This month, Global Justice Ecology Project is showcasing a photo from Orin Langelle’s recent trip to an Ayoreo community in the Chaco region of Paraguay.
Langelle, by invitation of the community, traveled with Dr. Miguel Lovera, chairperson of Global Forest Coalition. Lovera also also works with the group Iniciativa Amotocodie. The photos Langelle took were called “Sharing the Eye” with the Ayoreo. An exhibit of his photographs will be given to the Ayoreo relocation settlement where the photos were taken and in the near future will be posted on the GJEP Photo Gallery.
The settlement is “Campo Loro” (Parrot Field), a 10,000 hectare field which was given to the community in exchange for their nomadic realm of more than 10 million hectares. The Ayoreo were the masters of the harsh northern Chaco territory. They lived off hunting and gathering and were fierce warriors. Because they posed a threat to the expansion of white “civilization”, in the late ’70’s they were forced into settlements. The subhuman confinement conditions, which subdued these proud warrior people, depleted their self esteem. They have over a 50% unemployment rate. The Ayoreo that have been put into settlements are now in the process of regaining their dignity through the recovery of their culture and territorial rights organized by the Union of Native Ayoreo of Paraguay (UNAP).
GJEP supports the Iniciativa Amotocodie and UNAP’s work to recover the Ayoreo culture and territorial rights. GJEP also supports the Indigenous Peoples of the Gran Chaco region who have eluded “civilization” and are not in captivity.