Siona People of Cuyabeno


The Siona people are an indigenous community living in the Ecuadorian Amazon and Putumayo  Department of Colombia.  Today, there may be fewer than 500 Siona people on the planet!

Most Ecuadorian Siona live on the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve in Sucumbios. In addition to traditional subsistence farming, many were employed in Cuyabeno tourism since the 1990s. The religion of the Siona people is animistic with many spirits living inside of trees, bugs, plants, etc.

Now with the COVID-19 pandemic, no one is working in the park lodges. Too many of the remaining Siona people are sick and without medicine or emergency food. Community leaders are particularly anxious about obtaining badly-needed medicines for their elders as soon as possible.

Wichana Foundation is looking for donations to provide these necessities to 55 Siona families in great need. Can you please open your heart one more time to help a precious endangered culture and people survive? Donations received through the foundation are tax deductible in the US. 


Wichana Foundation was started in the fall of 2019 by Peter Bernstein, Sarah Cox and Urku Deborah May to support community-based programs in Ecuador that benefit the health, education and culture of community members. We raise funds through individual donations, grants and by selling artisanal crafts. 


Mojandita Curubi Centro de Salud, a rural health clinic just outside of Otavalo  

Muyumi Kanki Kichwa Cultural Center, an indigenous-led organization in Cotacachi focusing on the revitalization of  Kichwa culture and language

K'allam'p, an indigenous-led project working to educate rural indigenous communities on sustainable farming techniques, nutrition and other public health issues. 

Place of Hope, a volunteer organization providing breakfast and food delivery to hundreds of the poorest elders of Cotacachi and the surrounding communities.

Siona Community of Cuyabeno fundraiser for emergency food and medicine for indigenous people in the Amazon region of Ecuador 

Our Women's Advisory Committee provides us with 

guidance from the outstanding women leaders of our partner projects. The members  provide one another with mutual support, thoughtful project analysis, organizational tools, shared dreams and sisterly encouragement.

Their guidance for the foundation's direction is vital to our success. It is rooted in their deep understanding of the needs of the families and communities they serve through their service organizations in Cotacachi and Otavalo.

Martha Chavez of Mojanidta Curubi Health Center

Koya Valencia of Muyumi Kanki Kichwa Cultural Center

Dra. Kaya Alta of K'allam'p

Urku Deborah May of Wichana Foundation

Salome Alvear of Place of Hope Lugar de Esperanza

Aidayadira Saavedraoyagata of K'allam'p

Alli Tolbert, Facilitator, Wichana Foundation

Rosita Cabezas of Mojandita Curubi Health Center

The Wichana Foundation is a US tax-exempt organization (501(c)(3)) so contributions are tax deductible as permitted by applicable law.


T: 917-273-0360 


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