Safeguarding sacred lands

and forests.

Safeguarding sacred lands and forests.

Safeguarding sacred lands and forests.

Safeguarding sacred lands and forests.

Since 2010, OIOC was founded upon the inspiration of nature and the need to safeguard our sacred lands and forests. Witnessing environmental degradation resulting in poverty and the erosion of balance between ecology and human wellbeing, we’ve focused on pragmatic solutions around preserving ancestral wisdom and regenerating the land through traditional forestry. 

Since 2010, OIOC was founded upon the inspiration of nature and the need to safeguard our sacred lands and forests. Witnessing environmental degradation resulting in poverty and the erosion of balance between ecology and human wellbeing, we’ve focused on pragmatic solutions around preserving ancestral wisdom and regenerating the land through traditional forestry. 

LAND

History of Sibundoy Valley

ALTO PUTUMAYO, AMAZON, COLOMBIA

History of
Sibundoy Valley

ALTO PUTUMAYO, AMAZON, COLOMBIA

History of Sibundoy Valley

ALTO PUTUMAYO, AMAZON, COLOMBIA

History of Sibundoy Valley

Alto Putumayo, Amazon, Colombia

Sibundoy Valley, an area of 46,938 hectares (116,000 acres) in the department of Alto Putumayo, was historically a large wetland area where only the Inga and Kamëntsá indigenous communities lived.


At that time, the area had many species of flora and fauna, while the indigenous people used ancestral knowledge to subsist on polycultures (diverse crops grown on the same site), also known as “chagras”. It was a territory where man and natural resources coexisted without causing major damage.


In the late 19th century, the arrival of settlers introduced livestock activity in the hillside areas, and initiated human settlements and intense drainage channels to the wetlands to expand the agricultural frontier for monocrops and cattle farming.


This colonization process included redefining and appropriating lands belonging to the Resguardos (conservation sites under indigenous management), where resistance was met with enslavement or violence (burning of settlements, death).


Pressure from international markets for natural resources in the area, such as quinine and rubber, also forced the indigenous population into hard labor and genocide (via measles and influenza, which the indigenous people had no resistance to due to their previous relative isolation).


During this time of new production systems, the conversion to Christianity and the introduction of goods, many indigenous groups struggled to maintain their identity and relationship with the territory. Many cultural elements like their language and oral history survived.


According to a soil survey by Agustín Codazzi Geographic Institute (IGAC), whilst 30% of the area was sanctioned for conservation and environmental protection, the reality is that 3% remains of forests, wetlands, and semi-natural areas.


Nieto Escalante, Director of IGAC, suggests that “agricultural, livestock and conservation use have a place, but in a proportionate and controlled way. The Inga and Kamëntsá are the closest to proper agricultural use of the land. These communities still apply ancestral practices such as chagras, which generate self-consumption through polycultures. By working with indigenous communities who know the health of their soil, authorities can develop a roadmap towards food security and mitigating environmental risks.”


In general terms, most Amazonian peoples have developed models of forest management that allow its persistence without radically transforming the vegetation cover. The indigenous people have developed a holistic vision on the environment; they see themselves as intrinsic to their territory, which is perceived in many cases as a sacred living organism that deserves respect. Their relationship with nature is mediated by symbolic concepts around moderated resource use, and balance of energy.


Today, institutions like the World Bank demand participation of local populations in projects related to resource management. OIOC recognizes our rights and an opportunity to work towards autonomous development concerning our sacred lands, values and culture. Our plans are organized around environmental recuperation, community needs, and balanced use of nature and continuity of the forest.


Sources:

  1. Livestock farming devours environmental treasures of Sibundoy Valley. Agustín Codazzi Geographic Institute. https://antiguo.igac.gov.co/es/noticias/la-ganaderia-se-ha-devorado-gran-parte-de-los-tesoros-ambientales-del-valle-del-sibundoy

  2. Environmental Management Plan for the Wetlands of Sibundoy Valley. Corporation for Sustainable Development of Southern Amazon. https://www.corpoamazonia.gov.co/images/Publicaciones/30%202006_PMA_Humedales_Valle_Sibundoy/2006_PMA_humedales_Valle_de_sibundoy.pdf

  3. Indigenous Resguardos of Colombia: their contribution to conservation and sustainable forest use. Netherlands Committee for The World Conservation Union, IUCN. https://portals.iucn.org/library/sites/library/files/documents/2003-017.pdf

Sibundoy Valley, an area of 46,938 hectares (116,000 acres) in the department of Alto Putumayo, was historically a large wetland area where only the Inga and Kamëntsá indigenous communities lived.

