Interview: Josefina Lema from the Kichwa Mojandita people, Otavalo, Ecuador.

It is important that young people are always in contact with the Pachamama, with Mother Nature and Mother Earth.”

Our mother maize is, for us, for Indigenous peoples, more valuable than gold. Corn is gold in grain. It is our capital, our life, the corn mother. We have to work our Mother Earth. That’s what I tell my family. We always say that even though the youth are studying, they are going to need to fill their bellies with our grains, so we have to work to grow them. That’s what we do. It is important that young people are always in contact with the Pachamama, with Mother Nature and Mother Earth.

It is necessary to continue producing, to continue training, and to continue multiplying so as not to lose contact with the Pachamama. We have to continue taking care of our seeds. We have fought against free trade agreements, we marched from here to Quito against the laws that the government wants to impose to prohibit seed exchanges.

And we have to continue fighting to defend our rights and the rights of the seeds. On the subject of health, first we have to dedicate our efforts towards food because if we do not eat well we will continue to be sick. All that happens when we don’t have our living seeds. That’s our work, to ensure we continue to take care of them. This is the nature of our struggle. 

 

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