A community's courage
Letter to Friends around the World # 98

The Mobile Team travels across the Amazonian region in a dugout canoe to reach out to the indigenous peoples and those who are the most marginalized.

After eighteen hours of travelling up the Tauhamanu's river in a dugout canoe, we caught sight of the village of Nova Oceania. The assistant to the village chief welcomed us and helped us carry our bags. This welcome made us forget our tiredness so we went to visit the school and everyone started to tell us about the village's life and history.

They used to live in Oceania but they were chased out by rich landlords who forced them to leave.

They broke our hearts when they said : “In 2014, while we had gone to a celebration, the owner of a timber company took advantage of our absence to burn our houses. When we came back, everything was gone in the fire.”

They rebuilt their houses, started to cultivate the land again and got some recognition as farmers.

They now fight to get recognition as an aboriginal community. They already have a primary school but they want to expand it. They want to enable the teacher to complete his training. They also want o build a church, already putting up a cross where they plan to have it.

Our visit has been for them a sign of encouragement to keep on fighting.

We committed ourselves to support them and help them in the process they initiated to get an official protection of the region where their ‘uncontacted brothers’ (those who have not had contact with the outside world) live. Although injured by their arrows and fearing them, the Nova Oceania's inhabitants try to protect them from the timber companies that also want to take possession of their land and chase them away.

We bear witness to the courage of this community who is working to overcome so many struggles. These people are standing up for themselves and they still find the strength to help the ‘uncontacted’.

They told us about seven other communities we could visit in a very isolated area. They are ready to get us in touch with someone who could bring us there.

More travels to come !


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