Putamayo Inga Indigenous group have been forcibly removed from their Amazon homeland over the past 15 years, becoming Internally Displaced People's in the provincial capital of Mocoa. IDP's face a harsh time in new urban areas where their ability to care and feed their families is interrupted.
Traditional beliefs and cultural practices are hindered as their focus becomes survival and their relationship to the land has been severed.
Mama Luz Mila Becerra is a recognised wise woman shaman for the Inga people in Mocoa, an expert in knowledge of plants and healing. She is central to the Inga Women's Healing Centre who have been making every effort to keep ancient knowledge and tradition alive by helping those people whose culture is still alive, but threatened by the lost of territory and the consequent poverty.
Indigenous medicine is not only highly respected, but a valuable resource for those who cannot afford other kinds of medicine.
Mama Luz helps with childbirth, illnesses and critical first aid. She works with other Inga doctors in ceremonial use of the Yahe Ayahuasca. Support to the healing house will bring the community together around traditional doctors with the added value of empowering a group of persons who face strong discrimination for being indigenous, women and also in a condition of extreme vulnerability as displaced persons.
EGF funding will purchase a laptop and camera that will assist the Inga Healing Centre to:
- Continue the daily functions of the healing house, according to Inga tradition, where Inga healers can host patients who come seeking help.
- Photograph, classify and document all the herbs and plants uded in the healing centre, and establish a digital database of traditional Inga medicines.
- Provide a forum for other local Mamas to arrange regular Yahe rituals for the spiritual healing of the Inga IDP population.
- Provide education workshops to strengthen the culture and ties of the IDP's through story-telling and ritual maintenance, and establish a digital database of traditional stories and songs.