January - May 2017

May 2017

Internship by three medical students from Switzerland.

Alessia, Chiara, and Clara are third year students in medicine at the University of Geneva (Switzerland). They did an internship with Sacha Warmi Muskuy from May 15 to June 7, in order to observe how the Ecuadorian public health system is integrating interculturality in the services it offers to the public.

The students had the opportunity to spend approximately 10 days in the health center in Canelos, to visit and interview with the staff at the Health Center of Arajuno, as well as the Puyo Regional Hospital.

Some of the results of their observations and the data collected in the course of their internship were taken into account for the presentation of the first report to the Public Health Ministry regarding the progress of the Intercultural Health Initiative which has come to an end over the past six months.


Interview with the Director of the Arajuno Health Center about the “cultural delivery”

Inter-cultural Health Initiative

How far away… is intercultural health?! This is the title of the presentation by Didier at the Congress of Natural Medicine organized by the CYRAE
(Yachac Council of the Ecuadorian Amazonian Region) this past April. As can be seen in the attached document, much is still missing, from each side, in accomplishing a coming together between Western medicine and traditional medicine which might allow for a real dialogue and meeting between both forms of medicine… Read more.

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Completion of the project supported by the CEP-Flexible Fund - May 27

With the arrival at Centro Sacha Warmi of the group Kausachik from Arajuno on May 27, the last evaluation workshop was carried out and thus completed the project “Possibilities for development from personal culture with intercultural vision”, which has been completed during the last 10 months with the economic support of the Ecumenical Committee of Projects- Flexible Fund (Quito – Ecuador) and the Sacred Fire Foundation (USA). The completion of the addition of a 20 – minute audiovisual for recording the most important moments of this project is still pending, which is planned to be completed by September 2017.

Members from the group Kausachik during the evaluation workshop at the Centro Sacha Warmi

The children of Sewaya visit the medicinal garden - May 20-23

As part of the motivation for our last visit at the community of Sewaya, in order to follow up with the health project, it was coordinated with the school teacher so that the students could be acquainted with the medicinal garden and observe which species were planted there by Fanny and the community elders.


Jimmy and Ribaldo, communication technicians of the Ceibo Alliance, were filming and interviewing the children, their teacher and the present Director of Health of the Seikopai organization,Gilberto Piaguaje, during the visit to the medicinal garden of Sewaya.


Gilberto Piaguaje, Director of health of the Seikopai people, in the medicinal garden of Sewaya

April 2017

Open House at San Jacinto, April 23

Just as in Canelos, the women of the Shuyu Pakcha group organized their "Open House" on April 23 in the community of San Jacinto. In this way they could share with the rest of the community about the particular activities, which took place and the topics addressed during the six workshops and the succeeding activities that happened between August 2016 and April 2017.

The presentation at San Jacinto

Members of Shuyu Pakcha

Support for the Program of the Self-Practices of Ceibo Alliance

On the 16th and 17th of April, Didier and Rosa traveled to the Aguarico River (Sucumbíos province) to continue with the project in the community of Sewaya around the creation of the medicinal garden and the audiovisual documentation about the knowledge and use of medicinal plants of the Siekopai culture.
On 18 April, we traveled to the community of San Pablo, to continue with the process of the exchange of information and the raising of cultural awareness for the professional personnel who works at the Health Center of this other Siekopai community.

Rosa Canelos and Roberto Piaguaje in front of a Brunfelsia bush (Chiric caspi)

Congress of Natural Medicines, Archidona, April 12 – 13.

The Council of Yachac of the Ecuadorian Region (CYRAE) invited Sacha Warmi Muskuy to present about its work during the first Congress of Natural Medicine, which took place in Archidona from April 11 to April 15, 2017.
On the 12th, Didier made a presentation about Health and Interculturality; on the 13th, Rosa presented a demonstration about her experience in the preparation of improved natural remedies.
Many interesting presentations took place during the event regarding traditional medicine, for example, the technique of “vaporization”(steam bath) that the Kichwa women of Napo continue to utilize. (see photo below)

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Didier’s Conference

Kichwa traditional steam bath technic

Rosa Canelos sharing her experience

Open House in Canelos, April 9

After the workshop on oral traditions, the women of the Kuyan Kuyan Warmi Kuna group organized the presentation of the results of the workshops carried out in the framework of the project “Possibilities of development from the one-self culture with intercultural vision”. It was presented under the “Open House" form, with presentations covering the topics approached during the activities that took place between August 2016 and April 2017: “Health and Traditional Medicine”, "Arts and Crafts", "Production and Nourishment". The day began at three in the morning with the ritual drinking of guayusa and ended with traditional music and dances. (see photos)

Serving Guayusa at 4 am

Tabaco juice ritual at 5am

Nettle cleansing at 5am

Traditional breakfast at 6am

Ceramic exposition

Traditional remedies demonstration

Presentation on traditional foodways

Clausure with traditional dances

Workshop on Oral Traditions in Canelos, on April 8

This new workshop brought to an end a series of six workshops and multiple follow-up activities between August 2016 and April 2017, with the group of Kuyan Kuyan Warmi Kuna women from Canelos. The objective was to allow each one of the women to “re-encounter her own voice”, through the story of her experience, thus reaffirming the fundamentals of self-esteem and authenticity. At the level of the group and the community the project, which aims to provide follow-up, proposes to create autonomous structures for re-collection and reflection regarding the memories and the culture, so that they can be more effectively preserved.

