Camila Chindoy, the Indigenous daughter poised to lead her Amazon community

At just 25 years old, Camila Chindoy is seen by many in her community as a possible future governor of the Inga Indigenous reserve of Yunguillo in the Colombian Amazon. If elected, she would also become one of the youngest Indigenous matriarchs in the country. But Chindoy is a simple woman who doesn’t like to talk about the opportunity of occupying the most powerful political position in her community. She’d be in charge of the lives of 1,600 people who reside in Yunguillo. Many of the community leaders, and those who have closely followed her environmental and social work, are convinced that it’s only a matter of time before this happens. They point mainly to Chindoy’s work as a facilitator of the team in charge of implementing the first territorial environmental management plan (POAT) of their community, which started nearly five years ago. Chindoy got involved at the beginning of 2019. The POAT runs more than a hundred pages, prepared by everyone in this reserve 25 kilometers (15 miles) from Mocoa, the capital of the department of Putumayo in southwestern Colombia. The POAT lists the rules for sustainable growth for the community, whose residents are aware as never before of the enormous responsibility they have in protecting the Amazon. Their location in the Amazon foothills, where the thick jungle merges with the Andes mountain range, is a particularly important pressure point in the region’s ecosystem. After the painstaking three-decade struggle to expand the reserve, in 2015 the area was increased…This article was originally published on Mongabay
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