Dear Friends and Family,
I am writing from the Amazon of Brazil where I have been living with the Korubo tribe in the western part of Brazil. Very soon I will be working my way back to Lima Peru to fly back to the States and you have all been on my mind and heart — so I feel prompted to write this letter to you about all that has taken place on this pilgrimage.
First I want to let you know that the Sacred Tibetan Urn has been buried in the Amazon. It was one of 25 urns given to the Tibetan Teacher, Cynthia Jurs, on response to her question to a Tibetan Lima 106 years old (who has now passed away) “What can we do to heal our earth?” Cynthia in ceremony passed one urn on to me to be buried in the Amazon.
The Urn traveled with me to the Andes of Ecuador and received ceremonies and prayers in the volcanos Imbabura and Cotacachi blessed by an Otavalanian Shaman, then received ceremony and the power breath and song of a Shuar Amazon Shaman in Ecuador and a Shipiba Shaman and community in the Amazon of Peru outside of Iquitos. It now rests buried in the earth on a magical tributary, Tamshiyacu, at the headwaters of the Amazon River.
I can feel the prayers and ceremonies from all of you in the States and these additional prayers in South America being sent out in the silent darkness of the earth, working for the healing of our planet.
The othe r event I am thrilled about and with much gratitude for all of you who have contributed, is the purchase of 20 hectors (49 acres) of virgin rainforest. It has been christened Refugio Amazonas Centro de Sabiduria — translated Amazon Refuge Wisdom Center.
This nature reserve is in the indigenous Shuar territory in the Amazon of Ecuador east of Macas. It is 20 hectors of virgin rainforest bordering the pristine Yukias River with one waterfall, one spring and the beginning structure of a traditional Shuar house. I (Vijali Hamilton) will be overseeing the project in partnership with my Shuar friend Tuntuam Camilo Tsamaraint Timias.
The refuge will be a nature reserve to maintain this virgin rainforest with its wildlife as a gesture toward the need of preserving our forests and waters of our planet. It will be an Amazonian botanical learning center to preserve the knowledge of medicinal, nutritional, and practical usage of the rainforest plants.
The center supports the continuation of the Shuar culture by having the elders give their teachings to the Shuar youth, the support of Shuar women, and to encourage cultural and spiritual exchange between countries.
Three traditional Shuar houses will be built alo ng the river front and one shelter for ceremonies with a Shuar shaman. One Shuar house will be for me and guests and I will live part of the year at this project site. The second house will be a community structure for foreign guests who wish to teach or be students of the Shuar elders. The third construction will be for a Shuar family to live permanently on the land to provide security for the Refuge. The estimated cost for each structure is $2,000 and we need help in building the houses.
Two horses need to be purchased for transportation, $80 each.
A solar system installed, $1,500.
Insurance. $200 per year.
Fees for Shuar teachers and guides, $5,000 per year.
Maintenance costs, $1,000.
Pilgrimages to the Amazon Refuge can be arranged. Contact Vijali Hamilton, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
All donations for the Amazon Refuge will go through my World Wheel non-profit (tax deductible) account. Contact Vijali Hamilton, Email: email@example.com.
I am happy to see the progress of Tuntuam Camilo’s efforts as an activist for the preservation of the indigenous rainforest lands against the intrusion of the oil companies. He has worked toward uniting the various tribes and this unanimous front is the greatest protection they have. Some of your contributions have gone toward supporting his efforts.
Friends and myself brought used childrens clothes that have been distributed to the Andean and Amazon children. I am now collecting more children’s clothes and women’s clothes for the Amazon single mother’s groups.
This letter may be getting too lengthy, but I have so much I want to share with you.
Know that I always travel with you in my heart and am grateful for your support and prayers.
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NOTES AND PHOTO CREDITS
Photo by Vijali Hamiton — Four Faces of Unity (detail) in Seneca Reservation
Photo by Vijali Hamiton — Woman Of Space Pregnant With Sun in Spain
All photo’s by Edie Hartshorne:
Except photo by Vijali Hamilton: