Jessica Peñafiel: I want to be a pediatrician and a lawyer
© ©UNICEF/2007-1/Susan Markisz
Jessica participated in the Indigenous Forum at the UN in May 2007
• My name is Jessica Peñafiel, I’m 13 years old.
• I belong to the Puruhá People from the Kichwa Nation.
• I live in the community of Gatazo. The place where I live is peaceful. We live together in harmony with nature and what is most important is that there is no pollution.
• My favorite food is “potatoes and guinea pig” because that’s a typical dish of the community. My favorite colours are white and red: white for transparency and red because it reminds me of the blood of those who fought for the observance of the rights of indigenous peoples.
• Reading is what I like to do the most.
• I admire my parents for their perseverance and Monsignor Leonidas Proaño because he defended and fought for respect for the rights of indigenous peoples.
• When I grow up I want to be an excellent pediatrician and also a talented lawyer. I want to save children from preventable deaths.
• I like to live in Ecuador because of its broad cultural diversity.
• What I most like about being indigenous is belonging to a people like the Puruhá and to the Kichwa Nation, because I identify with my People.
• My greatest concern for indigenous children and adolescents in Ecuador is the high rate of chronic malnutrition, which amounts to 41%.
• My 3 proposals to improve the situation of indigenous children and adolescents in Ecuador are as follows:
- Disseminate our Minimum Agenda for the Enforcement of the Rights of Indigenous Children and Adolescents of Ecuador and thus highlight our problems and proposals.
- Have our teachers teach us the real history of our ancestors so that everybody can cherish our culture and identity.
- Reduce the chronic malnutrition rate by using our own knowledge coming from our ancestral wisdom.
“Among Ecuador’s various cultures, there are no different problems, there are simply different percentages.”