Chabuca has been voted the first woman President of Tsimi – the community association that leads our Asháninka Project in Peru. This means the fate of 1.5 million acres of rainforest is under her leadership. No pressure.
“My community selected me to be the President of Tsimi. I thought about my Asháninka brothers and I wanted to help them so I accepted. Now I feel that I’m able to support the community with the help of Cool Earth.
The position is very important to me. I feel sorry and sad when my Asháninka brothers don’t have any support. The worst of it is that the Peruvian State has forgotten about us, so I want to help all the annex villages of Cutivireni.
During my period as President of Tsimi I want to everyone – both men and women – to benefit and for them to feel happy. There are so many necessities in their villages, for example school supplies and health-care. I want to help them, even if it’s just a little. I also want to see more producers of cacao and empower the Ayompari producers association.
The largest challenge in my community is that there are many illnesses. My people are dying at a young age because of cirrhosis, tuberculosis, anaemia, and malnutrition. I want to help so my people don’t keep on dying.
Being the first female President of Tsimi means ‘the Asháninka women can do it’. With all my heart I want to help my community and especially the women, so they can eat and educate their children.
The greatest challenge for the women in my community is the ‘machismo’ that exists here. I would like the men to improve this. A mother is unique, and sometimes we don’t have sufficient resources to educate or feed their children.
I want to thank Cool Earth for their support. If Cool Earth weren’t in the community, there would be more poverty. Thanks to Cool Earth for having a heart as big as the sky.”
Chabuca Bustamante Sagastizabal, Tsimi President, Asháninka Project – Peru