For the restoration of Mother Earth, the 1st Regional Encounter of Indigenous Peoples was held in Mexico
26 ethnic groups, government bodies, academics and 350 Activists for Peace participated in the event
The Global Embassy of Activists for Peace (GEAP) in Mexico, under the International Program “Children of Mother Earth” on July 6, 2016, in Zacatecas, carried out the 1st Regional Encounter of Indigenous Peoples of the north zone of the country.
Cerro de la Bufa, mountain that housed several Zacateco tribes and is located east of the historic city center, was the place where the activity was carried out.
Twenty six representatives of ethnic groups: Huicholes (Wirrarikas), Tepehuanos, Mexicaneros, Coras, Tarahumaras y Nahuas, provenientes de Chihuahua, Chiapas, Hidalgo, Durango, Jalisco, Nayarit, San Luis Potosí, Zacatecas, and 350 Activists for Peace, participated in the encounter.
The meeting of the only peoples who have remained for hundreds of years in harmony with Mother Earth, was carried out with the purpose of opening a space for dialogue and reflection to promote ancestral knowledge of Indigenous Peoples.
To also rescue ancestral culture and take it as an example to reconnect the human being with Mother Earth, help its restoration and contribute in the defense of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Distinguished personalities participated in the 1st Regional Encounter
Dr. Francisco Guerra, national coordinator of the GEAP, was in charge of the opening of the event, and during his speech, he said:
“To solve the global problem, the participation of all social factors is required. The Embassy as part of the civil society, only represents a small part in which the participation of all social factors is required; and as long as everyone complies with their corresponding part, we can achieve that change; and above all, be able to consolidate that culture of peace that society yearns.”
Distinguished personalities from Zacatecas were present at the 1st Encounter, among them: the State governor, Miguel Reyes; Alfredo Salazar, mayor of the city; Julio Nava de la Riva, federal delegate of the Ministry of Environment and Natural resources (Semarnat).
Academics and indigenous authorities also attended, such as the Secretary of Education of Zacatecas (Seduzac), Ubaldo Ávila, and the president of the Wirrarika Union, Francisco Gonzalez de la Cruz.
The Semanat federal delegate, Julio Nava de la Riva, in his speech, said:
“Today we take an important step in the state of Zacatecas, to establish the necessary work mechanisms that will help us achieve the promotion of traditions, preserving biodiversity and promote Human Rights.”
Nava de la Riva also referred to the contribution of the GEAP in Mexico, highlighting:
“In the Semarnat Zacatecas, we recognize the great civil society work being done by the Global Embassy of Activists for Peace, and for that reason we offer personal and institutional will of the great team of the federal environmental sectors: Conafor, Conagua, Profepa and Semarnat, which work together to provide good results. What is clear today, may it be the beginning and example of what can be done in other regions of the country.”
An agreement in favor of the environment
With the aim of respecting and rescuing the traditions of indigenous peoples and ethnic groups for the conservation and protection of flora and fauna, the GEAP, representatives of Indigenous Peoples and the Federal Delegation of Semarnat signed the letter of intent; bearing witness to this act was Miguel Reyes, governor of the state of Zacatecas.
The document was signed with the purpose of reaching common agreements in favor of the environment in Zacatecas, where the GEAP is established as a mediator between Indigenous Peoples and Semarnat.
Then, Miguel Reyes, governor of Zacatecas, said:
“We thank the Embassy for Peace for their decision to install their work tables here in order to promote ancestral knowledge of our Indigenous Peoples for the protection, care and restoration of our Mother Earth; also, in this forum, the promotion, protection and dissemination of the rights of Indigenous Peoples will be discussed and reflected upon.”
Reyes also stressed:
“This Encounter aims to systematize the wisdom Indigenous Peoples inherited through ancestors, about the protection of the environment and care for the planet, in order to be exposed through the Integrated System for Environmental Education and Sustainable Development of this valuable Embassy.”
Seven work tables in favor of Mother Earth
Work tables and dialogue of the 1st Regional Encounter of Indigenous Peoples were immediately installed where the following topics were discussed:
Table 1: For the conservation and restoration of water sources
Table 2: For the conservation and restoration of the land
Table 3: To counteract climate change
Table 4: For the conservation and restoration of biodiversity
Table 5: For the rescue and dissemination of ancestral cultural and musical values
Table 6: Proposals of the women of our Indigenous Peoples for the protection and restoration of Mother Earth
Table 7: Indigenous Peoples’ proposals to achieve peace and integral happiness of the Children of Mother Earth
Proposals for the restoration of planet Earth
During the exhibitions, the representatives of the Indigenous Peoples expressed how their harmonious relationship with Mother Earth is; and after hours of exchanging experiences and plurality, proposals in relation to issues such as education, health and respect, emerged.
The points highlighted because of their importance were: the restoration of the land through reforestation; the rescue of rivers for them to return to normal; promote cultural festivities for the dissemination of ancestral music and transmit it to future generations.
The Encounter ended with the reading of proposals, which were submitted to the coordinator of the GEAP, Dr. Francisco Guerra, who will deliver them to the Global Ambassador for Peace, Dr. William Soto Santiago.
The subjects exhibited will be socialized by the International Program “Children of Mother Earth,” before international bodies, for their worldwide promotion.
Wirrarika Union recognizes the work of the GEAP
Mr. Francisco Gonzalez de la Cruz, president of the Wirrarika Union, said:
“I think Dr. William’s project is something very important, very big for us, because we are taken into account, mainly so our traditions, our customs, our land, our natural resources are not lost; and we are grateful to him and congratulate him. And of course, we join his project and we will also serve as Activists so that in our communities, in our regions, in our State, all of this action Dr. William aims to do is carried out.”
The Wirrarika Union was created 10 years ago in order to preserve and protect their sacred sites and natural resources, ceremonial centers and water springs; it is composed of the Zacatecas, Durango, Nayarit, San Luis Potosí and Jalisco states.