Women's Activism NYC

Sumak Helena Gualinga

2002 - Today

Date Added:

She is part of a female dynasty of indigenous women environmentalists from Ecuador, from the Quechua Sarayaku community: Helena Gualinga, the youngest of the clan, has become the voice of the new generation fighting to protect the nature where they live. The daughter of a Swedish-Finnish father and activist Noemí Gualinga, Helena grew up between her isolated Sarayaku community in the Amazon—accessible only by boat or plane—and Europe. More than a decade ago, the community of the Gualinga family took an oil company to court, to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, for having illegally exploited their land, destroying biodiversity, without permission from the locals; they won the case. With these references Helena also became an activist, along with her older sister, Nina. She has gone to Ecuadorian schools to talk about how deforestation and exploitation are affecting her community and nature, and how older people have seen a complete change in the climate. He protested at the UN Climate Action Summit in 2019, and spoke as a speaker at COP25 in Madrid, drawing attention to states that grant land without asking the communities. Along with Greta Thunberg and other activists of her generation, they have also made joint calls to end fossil fuel extraction.

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