The Indigenous Solidarity and Apostolate Network (RSAI) of the Conference of Jesuit Provincials of Latin America and the Caribbean (CPAL) closed the Meeting of Indigenous Women with a Communiqué signed by the representatives of 20 indigenous peoples from 8 countries.
Kurabá, tsutsoytyam, binxchi awo’tan, se tlapaloli, ma’kisjiye, saqarik – su kub’ij ri awanima’, jamaya tawalayu, aski arukipana jilatanaka kullakanaka, puama tamaraeme jare yoparareko, allin phunchay cachun turay, there tutamanta, mari mari pu lamuen com pu che, amekaitam tsawajumek, penker tsawarei.
We, women of the original nations of our Abya Yala, greet all the women of our continent from the hearts of the people who have welcomed us into the lap of the imposing snow-capped mountains of the Andes mountain range. From September 18 to 22, 2023 (in the Mayan calendar from jun aq’ab’al or ‘one sunrise’ to joob’ kiej or ‘five deer’) we have gathered to share our word, to unite our hearts and our thoughts, to share the reality of our being women, mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, leaders who generate life and accompany the path of our communities.
LAND: We have recognized our territory, our body, our being the land and our being the Rarámuri, Popoluca, Tzeltal, Nahuatl, Mam, K’iche’, Wayúu, Aymará, Guaraní, Quechua, Quichua, Mapuche-Labkenche, Awajún, Wampis, nation. Wapichana, tukano, chiquitano, rikbaktsa, ashaninka and apurina. We confirm the wealth we have in our lands abundant in corn, cassava, potatoes, quinoa, beans, chili; but threatened by extractive transnationals; lands rich in their biodiversity, abundant in their fauna and flora, but invaded by landowners and neo-colonizers. We know we are land watered with the blood of our martyrs whom we honor today. We are that rich and beautiful but abused and mistreated land. Now we have understood that defending our land is also defending our body, our being a woman.
WATER: We have encountered the blood that runs through our veins, with the water that irrigates our territories. We are water that satisfies those who thirst for justice; We are a river that runs with the feminine force that baptizes our babies, our upbringings; We are a lagoon that covers our valleys like the sacred mantle of the paqos (lonko male-shaman); We are a spring that springs from our bowels with the wisdom to write a new story; We are a sea of salt water that purifies and heals, that regenerates and cleanses us from the machismo and patriarchy that have been imposed on us for centuries.
AIR: We recognize in the air the breath that drives us to accompany the life of our people. We are a gust of wind that no longer stops in its fight to defend our rights as women, as daughters of these native peoples. We are the breath of La Ruah (The Spirit) that brings new voices, new seven gifts of knowing how to look at each other with tenderness, the gift of compassion, the gift of care, the gift of beauty, the gift of resistance and the gift of endearingness, for all of us. so that no one is left behind and there is not one or two of us who are left behind the others.
FIRE: When we hold hands in moments of prayer, when we braid our hands for the sacred dances with which we begin all these days, and when we offer our hands to embroider, weave and sew our burlap we feel the warmth of the energy of our ancestors. continues to warm our hearts and our struggles to continue lighting, not only the fire in our homes to feed our families, but also the fire of our rage in the march for a great country of ours freed from discrimination and racism, where our fight lead to the eradication of machismo and patriarchy that has ruled us out of this society where indigenous women are doubly marginalized. We are fire and, therefore, we end this meeting with the heat of our enthusiasm and the love that burns in our hearts to continue giving life.
Andahuaylillas, Quispicanchi, Cusco, Peru. September 22, 2023, Joob’ Kiej.
The article is originally published in the CPAL website in Spanish and can be accessed here.