Who we are

Didier Lacaze initiated the Sacha Warmi project in 2013 to:
1) Help build bridges for modern indigenous people to be able to access their own traditional tools and resources, and make thoughtful decisions when facing choices between “modern” and “traditional” solutions, and
2) Bring awareness and understanding of traditional tools to those raised in "1st World" environments.
To facilitate this process Sacha Warmi established a resource and educational center near the town of Puyo, capital of the Pastaza province. Its goal is to help create more efficient and culturally relevant healthcare services for indigenous people in Ecuadorian Amazonia.

Environment and Society Foundation -FAS

Sacha Warmi Muskuy is part of the Fundación Ambiente y Sociedad, (FAS) an Ecuadorian NGO based in Quito. FAS favors principles of equity, solidarity, participation, collective, social and environmental rights, organization, inter institutional coordination, transparency and the empowerment of local resources with an inclusive gender focus. Sacha Warmi Musky is the intercultural health project of FAS, as its legal and institutional sponsor in Ecuador.

Active Members

Didier M. Lacaze – Programme Director
SWM is directed by educator, author and activist Didier Lacaze. Born in France, Lacaze has lived and worked in the Amazon since 1983. From 1985 to 1991, he coordinated AMETRA 2001 (Aplicacion de la Medicina Tradicional) for FENAMAD, the Indigenous organization of Madre de Dios in Peru’s southeastern rainforest. Between 1991 and 1999 he advised with the Indigenous Health Program (PSI) from the Regional Amazonian Indigenous Organization AIDESEP in Peru. In 2000, he came to Ecuador to support the development of the Shuar Federation Traditional Medicine Program. Since then, he has become an Ecuadorian citizen and continues his work, supporting Indigenous peoples in reclaiming and renewing their medicinal traditions. Lacaze’s 32 years of experience working with Indigenous communities has given him an intimate knowledge of the social fabric and underlying dynamics that prevail in Amazonian villages, tribes and nations, from their belief systems and social structure to the different ways contact with the dominating Western society have affected them. Lacaze is an associate member of People and Plants International, and the author of several books and publications on Indigenous and Intercultural healthcare.

Rosa Canelos (who will be directing this initiative)
Is Lacaze’s parnter at SWC. She has accumulated 10 years of experience in the making of medicinal remedies and natural products, learning alongside her mother and Lacaze. She is a Kichwa from Bobonaza river in the Pastaza region. Since 2005 Canelos and Lacaze have been developing a teaching model around the growing and processing of medicinal plants designed to serve intercultural health strategies in the indigenous territories. She is now in charge of the Women’s Program at SWC, coordinating activities with the Ceibo Alliance’s Women’s Program.

Eleonore Van Wonterghem - Project Manager
Passionate about health and helping others, Eleonore arrived in Ecuador in 2015, where she worked to help improve access to healthcare in remote Kichwa communities in Napo. It was there that she opened her eyes to the importance of promoting local and traditional health practices in the communities, and empower people to play an active role in staying healthy. With a masters in Public health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and several years of experience developing and implementing health programs internationally, Eleonore is excited to be part of the Sacha Warmi team and actively contribute to the promotion and rescue of ancestral medicine in the Amazon.

Associated Members

Luis Fernando Canelos - Responsible of the Programme “Video in the Communities”.
Luis Fernando Canelos, Ms. Canelos’s brother, recently graduated from San Francisco University in Quito as a civil engineer; he is in charge of SWC communication program and is particularly interested in documenting the actual situation of Ecuadorian Amazonian Indigenous youth today, who are particularly affected by modern development. Canelos represented the Youth Coalition For Our Forest at the Paris Climate Change Conference in December 2015.

Diana Tanguila Lopez
She is grand-daughter of Pablo López, a famous shaman from Arajuno. She coordinates activities for SWC in this northern part of the Pastaza region, together with Luis Canelos, her partner.

Victoria Velasco
Currently working on her master degree on the “Resiliency of the Nasa people in Tierradentro (Colombia)", at the Universidad Autónoma metropolitana - Xochimilco (Mexico), Victoria (39) supports the Woman, Family and territory program as anthropological advisor.

Attached documents

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