|Abya Yala Fund provided $26,795 in direct funding and technical assistance
to projects in 1996. Between Jan. 1, 1997 and October, 1998, AYF raised and
gave over $100,000 to support 19 Indigenous Self-Development
The projects which Abya Yala Fund is currently working with range from a
national rights training program for Mexican women to the building of small
local offices from which Miskitu communities of Honduras will organize training
workshops regarding the protection and demarcation of their territory.
Construction of Community Solar-Powered Well QUECHUA, Bella
Vista Community, Oruro, BOLIVIA - $17,000
This initiative creates an alternative model of development and resolves
the problems caused by the heavy draught in the highlands with the construction
of a solar powered well. This project will provide the community with a
sustainable and reliable source of water for their families and for the breeding
of llamas and agricultural activities. [More
Training Seminar on the Social Impacts of Oil Exploration and National
Laws and Policies on Asháninka Communities of the Perene
ASHANINKA, Asháninka Native Community "Marankiari Bajo," Junin, PERU
The seminar gathers leaders and delegates from Asháninka communities
in the Perene River Valley of Peru to raise consciousness about and analyze
the social impacts of oil exploration by Elf Petroleum and national laws
which threaten Asháninka rights and traditional territories.
Promote the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the Face of NAFTA and
other Multilateral Agreements
MAPUCHE, Aukin Wallmapu Ngulam/All Lands Council, Temuco, CHILE - $11,415
An Indigenous Conference that will initiate a dialogue, and establish and
document the position and concerns of Indigenous people regarding multilateral
agreements and globalization.
Strengthening of Indigenous Community Organizations to Protect
MISKITU, Moskitia Asla Takanka/Mosquitia Unity (MASTA), HONDURAS - $8,000
A project aimed to consolidate Indigenous organizations and reinforce the
integral development in the Mosquitia by holding training workshops for leaders
and community members and building offices in the seven regions of MASTA.
Indigenous Women's Rights Training Project
TZOTSIL, The National Autonomous Indigenous Assembly (ANIPA) and K'inal
Antsetik/"Land of Women", MEXICO - $19,000
These workshops provide technical training and consciousness-raising about
political issues, human rights issues and the situation of Indigenous women,
which aim to improve the participation of women in social and political
Human Rights Awareness Raising for Mayan Women
MAYA, Economic and Social Development Program for the Women - "Kichin Konojel"
- Chimaltenango, GUATEMALA - $7,000.
This program trains 380 Mayan women through a series of workshops providing
technical training and education on the specific rights of women, identity
issues, and rights of native communities. The goal is to allow for greater
integration of Mayan women in social, economic and political sectors by
emphasizing Mayan cultural values and creating a database that will facilitate
the access of information on human rights issues.
Reforestation of the Altiplano
AYMARA, Cultural Center of Ayo Ayo Leadership (CECLA) - Ayo Ayo, BOLIVIA
Ayo Ayo youth and student leaders work together with union and political
leaders of the community to hold two training workshops on the importance
of reforestation and environmental conservation, and on forestry techniques
and sustainable development for each of three Ayo Ayo communities in the
province of Aroma, Bolivia. Following the workshops, nine-thousand trees
will be planted by the families of the communities, reforesting three hectares
of land with six native tree varieties.
U'wa Defense Project of Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs
National Indigenous Organization in Colombia, Samoré, COLOMBIA - $1,000
A community organizing program that assists the U'wa in in their efforts
to fight the present and future attempts at destructive oil exploration and
development on their ancestral lands.
Demarcation of Yaqui Regional Boundaries and Water Rights
YAQUI, Yoemem Tekia Fund - Sonora, MEXICO - $1,000
Enforcement of 1939 Accords on water rights allow the Yaqui to maintain their
traditional form of development, provide the basic necessities for their
families, and assert their legally recognized rights over their natural resources
and traditional lands. These funds assisted the Yaqui in establishing boundaries
of their lands.
Emergency Support of National Indigenous Peoples' Organizing
QUICHUA, Confederation of Indigenous Nations of Ecuador (CONAIE), Quito,
ECUADOR - $1,000
This grant responded to the urgent need of CONAIE to promote and educate
Indigenous peoples about the contents and benefits of the new Law of Agricultural
Reform through dissemination of informational material and educational training
National Protest and Negotiations with the Government by Indigenous
Peoples in Venezuela
PEMON, Indigenous Federation of the State of Bolívar (FIB) -
Bolívar, VENEZUELA - $1,000.
This grant helped the Federation organize a national march with the participation
of Indigenous and non-Indigenous organizations and communities to demand
nullification of the 1850 Decree and application of the 107 Convention of
the OIT from the Supreme Court that guarantees the collective property of
the lands traditionally occupied by Indigenous communities.
Training of Agro-Ecological Promoters and Eco-Technicians to Promote
TZOTSIL & TZELTAL, Training Center for Self-development of Indigenous
Peoples (CECADEPI), Altos Region of Chiapas, MEXICO - $15,000 ($10,000 granted
This program carries out training and experience exchange workshops on ecological
agrarian techniques, held in the Tzotsil and Tzeltal languages, for forty
farmers who will then serve as agro-ecological promoters and eco-technicians
in their own villages and municipalities.
