The Architecture of Life: Pachamama Alliance

The Architecture of Life - Christopher K. Travis

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Pachamama Alliance

I want to share a powerful story - and a unique project - with my readers. It is the story of the Achuar people - an indigenous group living in the Amazon basin in southeastern Ecuador.

They are a nation of roughly 3,500 people who live in about 2 million acres of pristine rain forest accessible only by small airplanes that can land on dirt runways.

A few years ago, the Achuar began to realize that their remote area was not immune from the economic appetite and materialistic view of the modern world.

They put out a call for partners who might help them manage the threatening change they and the diverse eco-system in which they live were soon to face.

A small group of people from the developed world heard that call through mysterious circumstances - and traveled to meet the elders of the Achuar. From that meeting arose a group called the Pachamama Alliance.

Among them was a woman I had previously admired in the 1980's when I was a very active in an initiative called the Hunger Project.

Her name was Lynn Twist and she is an unstoppable force who has been a leader in creating the possibility of ending hunger, creating opportunity in the developing world and empowering sufficiency for over thirty years.

I was lucky enough to be a leader in the youth wing of the Hunger Project - Youth Ending Hunger - twenty years ago. I was honored to co-found, with a teenager from New Mexico named Eric Rutar, a transcontiniental bike ride called the Tour de YEH back in 1988 that began on the White House Lawn and ended when 60+ kids from all over the world rode into the opening ceremonites of the Goodwill Games.

Though the two of us began the project - its fulfillment was an incredible grassroots movement that grew far beyond my small early efforts. The experience utterly changed my life. Through the Hunger Project and the Tour de YEH, I learned the power of creating a powerful conversation.

Lynn Twist is also an author of a best selling book related to the sufficiency conversation called The Soul of Money. She co-founded the Pachamama Alliance. That group later spun off another initiative called the Awakening the Dream Initiative. Check out both these fine projects.

Lynn and her collaborators have done much good work since then. The Pachamama Alliance is seeing promising results from its first steps in the creation of a Green Plan for Ecuador, including endorsement of the plan from the country's newly elected President, Rafael Correa.

I strongly recommend my readers view the video linked here and support this powerful work.


Koijam Brindaband Singh said...

Nice story. There is something similar about your story with the tribes of Andaman and Nicobar Island. There are five primitive tribal groups that are living in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, still following their unique customs and traditions and resisting the wave of modernity and civilization.

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