At that time, the area had many species of flora and fauna, while the indigenous people used ancestral knowledge to subsist on polycultures (diverse crops grown on the same site), also known as “chagras”. It was a territory where man and natural resources coexisted without causing major damage.

In the late 19th century, the arrival of settlers introduced livestock activity in the hillside areas, and initiated human settlements and intense drainage channels to the wetlands to expand the agricultural frontier for monocrops and cattle farming.

This colonization process included redefining and appropriating lands belonging to the Resguardos (conservation sites under indigenous management), where resistance was met with enslavement or violence (burning of settlements, death).

Pressure from international markets for natural resources in the area, such as quinine and rubber, also forced the indigenous population into hard labor and genocide (via measles and influenza, which the indigenous people had no resistance to due to their previous relative isolation).

During this time of new production systems, the conversion to Christianity and the introduction of goods, many indigenous groups struggled to maintain their identity and relationship with the territory. Many cultural elements like their language and oral history survived.

According to a soil survey by Agustín Codazzi Geographic Institute (IGAC), whilst 30% of the area was sanctioned for conservation and environmental protection, the reality is that 3% remains of forests, wetlands, and semi-natural areas.

Nieto Escalante, Director of IGAC, suggests that “agricultural, livestock and conservation use have a place, but in a proportionate and controlled way. The Inga and Kamëntsá are the closest to proper agricultural use of the land. These communities still apply ancestral practices such as chagras, which generate self-consumption through polycultures. By working with indigenous communities who know the health of their soil, authorities can develop a roadmap towards food security and mitigating environmental risks.”

In general terms, most Amazonian peoples have developed models of forest management that allow its persistence without radically transforming the vegetation cover. The indigenous people have developed a holistic vision on the environment; they see themselves as intrinsic to their territory, which is perceived in many cases as a sacred living organism that deserves respect. Their relationship with nature is mediated by symbolic concepts around moderated resource use, and balance of energy.

Today, institutions like the World Bank demand participation of local populations in projects related to resource management. OIOC recognizes our rights and an opportunity to work towards autonomous development concerning our sacred lands, values and culture. Our plans are organized around environmental recuperation, community needs, and balanced use of nature and continuity of the forest.

Sources:

  1. Livestock farming devours environmental treasures of Sibundoy Valley. Agustín Codazzi Geographic Institute. https://antiguo.igac.gov.co/es/noticias/la-ganaderia-se-ha-devorado-gran-parte-de-los-tesoros-ambientales-del-valle-del-sibundoy

  2. Environmental Management Plan for the Wetlands of Sibundoy Valley. Corporation for Sustainable Development of Southern Amazon. https://www.corpoamazonia.gov.co/images/Publicaciones/30%202006_PMA_Humedales_Valle_Sibundoy/2006_PMA_humedales_Valle_de_sibundoy.pdf

  3. Indigenous Resguardos of Colombia: their contribution to conservation and sustainable forest use. Netherlands Committee for The World Conservation Union, IUCN. https://portals.iucn.org/library/sites/library/files/documents/2003-017.pdf

CULTURE

Indigenous Nation of Kamëntsá

Indigenous Nation of Kamëntsá

Indigenous Nation of Kamëntsá

Kamentsa Woven Art
Kamentsa Woven Art
Kamentsa Woven Art

Kamëntsá Culture

Kamëntsá Culture

The Kamëntsá people are an indigenous group residing in Sibundoy Valley, Putamayo.

Society is organized around a communal lifestyle, with an emphasis on cooperation and mutual aid within the community.

Their spiritual beliefs are rooted in the sacredness of nature and interconnectedness of all living beings.

Their reverence for nature and community are reflected in agriculture and shamanism. Cultivation of maize, potatoes, and coca leaves have spiritual significance.

