This video is about the Guambiano indigenous people, also known as the Misak, who live in the Cauca region of Colombia. Their organization, Cabildo indígena del resguardo de Guambia (Guambia), is one of 19 grassroots organizations in Colombia that we support to explore and to participate in building peace in their territories.
Guambia works to preserve their native lands and protect their cultural identity, social and political autonomy. The Guambiano people have been defending their land in the Cauca region of Colombia for more than 500 years — long before the armed conflict in Colombia began. Still, prolonged conflict has had a profound effect on the region. As Mama Cecilia, a Misak leader, explains in the video, "At different times, we have been scared to live in our territory because we have run into the army, we have run into the guerrillas."
Now that the Colombian government and the FARC have agreed to end the five-decade conflict, there is hope for peace in the country. Guambia hopes that participating in building peace will help to strengthen their cultural identity. They hope to teach people about the ways they live in harmony with the Earth and nature. They hope for a peaceful future in which their children can continue the Misak tradition in the same territory where their people have lived for centuries.
Our IAF grantee partners are constructing peace in their territories in Colombia. This is how we support their grassroots efforts as individual organizations and as a system — "un sistema de paz."