Meet Susan Mariela
14 years old
“Hi! My name is Susan Mariela and I’m from Puerto Luz, Peru, which is in the Amazon. I speak the Harakbut language and am happy to come from an Indigenous community. I like how different we are. The Amazon, for me, is important. It’s where I come from and where I feel at home. I’m always surrounded by animals and fruit trees, and I’m constantly learning new things."
"I can see that contamination is increasing and logging is becoming excessive. Oil extraction is also polluting our rivers. I think people don’t realize they are hurting others with their actions. There are Indigenous people who go out and fish but find the waterways polluted. They can’t find drinking water or places to wash.
I want us to protect nature. My community and I are asking that we all take care of the forest. Please spread the word and let others know about us. We Indigenous peoples need to ensure that our way of life will not be destroyed and our people will not become extinct.”
— Susan Mariela Pizango, student at the Santa Cruz school in Puerto Maldonado, Peru.
In Peru, Development and Peace – Caritas Canada is working with the Amazon Center of Anthropology and Practical Application (CAAAP) to protect the Amazon rainforest and the rights of its Indigenous communities.