Traditional attire includes brightly colored woven garments adorned with patterns and symbols that reflect their cultural identity and spiritual beliefs.

The Kamëntsá people are an indigenous group residing in Sibundoy Valley, Putamayo.

Society is organized around a communal lifestyle, with an emphasis on cooperation and mutual aid within the community.

Their spiritual beliefs are rooted in the sacredness of nature and interconnectedness of all living beings.

Their reverence for nature and community are reflected in agriculture and shamanism. Cultivation of maize, potatoes, and coca leaves have spiritual significance.

Traditional attire includes brightly colored woven garments adorned with patterns and symbols that reflect their cultural identity and spiritual beliefs.

Reverence for nature and community

Reverence for nature and community

Ancestral medicine ceremonies and traditional wisdom are passed down through generations of family lineages. Traditional medicine men and women work with Ayahuasca and 160+ other medicinal plants, many unique to the territory, crafting herbal remedy baths and tonics for individual needs. Anthropological and geographic studies trace the use of Ayahuasca to more than 10,000 years ago.

Shamans serve as spiritual leaders and healers who communicate with the spirit world to maintain balance in the natural world.

Through rituals and ceremonies, they honor their ancestors, celebrate the cycles of life, and offer tributes to the spiritual world.

Ancestral medicine ceremonies and traditional wisdom are passed down through generations of family lineages. Traditional medicine men and women work with Ayahuasca and 160+ other medicinal plants, many unique to the territory, crafting herbal remedy baths and tonics for individual needs. Anthropological and geographic studies trace the use of Ayahuasca to more than 10,000 years ago.

Shamans serve as spiritual leaders and healers who communicate with the spirit world to maintain balance in the natural world.

Through rituals and ceremonies, they honor their ancestors, celebrate the cycles of life, and offer tributes to the spiritual world.

TEAM

Taita Juan Bautista Agreda
Kamentsa Tribal Governor Founder

3x Governor of Kamëntsá nation. Indigenous-born, 40+ year experience with Amazonian medicines, lineage of traditional Yageceros. Taita Juan is deeply connected to the natural world and committed to its conservation, dedicating his lifetime to indigenous advocacy and the preservation of natural medicines and ecosystems, through his work at OIOC, Shanayoy, regionally, and speaking abroad.

Taita Juan Bautista Agreda
Kamentsa Tribal Governor Founder

3x Governor of Kamëntsá nation. Indigenous-born, 40+ year experience with Amazonian medicines, lineage of traditional Yageceros. Taita Juan is deeply connected to the natural world and committed to its conservation, dedicating his lifetime to indigenous advocacy and the preservation of natural medicines and ecosystems, through his work at OIOC, Shanayoy, regionally, and speaking abroad.

Taita Juan Bautista Agreda
Kamentsa Tribal Governor Founder

3x Governor of Kamëntsá nation. Indigenous-born, 40+ year experience with Amazonian medicines, lineage of traditional Yageceros. Taita Juan is deeply connected to the natural world and committed to its conservation, dedicating his lifetime to indigenous advocacy and the preservation of natural medicines and ecosystems, through his work at OIOC, Shanayoy, regionally, and speaking abroad.

Taita Juan Bautista Agreda
Kamentsa Tribal Governor Founder

3x Governor of Kamëntsá nation. Indigenous-born, 40+ year experience with Amazonian medicines, lineage of traditional Yageceros. Taita Juan is deeply connected to the natural world and committed to its conservation, dedicating his lifetime to indigenous advocacy and the preservation of natural medicines and ecosystems, through his work at OIOC, Shanayoy, regionally, and speaking abroad.

Erika Salazar
Operations, Outreach, Community Founder

20+ years studying traditions and people of the Andes. Studied Master Plants under Taita Juan, organized non-profit work for the region since 2011. Attuned to the natural world, Erika leads the heartbeat of the organization, from local operational planning to international outreach. Medical Herbalist (Vitalist Tradition), Holistic Therapist (University Esneca, Spain), Minister (Church of Sacred Nature).

Erika Salazar
Operations, Outreach, Community Founder

20+ years studying traditions and people of the Andes. Studied Master Plants under Taita Juan, organized non-profit work for the region since 2011. Attuned to the natural world, Erika leads the heartbeat of the organization, from local operational planning to international outreach. Medical Herbalist (Vitalist Tradition), Holistic Therapist (University Esneca, Spain), Minister (Church of Sacred Nature).

