Juan Picon Robles

Grant Type

Engaged Research Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Madrid, Autonomous U. of

Grant number

Gr. ERG-10

Approve Date

February 3, 2022

Project Title

Robles, Juan (Madrid, Autonomous U. of) "Mind maps, digital maps: cartography of the defense and sustainable management of the Waorani territory"

The Waorani communities of the Ecuadorian Amazon, living in the Yasun’ natural sacred reserve, have been fighting for decades to defend their territory against the threat of extractive companies. They claim the rich ecological biodiversity of their ecosystem and the dense knowledge about its new sustainable use and management: to introduce cocoa and palm trees that provide natural materials for their crafts. Waorani grandparents (Pikenanis) treasure this oral knowledge and want to pass it on to the youth of the community. This knowledge is traditionally transmitted through walks through the jungle. All this is collected on mental maps of their territory. These maps are the intangible memory that collects waorani identity. The survival and reproduction of the Waorani people depends on the transmission of these mental maps to young people, who forget because they have been trained in state schools or in cities. For this reason, the project translate these mind maps to digital maps. They are digital cartographies that have three objectives: To register the oral memory of the elderly; establish an intergenerational dialogue between young and old Waorani; disseminate and sensitize at the national and international level the sustainable defense of the Waorani territory.