Amazonia Foundation

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An Open Letter From The Founder of the Amazonia Foundation

REFLECTIONS OF THE AMAZONIA FOUNDATION

The Amazonia Foundation was formed in response to a series of epidemics that broke out in Venezuela’s Amazon rain forest during the rainy season of 1987. The epidemics were the result of a gold rush in Brazil that brought a flood of infected miners across the remote jungle border and into the Yanomami homeland. At the time, the Yanomami were considered the last intact tribal nation on earth and their remote location made administering outreach medical aid difficult. Years of experience in the region and close relationships with the tribes gave the founders of the Amazonia Foundation a unique opportunity to help bridge the gap of trust between the Yanomami and those who came to help them. Over the course of twelve years the Foundation worked in the field with the Venezuelan government and international teams of doctors who fought to bring the deadly plagues under control.

During the twelve years the foundation was active in Venezuela fighting the epidemics, both botanical and western medicine played an important role. With the ongoing destruction of the Amazon Rain forest, the plants and healers of the region are now under constant attack. Yet without tribal healers and the vast plant pharmacy available in the jungle, many of the medicines used by the doctors who came to help the Yanomami would never have been discovered.

The Amazonia Foundation remains dedicated to advancing the use of botanical cures to not only help the indigenous people of the Americas, but also to help share this knowledge with the broader community in a way that is respectful to the integrity and wisdom of the tribal people of the Amazon region. The foundation’s mission is firmly grounded in the belief that the health of the world depends upon us all and that medicinal plants are key to our future as a species.

— Michael Stuart Ani

GOING HOME – The Documentary

The Catalina Island Conservancy and the Amazonia Foundation’s joint project to document the Buffalo Repatriation were realized in the documentary film directed by Michael Stuart Ani, Going Home. It is featured at the Catalina Island’s Greeting Center and is viewed by over a million people a year.

1980-1989: Journey into the Alto Ocamo

Michael Stuart Ani (Amazonia’s founder and president) had been visiting and living with tribal people in the rain forests of the America’s for three decades. His journey began as a teenager amongst the tribes of Southern Mexico and spread South through the Amazonia territory. Because Michael was so young and arrived with no formal agenda, […]