Erika Salazar
Operations, Outreach, Community Founder

20+ years studying traditions and people of the Andes. Studied Master Plants under Taita Juan, organized non-profit work for the region since 2011. Attuned to the natural world, Erika leads the heartbeat of the organization, from local operational planning to international outreach. Medical Herbalist (Vitalist Tradition), Holistic Therapist (University Esneca, Spain), Minister (Church of Sacred Nature).

Erika Salazar
Operations, Outreach, Community Founder

20+ years studying traditions and people of the Andes. Studied Master Plants under Taita Juan, organized non-profit work for the region since 2011. Attuned to the natural world, Erika leads the heartbeat of the organization, from local operational planning to international outreach. Medical Herbalist (Vitalist Tradition), Holistic Therapist (University Esneca, Spain), Minister (Church of Sacred Nature).

Nicholas Busciglio
Grounds Manager Founder

Adopted into the ancestral lands of the Kamëntsá people, Nico bridges modern mindsets with ancestral wisdom. With a background in filmmaking, art, and social work, Nico brings artistic expression and sensitivity to storytelling and outreach, and manages local field teams and the greenhouse alongside Andres.

Nicholas Busciglio
Grounds Manager Founder

Adopted into the ancestral lands of the Kamëntsá people, Nico bridges modern mindsets with ancestral wisdom. With a background in filmmaking, art, and social work, Nico brings artistic expression and sensitivity to storytelling and outreach, and manages local field teams and the greenhouse alongside Andres.

Nicholas Busciglio
Grounds Manager Founder

Adopted into the ancestral lands of the Kamëntsá people, Nico bridges modern mindsets with ancestral wisdom. With a background in filmmaking, art, and social work, Nico brings artistic expression and sensitivity to storytelling and outreach, and manages local field teams and the greenhouse alongside Andres.

Nicholas Busciglio
Grounds Manager Founder

Adopted into the ancestral lands of the Kamëntsá people, Nico bridges modern mindsets with ancestral wisdom. With a background in filmmaking, art, and social work, Nico brings artistic expression and sensitivity to storytelling and outreach, and manages local field teams and the greenhouse alongside Andres.

Mercedes Agreda
Community Educator

A proud member of the Kamëntsá people, Mercedes embodies a deep reverence for the earth and our sacred elements. Community Educator since 2016, she hosts programs in ancestral medicines, traditional arts & culture, and land conservation to the local community. Faculty student of Madre Tierra at National University.

Mercedes Agreda
Community Educator

A proud member of the Kamëntsá people, Mercedes embodies a deep reverence for the earth and our sacred elements. Community Educator since 2016, she hosts programs in ancestral medicines, traditional arts & culture, and land conservation to the local community. Faculty student of Madre Tierra at National University.

Mercedes Agreda
Community Educator

A proud member of the Kamëntsá people, Mercedes embodies a deep reverence for the earth and our sacred elements. Community Educator since 2016, she hosts programs in ancestral medicines, traditional arts & culture, and land conservation to the local community. Faculty student of Madre Tierra at National University.

Mercedes Agreda
Community Educator

A proud member of the Kamëntsá people, Mercedes embodies a deep reverence for the earth and our sacred elements. Community Educator since 2016, she hosts programs in ancestral medicines, traditional arts & culture, and land conservation to the local community. Faculty student of Madre Tierra at National University.

Andres Salazar
Environmental Engineer

With 10+ years in environmental education and organic farming, Andres brings pragmatic sustainable practices to our projects, like soil mineralization and natural cultivation. He’s rehabilitated and nurtured OIOC’s first small scale reforestation effort in 2023, and tends to OIOC’s greenhouse full time.

Andres Salazar
Environmental Engineer

With 10+ years in environmental education and organic farming, Andres brings pragmatic sustainable practices to our projects, like soil mineralization and natural cultivation. He’s rehabilitated and nurtured OIOC’s first small scale reforestation effort in 2023, and tends to OIOC’s greenhouse full time.

