Benki Piyãko has spent his life protecting nature and sharing his teachings with the world.
My lifelong project and objective has been to heal the world through the traditional knowledge that has been passed down from my ancestors.
President, Yorenka Tasorentsi
Benki, founder of the Yorenka Tasorentsi Institute, is an indigenous political and spiritual leader from the Ashaninka tribe working for the preservation of nature and the protection of the rights of indigenous peoples, their cultures and lands. He was designated to be one of the Ashaninka “pajés” or shamans, and, from a very young age, started fighting for the protection of their lands and the Amazon Forest. He fully commits himself to healing the world through the traditional knowledge that has been passed down from his ancestors.
Benki Piyãko began his reforestation, education and community-building projects in 2007 when he purchased and regenerated his first piece of deforested land near Marechal Thaumaturgo. He has worked with nonprofit organizations, political and ecological activists, and local indigenous and non-indigenous residents to revitalize the area. Along with his team and community, he has accomplished the following:
- 40 nearby communities trained in agroforestry systems, impacting more than 4,000 people in the region.
- 60+ young leaders trained in agroforestry and actively participated in major reforestation efforts.
- Over 2 million trees planted since
- 26 fish ponds created to develop a pisciculture system where fish are only fed with natural foods and avoid intensive fishing practices
- 1000+ people treated through traditional medicinal means
- Initial animal conservation: 15,000 turtles, 250 tortoises, monkeys, wild pigs and tapirs
- Creation of 80 beehives, home to 80,000 bees
- Assisting in the revival of traditional heritage of indigenous tribes that had lost touch with their cultural practices through colonisation (among others Puyanawa, Kuntanawa and Apolima)