As billions of people isolated around the world in 2020, villagers from Sarayaku, a Kichwa community in the Ecuadorian Amazon, headed deeper into the forest to escape the coronavirus pandemic, after floods due to deforestation destroyed their houses. The journey, documented in a new short film called The Return, reaffirmed the bond the community has had with the forest for generations, protecting ancestors from missionaries, militias and emerging diseases such as measles and smallpox, as well as sustaining life. They call it Kawsak Sacha (the Living Forest).
“We’re more than connected to nature. We are nature.”
For more information about the Living Forest initiative see this film from 2005.