As Javier and I begin to receive endorsements from various organizations in the development of our project, it is time to begin raising the funds for its implementation. I am ready to begin thinking about returning to my Yanomami family and friends. During my last trip, I had spoken to many Yanomami teachers and leaders and they have vehemently expressed the need for the revamping of their education system. We discussed in length how the Yanomami people need to learn the tools to control their own destiny; especially as their world becomes more and more complicated and bureaucratic.
My next expedition to the Upper Orinoco will have two primary objectives: 1) Spend time with my mother and Yanomami family. I will help my family hunt, fish, and garden. I will discover more of my Yanomami side! 2) Begin our project with Dr. Carrera-Rubio and the Yanomami school teachers. I will live up to my word as half Yanomami; half “outsider” to assist my people, my family, in whatever way I can. After listening to my fellow Yanomami friends and hearing their concerns and needs, I believe that this project can be the start of providing our services for the greater good of the Yanomami.
I quote Ellen L. Lutz here stating that indigenous people, including the Yanomami, “want to be treated equally with respect to opportunities for education, health care, work, and other basic needs. But because they are different, indigenous peoples want to be part of the decision-making process when it comes to the forms of their education, health care, economic development, and other services.” I agree wholeheartedly.
I invite everyone to download and share our project summary here. We have begun raising funds for the first phase of the project. We would greatly appreciate donations made in any amount.
This post is dedicated to Christine Gaily, who donated the first $100 to this project.