In 1999 Vijali began the second World Wheel, Global Peace Through the Arts, which circles the planet. Below is a description of one of the 12 sites from the second World Wheel circle. For more information about the second World Wheel project, see the Second World Wheel page.
Amazon of Ecuador
In 1999, I began a World Wheel Center in the Ecuadorian Amazon east of Macas. The work of the refuge and center continues today. Generous donations have made it possible to purchase three hundred acres of virgin rainforest for a nature reserve, complete with lagoon, an island, waterfalls, and two rivers. We have returned this land to the indigenous Shuar families of the area (it had been taken away from them by the Silesian missionaries) to be caretakers of our precious rainforest, the lungs of our planet.
With my Shuar friends and their children, we carved Anaconda Woman, (the Shuar spirit of water) out of basalt stone, near the sacred waterfall. Along the river we established a Wisdom Center called “Amazonico Refugio,” with traditional buildings of thatch and bamboo siding, tree houses for guests, and a school for the Shuar children, taught by the elders. This is a way to preserve the Shuar culture; the knowledge of the rainforest medicinal plants, and how to live sustainably within the environment-all knowledge necessary for the survival and health of our life on this planet.
NOTES AND PHOTO CREDITS
Photo by Vijali Hamilton — Woman Made of the Comos in Tinos, Greece
Photo by Vijali Hamiton — Spirit Within Matter III in Castle Valley, Utah
All photos by Edie Hartshorne