Posts Categorized: Secoya

The Yoco Hunters: The Secoya People and the Yoco Vine

By Alex Goff Delfin squats low over a large clay bowl, delicately scraping the orange inner bark of a thick, woody yoco vine. It’s before dawn. The light of a small fire illuminates his sharp features, carved like stone over 85 years of life in the forest. He mixes the pulp with water in a […]

Going Undercover for Water Quality

By Alex Goff, Field Coordinator I probably should have put more thought in to a backstory I realized as I reached the door of the agrochemical shop. Upon entering I was hit with the chemical stench of industrial fertilizer. The shop was rather bare. Several shelves displayed bottles of different shapes and sizes, whose contents […]

Community Profile – Emilio Lucitande

Norma Payaguaje and Emilio Lucitande: Husband and Wife San Pablo, Secoya territory Where were you born? I was born in Puerto Asis, Colombia. My father was Cofán and my mother was Siona. I grew up speaking A’ingae and Pai’ coca. Tell me about your childhood. When I was little we lived in a small community […]

Going to School in Secoya Territory

By Alex Goff, Field Coordinator It’s 5:00 am in San Pablo, Secoya territory. The sun timidly peaks through the trees. Soon it will bathe the entire forest in a deep yellow light. A thick mist hangs along the riverbank. It will dissipate with the encroaching sun, giving way to the Secoya canoes that transit the […]

African Palm in Bellavista

By Alex Goff, Field Coordinator Where forest once stood, now there is just palm. Families living in the African palm fields of Bellavista embody the complex issues facing the Secoya nationality at this moment in time. External and internal pressures on the forest environment have made it difficult for many Secoya to live well off […]

Colón and Fanny

Colón Piaguaje and Fanny Payaguaje live in the community of Siekoya Remolino with their three daughters, Maricela, Mildred, and Ñumi Yasü. Colón grew up in a Secoya society negatively impacted by industrial activity, deforestation, and colonization. As a young man wanting to make a difference for his people, Colón left his community to study nursing […]

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 […]

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 […]

Purchasing materials for the Secoya community of San Pablo

Weeks after the completion of 51 systems in the Cofán community of Dureno, The ClearWater project is now continuing with efforts to bring clean water to the remaining communities affected by oil contamination in the northern Ecuadorian Amazon. San Pablo de Catëtsiaya is the largest community of the Secoya nationality of Ecuador and the next […]