An Alliance for the Amazon and the world

Since 1996, we have worked in partnership with the Indigenous people of the Sacred Headwaters region of the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador to defend their land and culture on their terms.

This work is accomplished through strategic programs carried out by our sister organization in Ecuador—Fundación Pachamama.

Protecting the rainforest and remembering our relationship to the Earth

The Indigenous people of the Sacred Headwaters region told us from the very beginning that the ongoing demand for resources that was destroying their homeland and culture was being driven by the systems of growth and consumption in the Global North. Our relationship to our sacred Earth must shift to truly protect the rainforest.


Permanently protecting the lungs of the planet

The Sacred Headwaters—an 86-million acre region of tropical rainforest in Ecuador and Peru—boasts the highest concentration of biodiversity in all of the Amazon and in the world. Many call this area the lungs of the planet because it draws in carbon dioxide and produces oxygen for the entire world. It is home to 500,000 Indigenous people from more than 20 nationalities.

Our sister organization in Ecuador, Fundación Pachamama, carries out the work on the ground to support the Indigenous governing organizations and strengthen the local Indigenous peoples’ capacity to preserve this critical ecosystem.


Tiyua Uyunkar (President, Achuar Nation of Ecuador), Belen Paez (President of the Board - Fundacion Pachamama), and Valeria Estamaraint (Vice President, Achuar Nation of Ecuador)


Standing for the rights of Indigenous people and nature

Fundación Pachamama promotes a resilient and innovative model that respects life, based on the Indigenous concept of “buen vivir.”

Their work emphasizes the recognition and respect of human rights and the rights of nature, to generate the necessary conditions in which Indigenous peoples strengthen their self-determination processes.


The inspiration for our courses

Working in partnership with the Indigenous people of this region has shown us the importance of interconnectedness, the power of grassroots community organizing, and connection to Earth.

Inspired by this partnership, we developed our courses and trainings with emphasis on interconnection, equity, collaboration, community, and justice. In this way our courses are an extension of our work in the Amazon.


Strategic Components and Programs

Strengthening Indigenous Organizations

Strengthening the self-determination and governance processes of Indigenous peoples.

Human Rights and Rights of Nature

Legal training and consulting on Indigenous peoples’ collective and legal rights under local, national and international law, and advocacy for giving legal rights to nature itself.

Ikiama Nukuri (Maternal Health Program)

Building collective power among Indigenous women in order to improve maternal, infant, and reproductive health.

Forest Economies

Economic projects using local biodiversity to improve the living conditions of the Amazonian peoples while supporting conservation of the forest.

The Sacred Headwaters Initiative

The initiative to permanently protect 86 million acres of rainforest.


Forests and Climate Change Program

Advocating for national policies on Climate Change and Forests to ensure the protection of the territories of Indigenous peoples.