Andres Salazar
Environmental Engineer

With 10+ years in environmental education and organic farming, Andres brings pragmatic sustainable practices to our projects, like soil mineralization and natural cultivation. He’s rehabilitated and nurtured OIOC’s first small scale reforestation effort in 2023, and tends to OIOC’s greenhouse full time.

Andres Salazar
Environmental Engineer

With 10+ years in environmental education and organic farming, Andres brings pragmatic sustainable practices to our projects, like soil mineralization and natural cultivation. He’s rehabilitated and nurtured OIOC’s first small scale reforestation effort in 2023, and tends to OIOC’s greenhouse full time.

Benito Chasoy
Reforestation Lead

Indigenous to the Andean forest, Benito learned tree cultivation and ecological diversity from his father. With 15+ years managing greenhouses and reforestation, he specializes in ecosystem rehabilitation and landscape mitigation with terrain-specific tree planting. Benito has provided trees and guidance for OIOC since 2022.

Benito Chasoy
Reforestation Lead

Indigenous to the Andean forest, Benito learned tree cultivation and ecological diversity from his father. With 15+ years managing greenhouses and reforestation, he specializes in ecosystem rehabilitation and landscape mitigation with terrain-specific tree planting. Benito has provided trees and guidance for OIOC since 2022.

Benito Chasoy
Reforestation Lead

Indigenous to the Andean forest, Benito learned tree cultivation and ecological diversity from his father. With 15+ years managing greenhouses and reforestation, he specializes in ecosystem rehabilitation and landscape mitigation with terrain-specific tree planting. Benito has provided trees and guidance for OIOC since 2022.

Benito Chasoy
Reforestation Lead

Indigenous to the Andean forest, Benito learned tree cultivation and ecological diversity from his father. With 15+ years managing greenhouses and reforestation, he specializes in ecosystem rehabilitation and landscape mitigation with terrain-specific tree planting. Benito has provided trees and guidance for OIOC since 2022.

Rye Lee
Story, Web

Vocationally experienced in early-stage startup software design (Dropbox, Asana) and grantwriting ($1.2M), Rye looks to apply her skills to meaningful, impactful work around ecology, permaculture, natural medicines, and ecovillages. Communes with CSN/OIOC since 2016/2022.

Rye Lee
Story, Web

Vocationally experienced in early-stage startup software design (Dropbox, Asana) and grantwriting ($1.2M), Rye looks to apply her skills to meaningful, impactful work around ecology, permaculture, natural medicines, and ecovillages. Communes with CSN/OIOC since 2016/2022.

Rye Lee
Story, Web

Vocationally experienced in early-stage startup software design (Dropbox, Asana) and grantwriting ($1.2M), Rye looks to apply her skills to meaningful, impactful work around ecology, permaculture, natural medicines, and ecovillages. Communes with CSN/OIOC since 2016/2022.

Rye Lee
Story, Web

Vocationally experienced in early-stage startup software design (Dropbox, Asana) and grantwriting ($1.2M), Rye looks to apply her skills to meaningful, impactful work around ecology, permaculture, natural medicines, and ecovillages. Communes with CSN/OIOC since 2016/2022.

Rye Lee
Story, Web

Rye has raised $1.2M for non-profits, and brings experience from early-stage software design (Dropbox, Asana) and grant writing to assist with operations, storytelling, and web presence. Ally to ecology, permaculture, and natural medicines. Communes with CSN/OIOC since 2016/2022.

Rye Lee
Story, Web

Rye has raised $1.2M for non-profits, and brings experience from early-stage software design (Dropbox, Asana) and grant writing to assist with operations, storytelling, and web presence. Ally to ecology, permaculture, and natural medicines. Communes with CSN/OIOC since 2016/2022.

OIOC

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+57-3128468682

© 2023 OIOC. All rights reserved.

OIOC

Join our newsletter for project updates.

+57-3128468682

© 2023 OIOC. All rights reserved.

TEAM

Taita Juan Bautista Agreda
Kamentsa Tribal Governor Founder

3x Governor of Kamëntsá nation. Indigenous-born, 40+ year experience with Amazonian medicines, lineage of traditional Yageceros. Taita Juan is deeply connected to the natural world and committed to its conservation, dedicating his lifetime to indigenous advocacy and the preservation of natural medicines and ecosystems, through his work at OIOC, Shanayoy, regionally, and speaking abroad.

