Local programme Proandes

Working with indigenous children on their rights

PROANDES promotes investment in chidren in local governments


Nadino Calapucha lives in the Amazon rainforest

© ECUARUNARI-Bustos2007
Nadino participated in the UN Forum in New York in May 2007

• My name is Nadino Calapucha, I’m 16 years old.
• I belong to the Kichwa Nation from the Amazon region.
• I live in the community of Shiwakucha and I attend AMAUTA ÑANPI secondary school.
• I live in a community at the heart of the green tropical forest of the Amazon region, where man has everything he can ever need:  rivers, trees, and animals, which we are in contact and share our lives with, in harmony. That is where I was born, grew up, and raised as a Kichwa, and now I have to protect my mother the forest so that she can be free as before and not threatened as now by logging, oil, and mining companies and all those other companies that destroy my mother the forest, my culture, and all the children that dwell in her.

• My favorite food is all the food of my culture and the food that belongs to my area.  That’s how I appreciate my culture and eat nutritional, healthy, and natural food.

• My favorite color is green because it’s the color of hope.  I believe there’s still hope that indigenous people will no longer be culturally marginalized and discriminated.  On top of that, it’s the color of my forest.

• What I like to do the most is fight for justice and respect for my People and for the forest and the enforcement of our rights so that they can be exercised; I also like to play music, dance my nation’s dances with my brothers, because when I do that, I’m proud and I assert my identity as an indigenous person.

• I admire my parents, my community and the organizations that have given their whole-hearted support and efforts to fight for my forest, for the rights of children, and community rights.

• When I grow up, I would like to be a nature-healing physician. I want the hospitals of the Ministry of Health to be able to heal my people as well, using natural medicine and providing health care in keeping with their culture and nation.

• I like living in Ecuador because this is where my community and culture are, where we have organizations that support our work to obtain respect for diversity, because our country is mega-diverse and multicultural.

• What I like most about being an indigenous person is having my own culture, identity, and territory.  No one can take that away from me; I have my own identity and I have the forest, which I share my life with every day.

• My greatest concern regarding indigenous children and adolescents in Ecuador is that we have been excluded, exploited, and given the least schooling.  Our rights have not been enforced, and it seems that we’re not a priority for the country.

• My three proposals to improve the situation of Indigenous Children and Adolescents in Ecuador are:

- Quality education that incorporates our indigenous world vision and with scholarships for all.

- Jobs for our parents, so they won’t have to migrate to other countries and abandon their families.

- Forbid authorities to allow logging, oil, and other companies to enter our communities because we the children are the ones who are the hardest hit by their activities.



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