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Honduras: Don't Dam the Patuca River!

Monday, May 2, 2011

 

  The Moskitia (mos-KEE-tya): it’s the largest, most magnificent expanse of tropical wilderness north of the Amazon – and the Indigenous Peoples who live there are determined to keep it that way. For 3,000 years, Indigenous people have plied their dugout canoes up and down the Patuca River, the central artery of Honduras’ vast Moskitia lowland rainforest.  On its rich floodplain they grow cocoa, oranges, rice, beans, cassava, and other crops for subsistence and sale, and its fish provide a vital source of protein.  “The river is our life,” says Lorenzo Tinglas, president of the Tawahka people’s governing council. “Any threat to the Patuca is a threat to four Indigenous Peoples—the  Tawahka, Pech, Miskitu, and Garifuna—and we will fight to the death to protect it.” 

 The fight is on. In January, the Honduran congress approved a contract with a Chinese company to build the first of three dams on the Patuca River. In February, the four Indigenous groups and Afro-Hondurans who share the Moskitia formed a united movement to save the river, their livelihoods, and their unique cultures. The Moskitia is a world-class treasure, and it will take international pressure to stop this project. Please write letters today. The Indigenous people of the Moskitia say Kaparcawa, Tinki Pali, and Seremei  – Thank you!

Download the Alert in Spanish here.

 

Don't Dam the Patuca! from Danielle DeLuca on Vimeo.

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Cultural Survival is not a disaster relief organization. We work towards a world in which the rights of Indigenous Peoples are respected, protected, and fulfilled.

Bikalpa Gyan Kedra, an organization in Nepal founded by our Board Member Stella Tamang offers alternative educational opportunities to Indigenous girls and is not a disaster relief organization either, but since the earthquake they have been acting as a shelter to 300 local families. They need basic items like drinking water and food.

Radio Kairan in Kubu-Kasthali is asking for help with purchasing a power generator to get his community radio station back up and running to provide an essential means of communication for villagers on relief efforts as well as to power his community. Cost for this generator would be about $2,500

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