The workshop was enlivened by Anne Sibran, a French writer familiar with the Kichwa culture of Pastaza for a number of years, who just published her last novel in French titled “Enfance d’un chaman” (A Shaman’s Infancy).

The women’s circle with Anne Sibran during the workshop about oral traditions

February-March 2017

Visit by the Association of women midwives of Arajuno

After the initial conversations with the organization of Kichwa midwives of Arajuno, the District of Health of Arajuno organized their visit to the Sacha Warmi Center on March 31. At the end of the meeting they agreed on a variety of points of cooperation to strengthen their organization and to present a joint proposal before the next Congress of the Association of Indigenous Communities of Arajuno (ACIA), requesting a major commitment to the theme of health and the promotion of the traditional medicine.

Arajuno’s Kichwa midwives visiting Sacha Warmi Center

Work reunions with the Ceibo Alliance, the 2014 Health District and the Syndicate for the Defense of People Impacted by Texaco Oil Company (UDAPT)

A number of different reunions took place with the organization Allianza Ceibo at Lago Agrío, with the Syndicate for the protection of people impacted by Texaco Oil Company at the community of Siekopai of San Pablo, and with the members of the District of Health 2014 from the Ministry of Public Health (MSP) in Shushufindi, to continue to evaluate the possibilities for implementing “the Initiative of Inter-cultural Health” between the Siekopai, the Siona, Ai Kofan and the Kichwa nations in the province of Sucumbios.



Health assessment at the Waorani communities from the Yasuni National Park

From February 1 to Feb. 3, on assignment from the Scientific Station of the Catholic University (PUCE), the Foundation for Environment and Society (FAS) carried out a consultancy for health and intercultural education with the members of four Waorani communities situated within the Yasuni National Park. Sacha Warmi Muskuy participated with the FAS team by doing a presentation on the theme of intercultural health. The final communication from the consultation incorporated the recommendations and proposals that Didier made for the formation of a new profile for an agent of intercultural health, in collaboration with the Center of Medical Intercultural Studies (CEMI) of Bogotá Colombia.


January-February 2017

Program for Women, Families, and Land

At the end of the year 2016, the results following the three first meetings that took place with these groups of women from Canelos, Arajuno and San Jacinto are very positive. The fact that each one of these groups chose to become an organization, and that it committed itself to become formalized as a legal organization, is one of the first demonstrations of how the women are advancing in their process of empowerment.

The Canelos group named itself “Kuyan Kuyan Warmi Kuna”, identifying itself to a species of wasp that has a mud nest. The group from Arajuno named itself “ Kawsachik”, while the group from San Jacinto opted for “Shuyu Packcha”, the name of a sacred bird.


For more information about the activities that are taking place with the women of the three groups, watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Vq9gLGa-vU&feature=youtu.be

For more information about what does Sacha Warmi Muskuy do?, Watch our video presentation (14 Min) at https://youtu.be/7vOagG0hqzE

Project : Health and Interculurality in the Ecuadorian Amazon

The process of coordination with the Districts of Health of Pastaza, Arajunto and Sushufindi took place between the months of December 2016 and January 2017. After receiving the contacts with the operating units of the MSP, the first activities of socialization, transmission of information and the raising of cultural awareness have been initiated with the teams of professionals who work at the Health Centers of Canelos and Arajuno, in the province of Pastaza, and at San Pablo, in the province of Sucumbios.


At the same time, conversations took place and necessary agreements were made with the members of the indigenous communities and organizations to ensure their active participation in this project. The proposal is fully backed by the organizations: “Arajuno Kichwa Ayllu Llacta Tantanakuy” and “Ancestral Community of Canelos” in the province of Pastaza, and the “Organization of the Siekopai Nation” and “Ceibo Alliance”, in the province of Sucumbios.

The implementation of interculturality in health means the creation of a major capacity within and between both parties, so that their respective commitments for fully assuming the challenges that involve a search for a careful approach between both systems of health to reach a true intercultural dialogue.

Sacha Warmi Muskuy will act to accomplish a role of intermediation in these processes of building intercultural health with the indigenous communities and organizations on one hand, and on the other, with the operating units of the health centers of the MSP.

Interculturality: the building of bridges between traditional medicine and Western medicine?


Attached documents

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