My name is Natalie Villalobos and I'm the founder of 300 Acres - a project that is attempting to raise $70,000 in 30 days to save 300 acres of ancestral land for the Shuar/Quichua people in Puyo, Ecuador.
We started the project this past Monday, March 5th and will give our biggest outreach push and donation raising through April 5th. We only have until April 5th to attain these funds or the land will be purchased by a development group that is interested in dividing the land - potentially cutting down the old growth trees, and starting a gold mining enterprise. This of course is explicitly against the wishes of the native people of this region.
I was inspired to start this endeavor 1.5 weeks ago after I met Flavio Santi - an elder and healer of the Shuar/Quichua people, whom recently visited Google (where I work) to attend the Indigenous Mapping Network – Google Tribal Geo Tech Workshop. He was one of over 100 indigenous people who came from all over the world to learn how to use Google Maps, Earth, and our ODK mobile data collecting system to preserve their land. Through an interpreter he told us his story, and I was so moved by his situation that I decided that I needed to help. That promise has led to 300acres.com
We thought we'd post on the NetSquared Blog to get all of our social change maker friends in-the-know and on-board! We need the help of the whole social change community to meet our goal! All of you have huge hearts, act influentially by taking your passion to the masses in forums/list-servs/groups, and share it all out with your friends and family. We need to rally as an online tribe and help our friends down in Ecuador.
When you look at the big picture – we’re actually protecting ancient wisdom and cultures while combating the globalization that leads to the destruction of our precious resources.
It's all good if you are unable to give at this time - please join us on Facebook and on Twitter to help spread the word! We have partnered with Natural Villages to ensure all donations are tax deductible.
Natalie Villalobos, Founder of 300 Acres
...And as the Amazanga like to say "we are guardians of the earth, not owners of it."