Pachamama Annual Luncheon Displays Deep Roots and Global Reach

December 01, 2008 | By The Pachamama Alliance

The 2008 Annual Fundraising Luncheon was the strongest to date - displaying the work and vision of the Pachamama Alliance in a way that was both deeply moving and broadly encompassing of the accomplishments, global reach and tremendous possibilities that lay ahead.

The Festival Pavilion in Fort Mason, San Francisco was completely transformed through the magic of Michael Olmstead and Events for Change, with the support of over 100 committed volunteers. The vast, warehouse-like space was filled with tasteful rainforest décor, including butterflies and large banners hanging from the ceiling, orchid centerpieces and tablecloths in various shades of green. As people entered the Pavilion, they were greeted by Andean music played by Sukay, a musical group from Bolivia.

This year the program opened with both Pachamama Alliance Executive team member, David Tucker, and Fundacion Pachamama Executive Director, Belen Paez who welcomed the over 1300 participants, expressing deep appreciation for them showing up and for all of the incredible hard work and generosity of the individuals, companies, volunteers and event sponsors that made this event possible. David acknowledged the historic opening that now exists in our world today and that Pachamama holds a unique role in this emerging global movement. Belen acknowledged the important difference that Pachamama is making to her country and that Ecuadorians are proud of the U.S. for the changes that are occurring. She then invited us on a sonic journey into the heart of the Ecuadorian rainforest where the Pachamama Alliance was born. We then invited everyone to enjoy a locally grown organic lunch provided by Back to Earth Organic Catering and participate in the annual blessing of tying on a hand-woven bracelet from the Andes.

Coming straight out of lunch were key segments of Neal Rogin’s film ‘A New Dream: The Story of the Pachamama Alliance’ which provided participants with a solid background on the origins and on the ground work of the Alliance in both the global north and south. Through stunning visual images and interviews with key leaders, the context, scope and overview of our work was presented in a way that clearly articulated how our work in Ecuador and our work with Awakening The Dreamer are, in fact, critical components of one mission.

After the film, Lynne Twist came out to standing cheers and gave a powerful context for our times, and how Pachamama’s work has gone to new heights. She then introduced President and Co-founder Bill Twist, who spoke powerfully about new developments with our work in Ecuador. Bill gave an overview of the Alliance, including the two-fold mission and financials. He then highlighted the historic work of Ecuador’s new constitution and that Pachamama led the initiative to get the Rights for Nature clause included – a first anywhere in the world. He also talked about the progress our indigenous partners have made in terms of keeping oil development out of their rainforest home as well as the historic transfer of the Kapawi Lodge to the Achuar people, including their recently acquired new airplane – a twin-engine 9 passenger Norman Britton Islander that the Pachamama Alliance helped purchase.

Next, Bill Twist introduced the President of the Achuar Federation, NAE, Chuim Tanchim and his colleague Chumpi Tsamarin (Spanish Luis Vargas) who founded the NAE Federation in 1991, was instrumental in the creation of the Pachamama Alliance, and is currently the President of the board of directors of Kapawi Lodge. Also, joining them was Chuji Wisum, an Achuar elder coming out of the rainforest for the first time.  Kistupa Peas. Having just arrived from the rainforest two days earlier, the leaders spoke about the strength of our partnership and the commitment the Achuar have to preserving their land and culture for future generations. This included exciting news about the expansion of their aviation service and the transfer of the Kapawi Ecolodge to their management.

Jon Love, Awakening the Dreamer Program Director and Executive team member, then provided the context and highlights of the ATD Initiative, including the completion of the powerful new Video-Intensive-Version of the Symposium. He then invited colleagues Gertrude Croe and Jon Symes to join him in sharing the international expansion and power of the message. Gertrude spoke gracefully in her Benin/French accent about how the Symposium has changed her life and is sweeping through French-speaking Europe. Jon Symes, Director of International Expansion, having just returned from a 5 week trip in China, Europe and New Zealand delivering Symposiums and training facilitators, spoke eloquently on the universally accepted message of the Symposium. Finally, a powerful video trailer was shown for the first time, newly created by Neal Rogin, Mary Chase and Adam Loften, which succinctly demonstrated the message and opportunity of the Symposium.

Tracy Apple, Pachamama board member and Director of Symposium Development, then introduced a very special friend and advisor of Pachamama, Paul Hawken.

Paul spoke powerfully about this global movement and as great as the political opening now is, this is really a grass-roots, bottom-up phenomenon. With the Symposium and work in South America, the Pachamama Alliance is doing the most important work of our time he said.

This luncheon was the most impactful and moving event to date. We invite you to watch the on-line video of the event by clicking here...

If you were not able to attend and would like to make a donation, click here...

The luncheon was generously sponsored by Men’s Wearhouse, PG & E Corporation, Paul Dolan Wines, and Linda Leyerle, Diane Cox/ SuperCuts Dallas market. Numerous other companies provided generous in-kind contributions that enabled us to put on a fabulous event. The event was once again completely green, and 3 Phases Energy Services offset its carbon footprint.