Conservation Hero: Alexandra Narvaez

Alexandra Narvaez

Alexandra Narvaez, is the first woman Kofán member of Sinangoe’s land patrol in Ecuador’s northern Amazon region. Despite facing resistance from patriarchal structures, Narvaez advocates for women’s leadership and their crucial role in defending Indigenous autonomy and protecting their lands and cultures.

In Sinangoe, Kofán women traditionally fulfill various roles such as caretakers of children, collectors of fruits and seeds, cooks, and craft makers, while men typically engage in hunting, fishing, and community protection. However, as large-scale mining and oil drilling threaten their territory and livelihoods, the Kofán established a land patrol, with Narvaez joining despite initial opposition.

Narvaez’s motivation stems from her desire to secure a healthy future for her daughters and the children of Sinangoe, preserving their culture and empowering them to become strong leaders. She played a significant role in her community’s legal battle against the Ecuadorian government, resulting in the cancellation of 52 gold mining concessions and the protection of vast rainforest areas. This victory set a precedent leading to a historic ruling by Ecuador’s Constitutional Court in favor of Indigenous rights, particularly regarding consent over extractive activities on their lands.


Organization: @AlianzaCeibo + @amazonfrontlines


Posted on

April 2, 2024

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