I want to represent the indigenous peoples: Lourdes Yamberla
© ECUARUNARI/Bustos 2007
Lourdes participated in the UN Indigenous Forum in 2007
• My name is Lourdes Yamberla, I’m 18 years old.
• I belong to the Otavalo People from the Kichwa Nation.
• I live in Ilumán. It is a wonderful and cultural place.
• My favorite food is quinoa because it helps build strong bones and has beneficial elements for our body.
• My favorite color is white because it means peace for our Peoples.
• What I like to do the most is study and attend workshops on the Rights of Indigenous Children and Adolescents organized by Ecuarunari and UNICEF.
• I admire Dolores Cacuango because she was a woman leader who fought for the right of indigenous peoples to get a good education. I also admire Monsignor Leonidas Proaño, because he fought the landholders who wanted to take over the Indigenous Territories.
• When I grow up I want to be a representative of the Indigenous Peoples of Ecuador at UN headquarters in New York, because I want to foster and pave the way for education and also to work for the rights of indigenous children and adolescents of Ecuador.
• I like to live in Ecuador because it’s a country that has cultural diversity and above all because peace, tranquility and reciprocity are felt and experienced among the Indigenous Peoples.
• What I most like about being indigenous is having our own language, Kichwa. It enables us to assert our identity as Indigenous Peoples and helps us know who we really are and where we come from.
• My greatest concern about Indigenous Children and Adolescents in Ecuador is that 7 out of every 10 children and adolescents do not complete basic schooling. That is because we have not received enough support from local and municipal authorities and above all from the Ecuadorian State, because our parents have no jobs. I'm also concerned about malnutrition, because 41% of indigenous children and adolescents are malnourished.
• My 3 proposals to improve the situation of indigenous children and adolescents in Ecuador are:
- Free education for all children and adolescents of Ecuador. High-quality education with well-trained teachers, classrooms, and equipment in bilingual and other institutions.
- Quality food for all children and adolescents of Ecuador, with everybody being given meals in educational institutions, without any junk food.
- Free medicine at health centers, hospitals and other places to improve the quality of life and health of indigenous children and adolescents of Ecuador because we are the present and the future of our Peoples and country, Ecuador.