A school for indigenous wisdom

Help preserving a culture that’s crucial to all of us!

Arhuaco Mamu

The Arhuaco, the Wiwa, the Kogi and the Kankuamo tribes of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta believe that they live in order to care for the world and keep its natural order functioning. They call themselves the "older brothers" and believe that they have a mystical wisdom, which others have no access to.

The others are called the "younger brothers". The older brothers are profoundly frightened by what we, the younger brothers, are doing to the world, but also well aware that we have no understanding of the forces which we are unleashing.

These native people of Colombia believe that the only hope of survival for mankind is if we can learn why they are so scared. They understand that there are critical interconnections within the natural world which by now are out of balance. It is a subtle and hidden network, and interfering with one part has a major impact on other specific parts. These people see it as their purpose in life to use their wisdom to re-establish and maintain balance and share their knowledge with us.

Their spiritual leaders, the Mamos, are being educated intensely for many years in order to communicate with the underlying, creating thought process that shapes and maintains reality - the source of life and intelligence. Without thought, nothing could exist! The mountain they inhabit is an isolated triangular pyramid rising over 18,000 feet from the sea, the highest coastal mountain on earth. The mountain is quite literally a micro-cosmos, a mirror of the planet on which every ecological zone is represented and it is called the heart of the world.

One of these tribes is called Arhuaco and in order to preserve their culture, they need our help! Land lost through the process of colonization has threatened the Arhuaco´s capacity of self sustainability. The pressure of the colonists has resulted in the displacement of the Arhuaco toward higher territories, leaving the indigenous community without productive land (both spiritually and materially). This process has seriously impacted the life of the Arhuaco people and the natural resources of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.

The loss of their traditions because of government intervention and the 'younger brother' through the purchase of the fertile lands, has highly contributed to the loss of knowledge in health, medicinal plants, the gradual loss of traditional language and the diminished confidence in Mamos as the spiritual authority and in their teaching.

However, these traditions and their knowledge are so valuable to humanity, to the extent that the Mamos have been recognized as world spiritual authority, accepting that in this wisdom are many solutions to problems we face in society and humanity as a whole.

Therefore, it is in the best interest of all people to really focus efforts and resources to preserve and disseminate this knowledge.

From the forgotten times, our creator, Mamü Kaku Serankua, placed the four tribes of Niumekë Quekü in the navel of the world, instructing them to preserve and thus take care of the Mother Earth who takes care of us, feeds us, and, with love, offers us all. Since then, the Ika, Sanka, Koguis, and Kankuamos have fulfilled this function. While some offer their gratitude in ceremony to the sun, others do so with the mountain, and so on, independent of one another, we do this with all of nature and thus maintain the balance of the planet. The planet receives from any one of our tribes the energy, the payment that feeds her, that which is within us, as in her, the fire, air water and earth that allows her to stay alive, in the same way she does with us. Serankua gave us an important mandate, knowing the forgetfulness of the civilized man, by placing us in the center of the planet so that now, from the four points of the earth, it may be observed and understood that she depends on us, as we do on her, and there within the importance of maintaining our function, of eternally keeping alive the spirit of our culture.

Arhuaco Mamo Gun Abinteiro Macu Macu

Katharina von Körber and Hernando Villa created a project for the recuperation of the ancestral knowledge with emphasis in healing of the land and restoration practices, health and sustainable agricultural and cultural practices. The objective is to support the Arhuaco by building a school that helps them to preserve and disseminate this knowledge to strengthen their ancient culture, its teachings and its practices. This school is geared to the needs of 50 children, about 15 families, to be educated and assisted.

Besides creating an educational platform, cultural and environmental objectives will be developed to create more integrated actions, that would offer them sustainable responses to their immediate needs such as the development of a productive initiative like a coffee and sugar cane agricultural project, the preservation of their land and support for their arts and crafts.

There will be other objectives to be fulfilled in the near future like food gardens that will be built, or the expansion of the cultivation of their medicine plants and the promoting of self care and uses of these plants.  The school also serves as a center that has the purpose to teach the younger generation their own practices, to sew their bags or mochilas, their traditional clothing, to build, to grow food and preserve their agricultural practices and cultural practices; like their own particular songs and dances and other mystical practices that help the earth and the people to get healthier. The installation of a facility for the recycling of rain water, of a solar/water heating facility, of solar panels for power generation, the expansion of the nature reserve by 30 hectares and reforestation of a former agricultural area are other projects that will follow.

In order to make this educational project happening Seventh Generation has been supporting Katharina and Nando by helping to collect the resources needed to build and maintain the school. The whole amount needed is 35.000 € and we kindly ask you to donate whatever amount you feel is appropriate.

Thank you so much for your help! We guarantee with our hearts and integrity that all of the funds donated will go directly and 100% to the project.

You can donate to (Please refer to Arhuaco school project):

Umweltbank Nuernberg
Konto Nr. 1442775
BLZ 760 350 00
Recipient: Weltengeist gem. e.V.

IBAN DE47760350000001442775