July 28, 2015

Rainforest Voices: Chief of Safe Trees

Leopoldo Chimanga Chumpate is the chief of Oviri village, the newest community in our Asháninka project in Peru.

The new partnership with Oviri means another 16,000 acres of rainforest is protected from the loggers.

“We wanted to have a little adventure. We left our community to travel, that was sixteen years ago. We now live with the Asháninka in the community of Oviri. My wife and I are Machiguenga, who have a very close relationship to the Asháninka.

We wanted to go back to our traditions so we’re giving our children traditional names. Our daughter Shinaa is the Asháninka name for one of Peru’s tallest and strongest trees.  We named our son Kavioty, which is the name of a big black ant. We chose that name for him because we like the way ants work as a group.

I was the chief of Oviri when my community asked to work with Cool Earth. Our trees are safe. I can sleep well at night again. We’re telling our neighbours about Cool Earth. Working with Cool Earth to protect our trees means all our families benefit. It’s better than selling wood to benefit a few. Without funds from Cool Earth we wouldn’t be able to evacuate our medical emergencies – we wouldn’t be able to save lives.”

Leopoldo Chimanga Chumpate, Oviri Village, Asháninka Project




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