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Support Native Women in the Amazon

$3,676 of $15,000 goal

Raised by 47 people in 13 months
My name is Maria Dorsey, I live in Oakland California, was born in Bucaramanga, Colombia and raised in central Illinois. I am an activist, a member of Idle No More SF Bay, an Amazon Watch volunteer and a signer of the Indigenous Women of the Americas Defending  Mother Earth Treaty.

I have been invited to the Sapara Nation in the Ecuadorean Amazon by Gloria Ushigua Santi.  Gloria is a fierce advocate for her people and the earth they protect. She is also the leader of Ashinwaka, the Sapara Women's Association, as well as an original signer of the Indigenous Women of the Americas Defending Mother Earth Treaty in 2015. The Sapara Nation is located in the most biodiverse place in the world, Yasuni, a World Heritage Park in the Amazon Rainforest of Ecuador.
I am traveling to Sapara Territory in the end of January to live with the tribe for six months. I will travel by commercial plane to Ecuador, a bush plane into the  Amazon, and a small boat to Gloria’s village. I will be assisting Gloria in the work she is doing and learning from her community.

I am requesting your help in funding for myself and the work that Gloria is doing to for her people, the living jungle, their rights to clean soil, water, air and the continuance of their lives and culture:

 Translations of letters written by Gloria
 Our travels to meet with government officials
 Funds for community events
 Travel expenses to get there and return
 Supplies to live in the Amazon for 6 months (such as mosquito netting, boots, medicinal
supplies, water filter, etc. (I will be transparent to all my donors and friends by posting on my
Facebook page when possible)
 Living expenses for food and incidentals

Thank you very much for your contributions. it is so very appreciated and will go toward necessary work for our planet, our climate and the indigenous people who care for her in one of the most remote places on Earth.

More information on Gloria and the Indigenous people in the Ecuadorean Amazon:

Currently the Ecuadorian government is over 15 billion dollars in debt to China and desperate to pay off this debt, which China is demanding in oil. Ecuador has  roken down the Amazonian territories into blocks which they have sold off, illegally, without the consent of the many indigenous tribes that reside within the rainforest. Gloria has tirelessly been working to raise awareness on this deadly threat not only to their water and land but their culture and very existence, not to mention the existence of the untouched tribes which surround them. They have already started drilling in Yasuni National Park, pristine Amazonian land inhabited by two of the last tribes in the world living in voluntary isolation.
Until this controversy over the Yasuni National Park, Ecuador was considered one of the most environmentally progressive countries in the world, Including the rights of nature in their own constitution!

Gloria and her brother Manari (the leader of the Sapara people) have spoken around the world on the serious issues they are facing, including at the United Nations Climate Talks. They both, as well as many others have had their lives threatened for their boldness in standing up to the government and big oil companies on behalf of their people and right to exist. If the oil companies are allowed to proceed with drilling plans it will mean sure genocide of many diverse tribes, irreplaceable natural biodiversity and throw off the entire ecosystem of the Amazon Rainforest, which is what keeps our entire planet's climate in balance. Gloria has been labeled a terrorist, detained by immigration in Ecuador, tear gassed in her own home and had a family member recently murdered in a case of mistaken identity...for
Gloria.

For more information here are several links!

Indigenous Women of the Americas Defending Mother Earth Treaty:
www.IndigenousWomenRising.org

Delivering a letter to the Chinese Consulate in SF when Gloria was here:
http://amazonwatch.org/news/2017/0719-how-we-win-speak-truth-to-power-and-build-solidarity

Yasuni National Park Oil Drilling
http://amazonwatch.org/news/2016/0404-ecuador-drills-for-oil-on-edge-of-pristine-rainforest-in-yasuni 

Amazon Watch is an incredible resource for learning more about protecting the indigenous people and rainforest.  
www.AmazonWatch.org
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For full update see previous update link! Gracias!!!

Due to the nature of my sicknesses it has become very clear that my plans of living in Llanchamacocha for 6 months are not going to come to fruition as planned. When I realized this in Puyo, the second time out of the ER, I was overwhelmed with sorrow. I felt like all the dreams I´d been seeing were slipping out of my hands. I never got to do all the things I never even knew that I never got to do. I just knew I couldn’t risk living there extendly as planned, the idea of being in an emergency level of illness and unable to leave the rainforest is beyond my ability to swallow. With this new information, and the new connections I have made throughout the women of the Ecuadorian Amazon, I have decided to rent a room in Puyo where I can work from. I can be more effectively helpful, I pray, from there. This way I can also attend the weekly women´s meetings (the ones that planned this entire week of meetings and marches and rallies). Another project I am personally working on is little 2-3 minute interviews with the women from all the different communities. I believe it is easier to connect to a cause when it’s personal. The only way to make bringing the North and the South personal is to hear the stories of the women individually of how THEIR lives have been impacted, why they are in this fight and a personal story of their choosing to share with all of us. The woman have also expressed a LOT of excitement at the idea.

The issue of this is that it dramatically changes my financial needs. To rent a room will cost me approximately $200-300 a month and then likely another $300 a month to cover the cost of food, transportation and helping out with any travel I might go do with Gloria or the women, plus travel I do to the communities close and more remote. All things considered it’s a very modest budget, but due to the cost of the medicine, emergency doctors visits, hostels and travel I am now running very low on what I had expected would get me through to July or August. What I would ask of you, my relatives supporting me from afar, is a pledge of support monthly. Anything that I know I can count on it incredibly appreciated and needed. If you could commit to donate $20 a month and at least 18 people do this I will be completely covered. Gofundme allows you to sign up for a monthly donation that automatically comes out of your account. I am so thankful to all the people who have donated, spent time writing to me to encourage me during my illnesses and shared what is happening here. You are what has kept me from giving up and coming home as soon as I went to the hospital the first time. I am here for a reason, I am still learning what that reason is but here I am.
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Hi relatives! I´ve done an official very detailed blog! Please come read it, bring a snack it´s lengthy ;)

https://returningsouthsaparaterritory.wordpress.com/2018/03/20/month-1-in-the-amazon/
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I’m sitting watching the rain fall and preparing for a long day of marching. Today we march for the rights of the Amazon Women, Indigenous Women everywhere, the right to their ancestral territories, the right to the defense of the lungs of our beloved Mother, the right to stand their ground and say NO exploitative extraction in the Amazon. Keep it all in the ground. Thank you for helping me get to be here as part of this. Your support makes things like this possible. It also helps support the flights necessary to bring Sapara women in particular out of the communities in the jungle to represent their people, and ancestors. Thank you.
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Hi everyone! Small update! We’ve been in Puyo the last few days preparing to return home to Llanchama, the community in the Amazon, on the 4th! A group of tourists were in for a week so we’re flying in when they’re being retrieved. A few days after this Gloria, Rosa and I will be departing in canoe for several day journey to the more remote communities in the territory to document the violence happening to the women due to men illegally deforesting in the area. It will be very intense and I will be documenting much of the stories with my camera. This is going to be a big journey for me and very difficult as we only will be traveling w a tent and backpacks. The canoe is still something Im getting used to and for three days I have a feeling my back will hate me. (Im personally terrified of the tigers and camping in untamed jungle). Continued support and prayers are so appreciated. Thank you!
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$3,676 of $15,000 goal

Raised by 47 people in 13 months
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