do-Gooder, we decided our first campaign would be to help the people of the Ecuadorian Amazon who have suffered tremendous ecological and health defects caused by toxic dumping from oil companies. If you have been following the story in the news, you know it’s a tremendous issue with legal, […]

Engineers Without Borders (SJSU) in Ecuador: Day 1 in the field

Guest Blog by: Tim Hendrickson (EWB SJSU) Today, we travelled to the village of Rumipamba home of the Kichwa people. The mission is to observe firsthand the extent of oil contamination in the region and to inspect existing rainwater catchment systems in the area. Going in, we all have some preconceived notions about exactly what […]