Taita Juan Bautista Agreda
Kamentsa Tribal Governor Founder

3x Governor of Kamëntsá nation. Indigenous-born, 40+ year experience with Amazonian medicines, lineage of traditional Yageceros. Taita Juan is deeply connected to the natural world and committed to its conservation, dedicating his lifetime to indigenous advocacy and the preservation of natural medicines and ecosystems, through his work at OIOC, Shanayoy, regionally, and speaking abroad.

Erika Salazar
Operations, Outreach, Community Founder

20+ years studying traditions and people of the Andes. Studied Master Plants under Taita Juan, organized non-profit work for the region since 2011. Attuned to the natural world, Erika leads the heartbeat of the organization, from local operational planning to international outreach. Medical Herbalist (Vitalist Tradition), Holistic Therapist (University Esneca, Spain), Minister (Church of Sacred Nature).

Erika Salazar
Operations, Outreach, Community Founder

20+ years studying traditions and people of the Andes. Studied Master Plants under Taita Juan, organized non-profit work for the region since 2011. Attuned to the natural world, Erika leads the heartbeat of the organization, from local operational planning to international outreach. Medical Herbalist (Vitalist Tradition), Holistic Therapist (University Esneca, Spain), Minister (Church of Sacred Nature).

Nicholas Busciglio
Grounds Manager Founder

Adopted into the ancestral lands of the Kamëntsá people, Nico bridges modern mindsets with ancestral wisdom. With a background in filmmaking, art, and social work, Nico brings artistic expression and sensitivity to storytelling and outreach, and manages local field teams and the greenhouse alongside Andres.

Nicholas Busciglio
Grounds Manager Founder

Adopted into the ancestral lands of the Kamëntsá people, Nico bridges modern mindsets with ancestral wisdom. With a background in filmmaking, art, and social work, Nico brings artistic expression and sensitivity to storytelling and outreach, and manages local field teams and the greenhouse alongside Andres.

Mercedes Agreda
Community Educator

A proud member of the Kamëntsá people, Mercedes embodies a deep reverence for the earth and our sacred elements. Community Educator since 2016, she hosts programs in ancestral medicines, traditional arts & culture, and land conservation to the local community. Faculty student of Madre Tierra at National University.

Mercedes Agreda
Community Educator

A proud member of the Kamëntsá people, Mercedes embodies a deep reverence for the earth and our sacred elements. Community Educator since 2016, she hosts programs in ancestral medicines, traditional arts & culture, and land conservation to the local community. Faculty student of Madre Tierra at National University.

Andres Salazar
Environmental Engineer

With 10+ years in environmental education and organic farming, Andres brings pragmatic sustainable practices to our projects, like soil mineralization and natural cultivation. He’s rehabilitated and nurtured OIOC’s first small scale reforestation effort in 2023, and tends to OIOC’s greenhouse full time.

Andres Salazar
Environmental Engineer

With 10+ years in environmental education and organic farming, Andres brings pragmatic sustainable practices to our projects, like soil mineralization and natural cultivation. He’s rehabilitated and nurtured OIOC’s first small scale reforestation effort in 2023, and tends to OIOC’s greenhouse full time.

Benito Chasoy
Reforestation Lead

Indigenous to the Andean forest, Benito learned tree cultivation and ecological diversity from his father. With 15+ years managing greenhouses and reforestation, he specializes in ecosystem rehabilitation and landscape mitigation with terrain-specific tree planting. Benito has provided trees and guidance for OIOC since 2022.

Benito Chasoy
Reforestation Lead

Indigenous to the Andean forest, Benito learned tree cultivation and ecological diversity from his father. With 15+ years managing greenhouses and reforestation, he specializes in ecosystem rehabilitation and landscape mitigation with terrain-specific tree planting. Benito has provided trees and guidance for OIOC since 2022.

Rye Lee
Story, Web

Vocationally experienced in early-stage startup software design (Dropbox, Asana) and grantwriting ($1.2M), Rye looks to apply her skills to meaningful, impactful work around ecology, permaculture, natural medicines, and ecovillages. Communes with CSN/OIOC since 2016/2022.

