Pereira, who was murdered alongside British journalist Dom Phillips, planned to lead an Indigenous delegation 2,500km across Brazil to learn from veteran fellow defenders
First Nation leaders are set to meet with bosses from Scotland’s largest museum for talks on the repatriation of a historic totem pole stolen from modern-day British Columbia almost a century ago.
In north-western New Mexico, traditional Indigenous farming methods are being passed down to protect against the effects of climate crisis
Indigenous peoples in the Arctic are joining with scientists to rewild degraded peatlands
Rainforests looked after by communities absorb twice as much carbon as other lands, analysis shows
We recently witnessed the desecration of a Shinnecock Indian ancestor’s grave, when a skull, bones, and 18th Century glass bottle were unearthed during the construction of a home just five minutes from our reservation…
Easter Island’s indigenous people have asked Chile’s government to help them recover a unique Moai statue removed 150 years ago and now kept in the British Museum in London…
A “GCF Indigenous Peoples Policy” has been adopted for inclusion in the Green Climate Fund, that every year allocates billions of dollars to climate projects…
Onaway has been supporting the Chico Mendes Reforestation Project in Guatemala. Odilsar is paid 75 Q (USD 10) per day by the project. He is vital to the project, and the project is vital to him.
What is your role in the reforestation project?
I am a viverista (I work in the tree nursery), helping organise the school children volunteers and international volunteers in the vivero (the tree nursery). I also help plant trees at our reforestation sites in the mountains of Cantel, in particular this year we have been working hard to plant trees in the pajonada.
How did you become involved with the Chico Mendes organisation?
I started as a schoolboy volunteer in January 2014 through the Instituto de Educación Básica por Cooperativa Choquiac (IMEBCH) of Pachaj. In November of 2015, Armando offered me a part time position, and I now work full time.
Why is the project important to you?
As a child I was sent into the forests which surround my family home to collect firewood (mainly for cooking), but that changed when I started volunteering with the Chico Mendes project. I now spend my time working to protect and improve the forests which are vital for the local people, providing fresh water and air, and sustainable sources of firewood. It is important that we care for the forests of Cantel.
Tell us a bit about your life outside of the project?
I live locally to the project, about an hour’s walk. My home is located on the edge of the forest, things are quite basic. We grow maize in the field next to the house which my mother uses to make tortillas. I am the oldest of 7 siblings (aged from 1 to 17 years old) and became head of the household (and principal/only bread-winner) when my grandfather passed away in November 2017.
How is the Chico Mendes organisation helping you?
When I left school I started working in the fields, earning and learning very little. I am very happy working for the Chico Mendes organisation. It has given me the opportunity to learn new skills and to meet new and interesting people. I am improving my prospects for my future.