Portal de la Cultura de América Latina y el Caribe
Spiritual Reserves of Humanity ongoing process is strengthened
FUNDARCULTURA. Mamo Miguel and ankwa Chaparro, FUNDARCULTURA and UNESCO Quito at meeting with Bolivian Ambassador to Ecuador.
18 February 2015/ UNESCO Office in Quito

The process of the Spiritual Reserves of Humanity is being revitalized with the visit made to Ecuador by Mamo Miguel and ankwa Chaparro, of Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia, and representatives of the Science, Art and Culture Foundation (FUNDARCULTURA), based in Colombia, who held work meetings and conducted spiritual actions in the Ecuadoran Andes, including Quito, the capital. The aim of this ongoing process is to submit a formal proposal to UNESCO in order to count with a tool that will make it possible to internationally protect and nominate sites in accordance with their sacred values, and constitute a global network with these sites of excellence.

The Mamos and Sagas of indigenous communities in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta have inspired a process which counts with the support of FUNDARCULTURA, and the accompaniment and technical assistance of the UNESCO Office in Quito and Cluster Office to Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela. Also participating are spiritual authorities of indigenous peoples from Andean countries and other latitudes of Latin America, as well as native peoples from other regions. In this manner, it is hoped that a new category will be created to protect and nominate internationally sites of excellence for their spiritual values, and with them create a global network.

In this context, Mamo Miguel and ankwa Chaparro, from the indigenous community of Wintikua (Arhuaco) of Nabusimake, custodians of the Mψnvwamψke site, Sierra Nevada, The Heart of the World, accompanied by FUNDARCULTURA representatives, Nelson Caraballo, Director, and Roberto Restrepo, who is also regional coordinator of the Water and Culture programme, were in Quito during the second week of February 2015 holding work meetings with various institutions and important figures, for example, Ms Rusena Maribel Santamara Mamani, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Plurinational State of Bolivia to the Republic of Ecuador, and holding spiritual actions.

The visit of the Arhuaco older brothers and their companions has provided the ongoing process with renewed vigor, for example, adjusting the proposed work schedule for 2015, discussing various elements of the process whereby the proposal will be formally submitted to UNESCO of a new international tool to protect sites: the Spiritual Reserves of Humanity. It is already possible to internationally nominate sites given their heritage values, biological and cultural diversity, their potential for implementing sustainable development models, including their geological values, their importance in terms of bird fauna, among other aspects. However, the native peoples of the world do not yet count with an international tool enabling them to protect their sacred places, regardless of whether they may also be sites of value for their heritage, archaeology, biological diversity, as a source of water, etc.

The indigenous peoples of Sierra Nevada accompanied by representatives of FUNDARCULTURA held work meetings with UNESCO Quito, where they dealt with different aspects of the process concerning the Spiritual Reserves of Humanity, which Mr Restrepo will present to the Director of the UNESCO Office in Quito and Representative for Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela, Ms Saadia Snchez Vegas.

UNESCO Quito, through its Local and Indigenous Knowledge Systems (LINKS) and Water and Culture (of the International Hydrological Programme for Latin America and the Caribbean (PHI-LAC), accompanied the process of the Spiritual Reserves of Humanity.

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