Rye Lee
Story, Web

Vocationally experienced in early-stage startup software design (Dropbox, Asana) and grantwriting ($1.2M), Rye looks to apply her skills to meaningful, impactful work around ecology, permaculture, natural medicines, and ecovillages. Communes with CSN/OIOC since 2016/2022.

TEAM

Taita Juan Bautista Agreda
Kamentsa Tribal Governor Founder

3x Governor of Kamëntsá nation. Indigenous-born, 40+ year experience with Amazonian medicines, lineage of traditional Yageceros. Taita Juan is deeply connected to the natural world and committed to its conservation, dedicating his lifetime to indigenous advocacy and the preservation of natural medicines and ecosystems, through his work at OIOC, Shanayoy, regionally, and speaking abroad.

Taita Juan Bautista Agreda
Kamentsa Tribal Governor Founder

3x Governor of Kamëntsá nation. Indigenous-born, 40+ year experience with Amazonian medicines, lineage of traditional Yageceros. Taita Juan is deeply connected to the natural world and committed to its conservation, dedicating his lifetime to indigenous advocacy and the preservation of natural medicines and ecosystems, through his work at OIOC, Shanayoy, regionally, and speaking abroad.

Erika Salazar
Operations, Outreach, Community Founder

20+ years studying traditions and people of the Andes. Studied Master Plants under Taita Juan, organized non-profit work for the region since 2011. Attuned to the natural world, Erika leads the heartbeat of the organization, from local operational planning to international outreach. Medical Herbalist (Vitalist Tradition), Holistic Therapist (University Esneca, Spain), Minister (Church of Sacred Nature).

Erika Salazar
Operations, Outreach, Community Founder

20+ years studying traditions and people of the Andes. Studied Master Plants under Taita Juan, organized non-profit work for the region since 2011. Attuned to the natural world, Erika leads the heartbeat of the organization, from local operational planning to international outreach. Medical Herbalist (Vitalist Tradition), Holistic Therapist (University Esneca, Spain), Minister (Church of Sacred Nature).

Nicholas Busciglio
Grounds Manager Founder

Adopted into the ancestral lands of the Kamëntsá people, Nico bridges modern mindsets with ancestral wisdom. With a background in filmmaking, art, and social work, Nico brings artistic expression and sensitivity to storytelling and outreach, and manages local field teams and the greenhouse alongside Andres.

Nicholas Busciglio
Grounds Manager Founder

Adopted into the ancestral lands of the Kamëntsá people, Nico bridges modern mindsets with ancestral wisdom. With a background in filmmaking, art, and social work, Nico brings artistic expression and sensitivity to storytelling and outreach, and manages local field teams and the greenhouse alongside Andres.

Mercedes Agreda
Community Educator

A proud member of the Kamëntsá people, Mercedes embodies a deep reverence for the earth and our sacred elements. Community Educator since 2016, she hosts programs in ancestral medicines, traditional arts & culture, and land conservation to the local community. Faculty student of Madre Tierra at National University.

Mercedes Agreda
Community Educator

A proud member of the Kamëntsá people, Mercedes embodies a deep reverence for the earth and our sacred elements. Community Educator since 2016, she hosts programs in ancestral medicines, traditional arts & culture, and land conservation to the local community. Faculty student of Madre Tierra at National University.

Andres Salazar
Environmental Engineer

With 10+ years in environmental education and organic farming, Andres brings pragmatic sustainable practices to our projects, like soil mineralization and natural cultivation. He’s rehabilitated and nurtured OIOC’s first small scale reforestation effort in 2023, and tends to OIOC’s greenhouse full time.

Andres Salazar
Environmental Engineer

With 10+ years in environmental education and organic farming, Andres brings pragmatic sustainable practices to our projects, like soil mineralization and natural cultivation. He’s rehabilitated and nurtured OIOC’s first small scale reforestation effort in 2023, and tends to OIOC’s greenhouse full time.

Benito Chasoy
Reforestation Lead

Indigenous to the Andean forest, Benito learned tree cultivation and ecological diversity from his father. With 15+ years managing greenhouses and reforestation, he specializes in ecosystem rehabilitation and landscape mitigation with terrain-specific tree planting. