17 years ago I was lucky to be born in Ecuador, a small country with just over 16 million people. Not only is Ecuador a hotspot for biodiversity but also for the diversity for its people. I grew up surrounded by people from completely different backgrounds which helped me evolve as a person and have a passion for exploring beyond what is within my reach. I have always had a very curious mind and exploring the cultural identities of my country has been eye opening to me.This is why Beyond Lagartococha has become such an important part of my life because it has allowed me to learn so much about the Secoyas and their identity.
I am a year younger than my brother, so I spent most of my childhood playing with him outside, climbing trees until our mom had to drag us inside. I am very close to him because of our small age gap, I admire him as great artist, and his passion for history and politics. My mother is Colombian and French, her heritage has become a big part of my life. We spend the holidays and part of summer in Medellin and the colombian coast, this country has become my second home. Over time, I have also gotten closer with my french family,I was lucky enough to spent a semester studying their and learning the language which I love. My mom is an incredibly talented writer, she spent a lot of her youth traveling around Colombia, visiting sites where the guerrillas were and interviewing survivors, she inspires me to take risks and appreciate every privilege I have. And I have always taken this into consideration in everything I do, because I am aware of how incredibly lucky I am to have a family, a roof over my head, food on the table, a good education and the ability to to do thing I love like working on this project with the Secoyas. During the trip to Mañoco and Paikenape, I took time to speak with the people of the community, I was curious about their language, their history living in the amazon and their daily activities. I was fascinated with their way of living and the way they use their resources. This made me realize the beauty of living a, and how to appreciate what we have around us. My father is ecuadorian, he is a journalist known for for protesting against government censorship and corruption through his articles,I have learned from him is to always speak up.
I learned about Beyond Lagartococha through my cousin Juliana. We grew up together and have she has always been like a sister to me. Watching her go to Lagartococha since we were little and how she created this incredible initiative inspired me to form part of it.
Like everyone in this project, I have always been invested in giving back. Every Monday, I spend my afternoons teaching english classes near my school in a public state facility to kids with limited resources. Recently, many Venezuelans have migrated to Quito because of the political crisis in their country, I go to a refugee shelter to donate food and clothes. I went to the ecuadorian coast after the earthquake to donated food and supplies and play with the kids.