Posts Categorized: Legacy of Oil

Meet the Amazon Tribespeople Who Beat Chevron in Court—but Are Still Fighting for Clean Water

(Photo: Alexander Zaitchik)   This article has been reposted. Original content for the publication can be found at Find the link at: By Alexander Zaitchik Alexander Zaitchik is a freelance writer based in New Orleans. He has written for The New Republic, The Nation, Salon, Rolling Stone, Mother Jones, and many others. With the judgment […]

Supporting Community Led Environmental Monitoring in the Wake of An Oil Spill

It started as a rainbow sheen on the surface of the turbid waters of the mighty Aguarico River, but within hours it turned into a thick layer of crude oil that stuck to the bottom of canoes, accumulated in stagnant inlets, and smeared the rocky shores of indigenous villages for miles downriver. It was July […]

Building Rainwater Catchment Systems in a Kichwa Community

By Alex Goff, Field Coordinator Before a day of physical labor in the Amazon, it’s customary for the Kichwa people to follow breakfast with a huge bowl of chicha, a thick, slightly fermented yucca beverage. Chicha wards off hunger until the next meal, whenever that may be, and provides a buzz that adds a hop […]

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. […]

Remediation in Rumipamba

The Kichwa community of Rumipamba has been at the epicenter of Texaco’s contamination in the region and the 20-year legal battle to bring the company to justice. Rumipamba community member Maria Aguinda is the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit against the company. As a result of Texaco’s operations, local water sources are highly polluted and […]

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 […]

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 […]

Salome Chuquitarco: 30 Years in Rumipamba

Unlike the majority of Rumipamba’s founding community members, Salome did not move to the area from one of the Kichwa communities near Tena. She and her husband José and their children moved from the highland city of Latacunga over 30 years ago. The government was offering land at a low price, and for once they […]

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 […]