/// the name
Llikchary comes from the Kichwa language and means to wake up, get up, open your eyes and look around to appreciate what you have.
/// the person
Deciding on a name for something I've seen in a vision as a child was not easy.
My name is Danny Orlando Gualinga Aviles and I am an indigenous Kichwa from the rain forest in Ecuador.
/// the location
My village Sani Isla is located on the Napo River, a tributary of the Amazon. The nearest town is three hours upriver by motorized canoe. – If you now think of jungle romance, it's not quite true: our culture is shattered. The rapid influence of the West, which primarily comes to us through missionaries and oil companies, leaves its mark.
/// the past
My grandparents didn’t use traditional money and exchanged gold that they found on our land, for simple things. I remember they always had plenty to eat; the mango trees literally broke under their load. My grandparents did not go to school and could not write, but they had a knowledge that we are hardly able to rescue today. Our culture isn’t written; everything has been passed down through our songs and stories from generation to generation.
/// the present
I worry about my village, my people. It hurts me to see how our young people get addicted to alcohol, because they have no perspective in the village, but also in the city they aren’t happy because of their origin.
/// the future
Deep inside me I have the certainty, that there is a future for us to live a dignified and contemporary life in our beloved rainforest, which is so threatened. We will do everything to preserve it for ourselves and for the whole world.
/// the project
I want to initiate a special project. I want that in this very special place, where people from all over the world can come together and think about our future, learn from each other, share and experiment to find new innovative solutions because we all depend on each other. Although western countries are far away, we are affected future through their consumption. It is time for us to get to know and to better understand each other. Llikchary institute will provide local and international students education on culture, permaculture, natural medicine, arts, languages and technical skills.
// the meaning
I want to give the young people in the village the opportunity to acquire skills, which enable them to build their future and that of the village. I want to give them pride to be able to present their knowledge and culture.
I would like to offer visitors the opportunity to engage with us in a meaningful way by using their skills to get involved in the construction of our, and their own future. And since the visits won’t be without a lasting impression, I'm sure that it will support the change in Western countries.
Deep in the Ecuadorian Amazon we will create a harbourage, mainly from natural materials, where this encounter is possible. Here we welcome long-term volunteers as well as visitors with a short time budget. We expect respect for our culture and way of life while we provide a unique experience where visitors can actually dive into the life of the rainforest.
My family and other indigenous Kichwa will promote our culture through the making of furniture and dishes in the traditional way and thus offering the older members of our culture the chance to participate in the project. Deliberately, we will limit the consumption of western products to a necessary minimum and prepare drinks and dishes with our native plants and fruit.
/// get in touch with us
Orlando Danny Gualinga Aviles (Sani Isla community)
Anja Robel (Germany)
Project Development Manager
Anja Mondragón (Ecuador)