Initiative Gains Traction in Ecuador: 2nd Quito Symposium Followed by 1st Facilitator Training

December 15, 2008 | By The Pachamama Alliance

On November 23rd, the second “Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream” Symposium was held in Quito, produced and facilitated entirely by Ecuadorians.  The event brought together 70 participants committed to making a difference on our planet. Following the same format that the Symposium uses around the world, the group in Ecuador explored these four questions:

•    Where Are we?
•    How did We Get Here?
•    What’s Possible for the Future?
•    Where Do We Go from Here?

By answering these questions, participants examined the environmental and social state of our planet to find the underlying causes that have led us here.  One of the purposes of the event was to see possible solutions to the current crisis’ and understand new ways to emerge from where we are to create an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling and socially just human presence on the planet.

A significant accomplishment of this event was the presence and participation of 10 Achuar students and other participants from indigenous communities from the Amazon.  They got involved in important discussions that motivated and inspired people to understand and embrace their way of life.  Their sharing and perspectives were highly valued in the group, and made this event unique.

A week after the Symposium, the first 3-day Symposium Facilitators Training was held over the Thanksgiving weekend in a convent outside of Quito, and in the Spanish language. Sixteen committed people participated, many from the first Symposium in September and several from the November 23rd Symposium described above. Key staff from Fundacion Pachamama were trained, fresh from hosting the historic conference described in the first story of this newsletter. One of the participants, who lives at the edge of the jungle, was Shuar. He attended the September Symposium and decided then that he would get trained to bring the Symposium to his people in the rainforest. His presence and full participation in the training was awe-inspiring, and by the time he completed his training, two other Facilitators had agreed to go to the rainforest and co-facilitate his first Symposium with him. Truly, the Eagle and the Condor are flying together!

This new group – who named themselves “Caminantes de la Nueva Era”, “Walkers of the New Era” - is committed to take the Symposium to their communities, and to new places around their country and greater region, where this useful tool can help empower a new vision for our world.