UPDATE: October 21 – 2014 Thank you to each and every person in this community that has showed your support for the Wiwa people. They know that people from around the world have given them support and they are most grateful. I learned that up to 35 people have been in the home of my contact in Taganga (Santa Marta) at one time. They are all coming down from the Mountain looking for family members or going to visit family that had deaths. There are many small communities all over the mountain so the travelers are coming from all the Wiwa communities. Many of them are known to my contact because they usually stay in her home when they come to the city. However, they do not normally have this many in the city. Due to the tragedy many are coming at the same time and they all need support.
As the people are coming down from the Mountain Villages they are not all staying at my contacts home. Some are hearing that she has food so they go to her home where she is able to feed them. It is a great responsibility that she has taken upon herself for years to feed and house the Wiwa visitors to the city.
It has been reported to us that many of the people coming down are also bringing children with them. So we are supporting whole families with basic needs.
Our support made it all possible.
She sent me photos of the Wiwa in the hospital. I dont feel comfortable sharing those photos. However, I am able to share a few others she sent.
Below are a few of the photos she sent to share with all of you. The Wiwa having lunch with Helena, my contact. Also a photo taken inside her home at the kitchen, and, one showing where some of the people are sleeping in Hammocks.
Thank you again to everyone who has been giving support.
Myself and a friend initially sent $250 us dollars.
Then we sent $200 us dollars.
Another contact of mine sent $225 us dollars directly from Europe.
One person donated on this site $500 and others $250 (5+50+100+25+10+60).
Total from this site as of Oct 22 is $750us dollars. !!!
Total we have to send as of Oct 22 is $750 us dollars. !!!
This will now be used to continue buying food, basic needs and also buy cloth to make new clothes for those whos only clothes were burnt in the fire from the lightening strike.
Thank you again !!! to everyone. This has been a community effort to support these amazing people.
With gratitude, Miriam
UPDATED POST: Oct 18-2014 Just spoke to my contact in Colombia in my broken spanish! She said that 7 Wiwa are still in her home, one of them a Mamo. Most of the Wiwa people have returned to the Mountain. She is going to write an email to me tonight with more details and information. She said the money that was sent is feeding all the people and helping them to take buses for transport in the City. Thank you everyone!
Colombia, La Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is home to many Indigenous Villages that are high in the mountains. The people who live here are part of four tribes that have communities all over this mountain range.
Recently I was blessed to have the opportunity to travel to this region and meet with some of the people in these remote communities. This was the 9th time I have traveled to speak with these people and each time it has been a remarkable experience. Having the opportunity to learning how rich and knowledgeable the people are. These Communities are still living in traditional homes and struggling to keep a culture and way of life alive as the world slowly takes away their lands and disrupts their cultural ways.
Only days after I was in this remote area at the invitation of some of the Traditional people, there was a significant natural disaster that effected one specific village. This was the home of the Wiwa people.
They were gathered in a traditional hut where spiritual work was being done to help hold the balance of the world. This is where they discuss the problems that they are having and also problems of the world as well. They then make plans and carry out specific Ceremony and Spiritual work to correct the imbalances they see.
For years now these people have warned the world that the natural world is out of balance and we all need to work together to restore this balance if we are to continue life on the planet.
In the mountains there has been a great deal of rain in some regions, while others have received none at all for many months. They all recognize that this is not normal and it is because Mother Nature is speaking to us, warning us and showing us we are not being responsible.
There was a lightening strike that hit the Indigenous house that up to 60 people were in. Eleven people died and dozens more were hurt with second and third degree burns.
The Village is 5 hours walking distance down the mountain range to the cities and for this reason the Military was called in to bring the wounded down in helicopters.
I have a contact in Santa Marta area of Colombia that opens her home to the Indigenous people when they come down the mountain so they have a place to stay. She feeds them when they come as well because they do not have money…… they are true Indigenous people who come down to meet with people or representatives of other tribes for example.
When this disaster happened she began to hear from some of the people who live in this community that they were coming to her home so they could be close to their family members in the hospitals. Many of these people are now staying in her home.
Myself and another woman named Lina sent her 250 US dollars to help pay for food for all the people that came to her home. This has been used for food with all the family and indigenous that came down directly after the disaster. It has been one week now since the incident and this money is now gone.
The report I received today, October 13-2014 is that 8 people are still in the hospital and many of those family members are at their side. Also, Indigenous are at her home working with other indigenous groups as well as government to make arrangements for the future of their people.
The family that is staying in the city to be with family only had some juice and small fruit to eat yesterday. They NEED OUR HELP.
The people who are still up in the Village are receiving care from the Government of Colombia, those who are with their families in the city are not.
THE PEOPLE IN THE HOSPITALS NEED OUR SUPPORT AND HELP.
They are asking US to help pay for basic food and minor transport fees back and forth to the hospital for the relatives of those in hospital.
They need a minimum of 250 dollars per WEEK for support for them.
If you want to help these people this site is taking donations and sending 100% of those donations to the Wiwa Indigenous people.
This donation button has been set up specifically for this purpose and is completely separate from any other donations sent to support the work of this site.
We will continue to share updates on this situation as we hear news from the people in Colombia.
Below are links to the many news stories of the incident for you to review.
We will also send your name and what country you are from to the Wiwa if you choose to have your name known to let them know that people all over the world are supporting them.
The people are asking us to understand that this was a natural event and not to be sad about this but to be strong and to support the natural world in balance.
With gratitude to everyone for helping the Wiwa Indigenous Community.
(By the way, I know the person in Colombia personally and her work with the community. I have complete trust that when we send the money that 100% of it is going to the Wiwa community.)
Keep coming back to this thread…. as I will continue to post updates here as well as on the website on the families in the Hospital.
With thanks from the Wiwa people for all your help and support. They know that the world is helping them and they are grateful.
Donate only what you can….. every dollar helps.
Thank you, Miriam
(The donate button for this cause has been removed for now as of Oct 24. If we learn that there is more of a need we will create a new donation button for the Wiwa. Thank you to each of you who donated. The updates will continue to be shared as we hear news from the community as well as how your donations were used to support the Wiwa.)
100% of donations sent through this particular donation button will go to the Wiwa.
Search Lightening strike Colombia and you will find many news articles and updates on this situation.
Here is one from The Guardian.
Here is a photo of the Wiwa community from 2010