*Ecuador Day #5, October 15, 2008 – UNORCAC and Acción Ecológica
One of my visits today was to UNORCAC. UNORCAC stands for Unión de Organizaciones Campesinas e Indígenas de Cotacachi. It represents over forty groups of people including indigenous, mestizo, and Afro-Ecaudorian communities from the Andean region of the Canto Cotacachi, Imbabura Province, Ecuador. Their work is highly impressive, and leaders of various offices were generous with their time, instruction me about their various projects including agrarian reform, livestock programs, micro-loans, markets for agricultural products, and others. They help develop infrastructure including roads, potable water, and electricity.
An observation: At each of my visits in Ecuador, those with whom I visit are able to give me detailed histories with names of people, places and organizations; dates; and details about activities in long narratives. It is highly impressive, and reflects the oral tradition of indigenous people. Most of us in the United States would not be able to give such detailed narratives lasting an hour or more.
Another visit was to Quito where I attended a panel presented by Acción Ecológica (Ecological Action). discussing the new Ecuadorian Constitution’s ban on genetically modified organisms (GMOs). My eyes and ears opened widely after I heard speaker after speaker discuss the ill effects of GMOS. Speakers were from Brazil, Argentina, and Ecuador. Most people I talked with in Ecuador are upset with the United States companies that promote GMOs. And, they are upset with a provision in their new constitution that allows their President to make an exception to the ban: in an “emergency,” the President can permit GMO seeds.
Copyright © 2008 by Paulette L. Stenzel