Amazonia Foundation


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, the Indian people were able to indoctrinate him into their system of belief. He has become a bridge between western and Pan-American indigenous cultures.

In the short span of time from adolescence to manhood, Michael has witnessed the most devastating destruction to the tropical rain forests of the Americas and its inhabitants since the Spanish conquest and the rubber boom. In the 1980s, after living with more than fourteen tribes, Michael came to the Yanomami, the last intact Indian nation left on earth.  At the time, they were in generally excellent physical condition.

A Powerful Hope


The Brazilian gold rush of 1988 and deforestation of the rainforest in Brazil contributed to the outbreak of epidemics among the Yanomami. The difficulties of bringing medical aid to deep forest, semi-nomadic people are obvious, and complicated further by the people’s general distrust of outsiders.

The data collected by the Amazonia Foundation was submitted to the Venezuelan government after 1991, and concluded these findings. The Yanomami population was now suffering from outbreaks of malaria and hepatitis, along with such typical jungle infections as Onchocerciasis (river blindness) and parasites. The Amazonia Foundation report concluded that the only possible way to deal with such an extreme outbreak was to establish an ongoing medical infrastructure.

If it was possible to just leave the Yanomami alone, that would have been the best situation, but the epidemics were so severe that all medical authorities agreed that the Yanomami could not survive without outside help. Although the Venezuelan Ministry of Health, missionaries, doctors, advocates and scientists agreed something had to be done, there was no unity among the different groups. It seemed almost impossible to bring together the various organizations that were necessary to create a medical infrastructure.

For 15 years, the Amazonia Foundation has participated in and aided medical efforts among the Yanomami. Five years ago the situation seemed completely hopeless and nothing seemed to work.


Working with unified goals, world-class expertise and a Venezuelan government that has probably had the best policy towards Indian rights in all the Americas, a goal that seemed at once unattainable can now be a reality. For the last three years the Amazonia Foundation helped support and create a new medical aid program with the Venezuelan Government. There still remains small, but effective, treatment programs currently operating on a tribal level that address all the aspects of Indian health care. They’re minimally invasive and always introduced with respect for the Yanomami’s culture, customs and beliefs.

It is possible, and imperative, to foster more programs with absolutely no political or religious agenda of any kind. There should be only one major goal: To stabilize the health of the last Yanomami tribes. Through its direct involvement, the Amazonia Foundation wishes to continue financing outstanding prevention treatment programs needed for the survival of the Yanomami.


  • To control malaria, the number one killer of the Yanomami, which has claimed the lives of more people globally than any other disease.
  • Help bring successful medical aid to more Yanomami Indians in Venezuela.
  • Preventative medical immunization for children and young adults.
  • Financial aid to support ongoing programs to erradicate Onchocerciasis (river blindness).
  • Continued financial and physical support for all villages of Yanomami.


To foster innovative and successful programs that can help stabilize the health of the entire Yanomami population.


To put into action the blueprint developed by the Venezuelan Ministry of Health for a working medical infrastructure that can be used to aid all remote tribal peoples.

2002 – Yanomami Medical Outreach in Venezuela

In January 2002, Michael Stuart represented the Amazonia Foundation, as part of an international, medical relief expedition to Yanomami Indian villages in Venezuela’s Amazon rainforest. The purpose of the expedition was to bring badly needed medical support to tribes still suffering from a 14-year epidemic of malaria, hepatitis, and River Blindness. For this expedition the Amazonia Foundations Michael Stuart Ani was made an official observer for the Venezuelan government relating to health and cultural issues between international doctors, outreach organizations, missionaries and the Yanomami tribe of the region.

Reports were filed on this expedition about the highly unethical activities of the New Tribes Mission. They related directly to specific instances of cultural genocide and ongoing extreme sexual abuse of Indian children. It led to the removal of all the evangelist and Mormon missionaries involved from the country of Venezuela.