Noemi Lopez Camashiri
April 11, 1946 – June 8, 2017

It’s with much sadness that we announce the death of our great friend Noemi Lopez Camashiri. Noemi passed away at home in Tinkareni following a short illness at the age of 71.

As the eldest member of the Asháninka community, Noemi’s commitment to protecting the rainforest was unrivalled and she also became one of the earliest champions of the partnership between the Asháninka and Cool Earth.

It is difficult to comprehend the changes that Noemi had witnessed during her lifetime. From growing up in one of the most isolated parts of the Amazon to fighting the Shining Path for her community’s very survival to rejecting loggers, Noemi lived through some of the most pivotal, and challenging points in Asháninka history.

“I live here, this is my house in Tinkareni, this is my forest, my community. I was born here and I’ve lived here ever since - I belong to the village of Tinkareni. I love living here, the forest provides me with all I have. It feeds me and provides clean air that comes towards me and gives me life. For me, the forest is everything.”

It was Noemi who welcomed the young student anthropologist Dilwyn Jenkins into her home when he arrived one morning in Tinkareni in the 1970s. This began a forty-year relationship with the community. It was through this relationship that Cool Earth’s partnership was founded.

Noemi’s vast knowledge of spiritual and healing traditions of the forest as the community sheripiari (Asháninkan shaman) created huge respect by everyone she knew. She shared her knowledge with others in the community including her daughter-in-law, Anita Bustamante enabling her life’s work to be passed on to benefit future generations.

As a young woman, Noemi moved from a remote village in the highlands to Tinkareni where she established her home in 1974. Here, she married her first husband, the father of some of Cool Earth greatest ambassadors, Cesar and Adela Bustamante. Having been widowed in her early thirties, Noemi married Ricardo Martín Juan and had her son Jesus Martin. It was Ricardo with whom she shared the rest of her life.

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