Helena From Sarayaku

  • May 11 - May 14, 2023
  • 70 mins
  • Director | Eriberto Benedicto Gualinga

Traveling between her life in Finland and her mother’s homeland deep in the rainforests of Ecuador, 17-year-old Helena Gualinga yearns to protect her indigenous community from extractive development and the repercussions of climate change. Her story highlights the efforts of the Kichwa people of Sarayaku to recognize the Amazon rainforest as a “Kawsak Sacha – Living Jungle”. The “Living Jungle” is both a cultural philosophy and a proposal to governments that states the rainforest is not a resource to be used, rather it is a living and conscious entity in need of legal protection. With the help of her Sarayaku elders’ wisdom, Helena sets out on a journey to educate the world about the importance of conserving the Amazon Rainforest, traveling to New York City to participate in climate marches and giving speeches about indigenous sovereignty. A story of perseverance and resilience, Helena Sarayaku Manta, is an ode to indigenous communities striving to preserve their culture as they face consequences of a globalized world and the hastening effects of climate change.

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Eriberto Gualinga
Helena Gualinga