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Children of the Jaguar – Teachings from the Amazon


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Course dates: 
Monday, 23 November, 2015 to Friday, 27 November, 2015
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With Eriberto Gualinga and Atossa Soltani

This course is part of our Becoming Indigenous Programme

Join us for this rare week with award-winning film-maker Eriberto Gualinga "Traya Muskuy" (Children of the Jaguar) to explore the themes of ‘becoming indigenous’.

Eriberto, assisted by indigenous-rights activist Atossa Soltani, will share the following themes from the perspective of an indigenous story teller living in a traditional Kichwa indigenous community deep in the Ecuadorian Amazon:

  • The Kichwa people's cosmology and worldview, traditional knowledge, natural laws, processes of reflection, ceremony, rituals and traditional practices;
  • Legends and myths and how these shape our identity, our values and our way of life;
  • How traditional knowledge and worldview is passed on from generation to generation;
  • Relationship to our territory, the forests and to the spirit world, our belief in living forests;
  • Views about "development" as compared to "buen vivir" (living well); 
  • Lessons that this worldview and way of life offer to humanity;
  • Threats to territory and way of life and the strategies for asserting rights and self-determination.

This course is part of our Becoming Indigenous Programme but we are opening it up to external participants as a one-week short course.

There is a 20% discount for booking this course if you book one other in the same programme, please contact for more information.


Eriberto Gualingo

Eriberto Benedicto Gualingo Montalvo is a documentary filmmaker, photographer, and musician born in the Kichwa community of Sarayaku. He is a pioneer among indigenous Amazonian filmmakers.  At the age of 14, he had a life-changing dream where he journeyed to know the sea and in his vision he saw the beach and heard someone call him Traya. When he awakened, he wrote the word in his notebook. That dream marked his path as filmmaker and storyteller and since then he has been known by his artistic nickname Traya Muskuy.

During the time that his sister Noemi Gualinga was the leader of Sarayaku, he worked as cinematographer and thanks to her support; he had the opportunity to explore the world of visual arts. In 1999, he had the opportunity to participate in a video workshop given by Asocine. Shortly thereafter he worked on a production with Igor Guayasamin. He later travelled to Chile for a curse in radio journalism. 

In 2002, the people of Sarayaku, in defense of their territory and culture, entered in battle against the Argentine oil company CGC and the Ecuadorian Military. Gualinga captured the events that ensued in a documentary called "I am the Defender of the forest" that has been recognized with the best documentary award at the Ananconda Film Festival an the Paco Urondo Award, for the best film about Human Rights and in the 14th Latin-American Film and Video Festival of Santa Fe, Argentina. Gualinga went on to direct the documentary "Sacha Runa Yachay" (2006), "the Path of Flowers" (2008), and "the Children of the Jaguar (2012)".

Numbering some 2,000 people, the Kichwa people of Sarayaku live deep in the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest. They are also known as the “Pueblo del Medio Dia,” or people of the Zenith, which stems from an ancient prophecy of their ancestors: that Sarayaku would be a pillar of territorial, cultural, and spiritual defense, a beacon of light as strong as the noonday sun at its zenith.  In 2012, after a 10-year legal battle, the Inter-American Court on Human Rights found the Ecuadorian government guilty of rights violations when it authorized oil exploration and militarization of Sarayaku’s lands without consulting the community. This story is the subject of Eriberto's award winning film, the Children of the Jaguar, which won first place at the 2012 National Geographic All Roads Film Festival.

Currently Eriberto Gualinga is working to make a film about the life of a child that lives in the Community of Sarayaku in the Ecuadorian Amazon. The film incorporates the themes o resistance to extractive industries and the invasions that are happening in his territory.

Atossa Soltani

Founder and former Executive Director of Amazon Watch, Atossa Soltani is the Hillary Institute of International Leadership's 2013 Hillary Laureate and serves as the chair of the board of trustees of The Christensen Fund, board member of Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs, advisor to the Peruvian organization, The Arkana Alliance, and advisor to the InterAmerican Clean Energy Institute. Since 1991, Atossa has been leading international campaigns in defense of the world's tropical rain forests. Before founding Amazon Watch in 1996, Atossa directed campaigns at the Rainforest Action Network to end logging in endangered ecosystems.
Follow Atossa on Twitter: @asoltani

£ 795.00
Course fees include single accommodation, all meals, field trips, materials and all teaching sessions. *Multiple course discount for 'Becoming Indigenous' courses to include Indigenous Ways of Knowing, Sundance and Sacred Ritual, Our Indigenous Story - please call Janey on 01803 847237 for more information and booking.