Recuperation of the Knowledge and Use of Medicinal
MAYA, Renaissance of the Mayan Peoples' Knowledge Council, San José
Poaquil, GUATEMALA - $24,180 ($10,000 granted by AYF.)
This project aims to revive traditional Mayan medicinal practices through:
researching and documenting traditional medicinal practices; planting and
harvesting native medicinal plants; implementing training workshops on the
knowledge, use and cultivation of medicinal plants; and establishing a botanical
pharmacy. Local biodiversity is enhanced through the re-introduction of
Indigenous plants and trees.
Strengthening of Indigenous Agriculture and Nutritional Security
in Five Quechua Communities
AYMARA, Amauta Indigenous Foundation - Pampahuasi Region, BOLIVIA - $12,000
($5,000 granted by AYF)
This project will rescue and revive native agricultural practices and
technologies, promote the recuperation of authentic and endangered species,
improve the agricultural production, and take advantage of the diversification
of the traditional agricultural resources with the aim of providing agricultural
and nutritional security.
In addition to making grants, Abya Yala Fund provides Indigenous communities
and organizations with information on sources of funding and technical support.
As part of this program, we are planning to hold two more training and experience
exchange meetings over the course of the next two years (Spring 1999 - 2000).
Training will include many areas related to environmental management,
organizational development , and models of alternative indigenous development
such as administration, communications technology, proposal writing, project
management, resource management, traditional indigenous knowledge, and indigenous
rights. The meetings will emphasize training to develop leadership and
organizational capacity at the local level and increasing the ability of
indigenous communities to find and effectively use project funding.
The first two meetings took place in Tecpán, Guatemala in December,
1997 and May 1998. Indigenous communities and organizations from Mexico,
Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Ecuador and Bolivia, which have implemented
their own self-development models, were invited to the meeting to share their
experiences, discuss what models of community development have worked and
ideas about future action.
As a result of these meetings, Abya Yala Fund will publish a report on Indigenous
self-development efforts in South and Meso America which will be distributed
to indigenous communities and organizations, as well as to foundations and
other constituents to inform them about current indigenous self-development
efforts. The English version of this report will be the first edition of
our new tri-annual newsletter on Indigenous Self-Development in South and
Meso America, available here in Winter 1998.
Revitalizing the Agro-Biodiversity of the Andes
QUECHUA, Núcleo de Vigorización de la Chacra Andina "Eduardo
Grillo" (NUV'CHA), Cajamarca, PERU - $28,000
This project aims to diversify the agricultural and husbandry methods of
the Indigenous peoples of the Provinces of Cajamarca and Contumaza, Bolivia
through improving the soil, cultivating native species, breeding of alpaca,
llama and guinea-pig, and improving water usage from springs and streams.
Strengthening and Consolidation of the Ye'Kwana and Sanema Peoples'
YE'KWANA/SANEMA, Kuyujani Organization, Autonomous Municipality of Sucre,
Venezuela - $12,000
This project will install a radio communications network in 25 Ye'kwana and
Sanema communities which are extremely isolated and have limited means of
communication. The network will allow for emergency communications as well
as cultural sharing and informational exchanges regarding development activities
and events in the communities.
Video Documentation of Work with Aymara Women and Youth
AYMARA, Integral Development Center of Aymara Women (CDIMA), La Paz, BOLIVIA
This grant will allow the Center for the Holistic Development of Aymaran
Women to document through video their work with women and youth, and disseminate
these locally, nationally and internationally as a means of reinforcing the
values of Aymara culture.
Women's Culinary Micro-Enterprise to Promote Mapuche Culture
MAPUCHE, Mapuche Women's Group (WVFKO), Temuco, CHILE - $7,425
This cooperative of Mapuche women will create a culinary micro-enterprise
that prepares traditional Mapuche food with the aim of protecting and
proliferating Mapuche culture. The business will provide traditional Mapuche
food for events and will promote the recovery of the distinctive culture
of the Mapuche People which is rapidly being lost within the urban environment
Training Seminar on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples of the Atlantic
Coast of Nicaragua
MISKITU, Miskitu Indigenous Cultural Fund, Rio Coco, NICARAGUA - $4,700
This is a three to four-day workshop to train Indigenous community, union
and student leaders from the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua to defend Indigenous
rights and territories who will then train those in their communities to
do the same.
Conference on Preserving Indigenous Languages
MISKITU, Miskitu Indigenous Cultural Fund, Puerto Cabezas, NICARAGUA - $4,000
This three to four-day conference will convene professors and students of
Indigenous languages in the Autonomous Region of Nicaragua to analyze the
amount of deterioration of the Miskitu, Sumu and Rama languages since
colonization and to determine the most practical methodologies to revive
Program to Recover Mapuche Social Memory
MAPUCHE, Coliqueo Tribe, Los Toldos, ARGENTINA - $11,500
This program will train youth representatives from Mapuche communities in
Argentina in methods to promote Mapuche social history, knowledge, culture
and language, and to educate the public (Mapuche and non-Mapuche) about
Indigenous struggles through use of an archive of stories, distribution of
educational materials, and support for similar programs happening in other