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Fundación Raíz Ecuador – Caemba visited the Wai’ya community in Sucumbíos

On June 30, 2021, a delegation from Fundación Raíz Ecuador – Caemba traveled to the Siekopai community of Wai’ya in the Tarapoa parish, Sucumbíos province in the Ecuadorian Amazon. The trip took place within the framework of the project ‘Development of bioenterprises derived from cassava and peach palm with Siekopai and Siona cultural identity.’

The journey began in Lago Agrio, where the Raíz team met with Hugo Payaguaje, representative of the Directorate of Nationalities of the Provincial Government of Sucumbíos. This provided an opportunity to discuss with the legal area manager of the GAD, who is finalizing the agreement between Raíz and the GAD Sucumbíos aimed at carrying out synergistic work between both institutions.

Hugo Payaguaje accompanied the Raíz team to the Wai’ya community, located two hours from Lago Agrio. Upon arrival in Wai’ya, the Raíz team met with members of the foundations associated with this project, supported by the Small Grants Programme (SGP) of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Representatives from Canopy Bridge, espai-epicur, and the Lianas Foundation were also present.

Together with Mauricio Acuña, chef and representative of espai-epicur, interviews were conducted with Siekopai and Siona women who will be part of the UNICO scholarship. Three of the candidates have been approved, so the selection of the remaining three positions is pending by Fundación Raíz Ecuador – Caemba.

During the visit, there was also an opportunity to converse with Hernán Payaguaje, representative of the CEIBO Alliance. Discussions were held on collaborative work with Raíz to strengthen the Women’s Association of Waiya (ASOPROASIENW). CEIBO proposed that Raíz share the layout of the bioenterprise production center in Wai’ya with the ASOPROASIENW association, so they can present the proposal to CEIBO when the results of the consultancy by the Corporation for Social and Business Strengthening (CORFOSE) are socialized.

The women of ASOPROASIENW participated in this meeting and reviewed the layout of the production center. They provided their observations, highlighting the need for a pathway around the center and an external entrance to the bathroom.

The visit concluded with a tasting of typical food, an activity that helped Chef Acuña understand the value and potential of Siekopai cuisine. Upon returning to Lago Agrio, a casual meeting was held with the other organizations to define internal strategies and administrative matters.

Fundación Raíz Ecuador – Caemba expresses gratitude to all the people, organizations, and institutions involved in this project. The Ministry of Environment, Water, and Ecological Transition also participates in this important project.

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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Statement

Fundación Raíz is dedicated to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), working with indigenous, Afro-Ecuadorian, Montubio, and Mestizo groups across Ecuador.

Our projects support various communities: Sionas, Siekopai, Kofan, Chachi, Kechwa, Waorani and Shuar, covering six linguistic families.

Our CAEMBA housing initiative focuses on the Afro-Ecuadorian and Montubio populations in Esmeraldas, addressing challenges of poverty and high crime rates. We commit to equitable treatment, opportunities for all, and the elimination of barriers to participation.

By valuing every voice and fostering community resilience, we aim to create a more inclusive, equitable society.

Our leadership is committed to DEI principles, ensuring our efforts reflect the diversity of the communities we serve and contribute to sustainable development and social justice.


Fundación Raíz está dedicada a la diversidad, equidad e inclusión (DEI), trabajando con grupos indígenas, afroecuatorianos, montubios y mestizos en todo Ecuador.

Nuestros proyectos apoyan a varias comunidades, Sionas, Siekopai, Kofan, Chachi, Kechwa, Waorani y Shuar, cubriendo seis familias lingüísticas. Nuestra iniciativa de vivienda CAEMBA se centra en las poblaciones afroecuatorianas y montubias en Esmeraldas, abordando desafíos de pobreza y altas tasas de criminalidad.

Nos comprometemos a un trato equitativo, oportunidades para todos y la eliminación de barreras para la participación. Valorando cada voz y fomentando la resiliencia comunitaria, aspiramos a crear una sociedad más inclusiva y equitativa.

Nuestro liderazgo está comprometido con los principios de DEI, asegurando que nuestros esfuerzos reflejen la diversidad de las comunidades que servimos y contribuyan al desarrollo sostenible y la justicia social.