Posts Categorized: Cofán

Community Profile: Mauricio Mendua

Sábalo, Cofán Territory Where were you born? I was born near the community of Cofán Dureno. At that time there were no cucamas (white people), there was no oil company, just us Cofán living in the forest. Why did you move to Sábalo? Once the company came life changed for us. The noise, the pollution, […]

Painting Life in the Rainforest With the Cofan

By Alex Goff, Field Coordinator When Emergildo Criollo leads a day of art with the Cofán children of Sinangue, it’s more than just a chance for the kids to have fun and paint. It’s also a chance for them to learn about Cofán life and culture in the rainforest from the time of their grandparents. […]

Meet Fabian Umenda, Cofán Coordinator for Sinangüe

Fabian Umenda grew up in the Cofán community of Sinangüe, on the banks of the Aguarico River in the lush green foothills of the Andes Mountains. He is married and has three young daughters. Fabian spends his time working in his garden— growing yucca and plantains— hunting, and fishing. In his free time, Fabian likes […]

A Song of Oil in the Amazon

By Mitch Anderson, International Director Lago Agrio, Ecuador — The sprawl of scorched pavement and crumbling cement buildings in the heart of the Amazon rainforest. This city, once a small oil boom town founded by Texaco in the late 1960s (and given, appropriately, the name “Sour Lake” after Texaco’s hometown in Texas) is now a bewildering […]

A Trip Up the Pisorie River

By Alex Goff, International Field Coordinator Life flows like a river in the Amazon. One moment things move fast, the energy is intense, electric. The next moment there is a deep calm, time seems to stand still. I was traveling up the Pisorie River with a group of Cofán, transporting materials for rain catchment systems […]

Delivering Materials for Rain Catchment Systems in the Amazon

By Alex Goff, Field Coordinator Installing rain catchment systems in indigenous communities in the northern Ecuadorian Amazon occurs in many different phases. Getting the materials used for system construction to the beneficiary families is one of, if not the most, challenging stages in the process. Materials are many and varied: from the galvanized metal tubes […]

Lago Agrio, a Rapidly Changing Landscape

The city of Lago Agrio, Ecuador sprung up overnight. With the discovery of oil in the region by the Texaco-Gulf consortium in 1964, the company’s outpost— named after its hometown of Sour Lake, Texas— quickly attracted settlers: landless peasants, military personnel, oil workers, prostitutes, businesses, and any one else looking to cash in on the […]

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 […]

Working in Cofán Dureno

Obtaining and drinking safe water can be achieved in a number of ways, but for the people of the northeastern Ecuadorian Amazon, rainwater catchment units are the best immediate solution. They are relatively affordable, durable and can be constructed by any trained technician with access to basic tools. In the Pilot project of Dureno, it […]