Pedro Bermeo, Zapateadas for the Yasuní

Considered one of the most biodiverse spots on the planet and called home by indigenous peoples, Ecuador’s Yasuní National Park pristine rainforest is threatened by oil drilling. Pedro Bermeo and his organization Yasunidos are working to protect the park and its inhabitants by hosting Zapateadas for the Yasuní in the streets of Ecuador’s capital city of Quito.

These celebrations  featuring music, dance, theater and art are “…a mixture between a classical manifestation and a collective expression in favor of life, based on spiritual rituals of the indigenous peoples of the Andes,” Pedro said. “Through this event of joy, art and spirituality to which everyone is invited to participate we sensitize and inform the public about human and nature rights in order to become active and sign for the referendum to protect these rights.”

The coalition of indigenous groups, feminist associations, environmental organizations and individuals are working to gather the many signatures needed to compel a referendum which would save the rainforest from exploitation and degradation.  The group is also looking to showcase sustainable and healthy alternatives to the traditional destructive development model.

The funds from The Pollination Project will be used for sound equipment, refreshments and outreach for the zapateadas, as well as travel costs.

For more information on Yasunidos and Zapateadas for the Yasuní, visit their website, follow them on Twitter and check out their Facebook page.

GRANT AWARD DATE: APRIL 8, 2014