Dec 9, 2020

What advocacy looks like for the Cofanes

The Cofan Survival Fund has a small administrative team in Ecuador, but the term administration does not really capture what they do, it's really an advocacy and response team. Calling someone an accountant conjures up a desk job sitting in front of a computer quantifying time sheets. But the Cofan Survival Fund's account is out visiting schools in the amazon and Quito to see where the Cofanes can get primary students placed so they are best poised to learn English and Spanish, the languages they will need to advocate for themselves. She also goes to battle with the insurance company for payment of health care. Likewise, the government laison spends time traveling to Cofan territority, provincial offices, and government offices in Quito to file the necessary paperwork with the Ministrey of Environment to make sure Cofan terrotory is safe and receive their payments for ecosystem services from the government. Donations through GlobalGiving help support these core duties that indirectly feed into the maintenance of the park guard program.

Aug 13, 2020

COVID response

In May, a major fundraising effort led to over $20,000 in donations to support internet connections in some of the most remote Cofan villages, which do not have internet or phone reception. This has been a long-term goal for Cofan people so they don't have to migrate to larger cities for access to educational opportunities and resources, as well as be able to reduce their travel in general. During the pandemic this need became especially acute in order to reduce risk of infection with outsiders. The Amazon has been especially hard hit by Covid. Essential medical and food supplies are being coordinated over the internet now.

Apr 17, 2020

Cofan in the time of Covid

Luckily, so far, there are no signs of the Covid-19 pandemic in Cofan territory. However, Cofanes are worried about it spreading quickly if and when it does arrive because of the communal culture of Cofanes. Also, tuberculosis is endemic in many Cofan communities, so their lungs are already weak. So far there does not seem to be active contamination in any of the villages. Cofanes would like to encourage donation for emergency funds when and if the virus hits their communities. On the positive side, the lock down has temporarily paused a lot of the activities that threaten Cofan territory such as oil drilling, agriculture expansion, and mining. 

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