During his USA tour, Benki Piyako’s journey took him to New York City, where he participated in an event organized by the United Nations Development Program’s Equator Initiative, titled ‘Cultural Resistance and Environmental Stewardship in the Amazon Rainforest.’
This gathering provided a platform for Benki and his team to present the work of the Yorenka Tasorentsi Institute and connect with the UNDP staff and other partners to share insights into their crucial work for protecting the Amazon rainforests and preserving its indigenous guardians’ cultural heritage and traditional knowledge.
Benki’s presentation offered a comprehensive overview of the Ashaninka community’s history and ongoing priorities, as well as the vital role played by the Yorenka Tasorentsi Institute, which encompasses large-scale reforestation efforts, wildlife conservation, territorial protection, and the advancement of human rights. Additionally, Benki emphasized the importance of creating sustainable economic alternatives to ensure food security for the communities that call the Amazon their home.
The event also provided a unique opportunity for participants to hear from young Ashaninka leaders, such as Raine and Piyanko, who shared their insights, aspirations, and the invaluable lessons they have learned from living and working in the rainforest alongside Benki.
Photograph by Anton Rivette. Image is showing Raine Piyãko at the UNDP, New York.