Tribal Retreat Center
MISSION & HISTORY.
The traditional Kichwa culture of the Sacha Wasi tribe is at risk of extinction due to cultural erosion caused by modernization, globalization, and the expansion of the petroleum industry. Unfortunately, the Kichwa people are also among the lower socioeconomic class in Ecuador, exacerbating the issue.
Indigenous communities in the Amazon face a variety of threats, including agro-industrial developments, extractive industries, and rapid infrastructure development. These threats have resulted in discrimination, intimidation, criminalization, imprisonment, and even death for indigenous peoples who assert their rights.
As a result, many indigenous communities have been displaced from or lost access to their ancestral territories, leading to the loss of their history and a breakdown in their relationship with their ancestors. At Sacha Wasi, we are dedicated to preserving the traditional Kichwa culture and supporting indigenous communities in the Amazon to maintain their heritage, beliefs, and languages.
At Sacha Wasi, our mission is to preserve the traditional Kichwa culture of the Sacha Wasi tribe and other indigenous communities in the Amazon. We recognize the importance of maintaining cultural heritage, beliefs, and languages to promote a sense of identity, pride, and connection to ancestors.
To achieve our mission, we have created the Sacha Wasi Tribal Learning Center, an indigenous school that provides culturally appropriate and relevant courses for indigenous students of all ages. Our courses are designed to produce indigenous students with knowledge and skills that are rooted in their own Kichwa culture, enabling them to preserve their traditions and pass them down to future generations.
In addition, we have established the Sacha Wasi Jungle Medicine Clinic to address the healthcare needs of indigenous communities, many of whom are often excluded from mainstream health services. Our clinic provides quality medical care that integrates both Western and traditional indigenous medicine, helping to maintain the traditional healing practices of the Kichwa people.
Through our programs and initiatives, we aim to promote cultural preservation, social and economic justice, and the empowerment of indigenous communities. Join us in our mission to preserve the cultural legacy of indigenous peoples and promote a sustainable future for all.
Vision of the Future .
At Sacha Wasi, our vision for the future is to see indigenous communities in the Amazon empowered and self-sufficient, with the ability to determine their own futures. We believe that education is key to achieving this vision, and that it must be rooted in the traditional knowledge and practices of indigenous cultures.
Through the Sacha Wasi Tribal Learning Center, we aim to provide a platform for indigenous students to receive culturally appropriate education that equips them with the knowledge and skills needed to face the challenges of modern realities while maintaining their cultural identity.
We envision a future where indigenous communities are able to exercise their right to self-determination and preserve their cultural heritage, while also embracing the benefits of modernization and technology. By empowering indigenous communities and promoting sustainable practices, we hope to contribute to a more just and equitable world.
As Sacha Wasi tribal elder Marlene Guatatuca has said, "as indigenous people we have the right to decide our future". We are committed to working towards this future, and we invite you to join us in our mission to preserve indigenous cultures and empower their communities.
And they developed a vision for their own futures!
Preserving Traditional Ways of Life.
The impact of tourism on traditional ways of life is often debated, but at Sacha Wasi, we believe that tourism can actually play a positive role in preserving indigenous cultures. In fact, many of those who have had the opportunity to interact with our community have observed that tourism has rekindled interest in traditional ways of life.
Sharing their culture with foreign visitors has instilled a sense of pride and motivation in younger generations, encouraging them to preserve the knowledge and practices of their ancestors. Through interactions with tourists, the Sacha Wasi community has been able to showcase their cultural heritage and generate a deeper appreciation for their way of life.
However, it is important to note that modernization and globalization have also had an impact on traditional Kichwa culture. The influence of urban Ecuadorian culture has led to a decrease in the use of traditional dress and a shift towards Western-style clothing. While most working-age men and youth are fluent in Spanish in addition to Kichwa, many elders and women primarily communicate in Kichwa and have only basic Spanish skills.
At Sacha Wasi, we believe that it is important to strike a balance between preserving traditional ways of life and embracing the benefits of modernization. By providing culturally appropriate education and promoting sustainable practices, we hope to empower our community to maintain their cultural identity while also adapting to the changing world around them.
Indigenous and culturally-rooted children are often oppressed by the modern education system, due to current political structures in Ecuador and corporate power, which aim to force assimilation through cultural homogenization.
The national educational system imposes dominant languages and philosophies, and focuses on teaching homogenous national or global knowledge. As a result, the unique knowledge and cultures of indigenous groups like the Kichwa are often made invisible or described as ignorant, obsolete, or backward. Thousands of pieces of traditional knowledge are lost in the process.
Indigenous Education is Vital.
The leaders of Sacha Wasi understand the type of education necessary for their children to thrive and uphold the traditions of their ancestors.
Indigenous education is critical to the survival of Amazon Jungle communities like the Kichwa tribe at Sacha Wasi.
Your support is essential to ensure the continued transmission of ancestral knowledge and worldviews that preserve their shamanic spiritual practices and traditions related to nature, plant medicine, conservation, and sustainability. Your contributions can make a difference in the successful preservation of their culture and way of life.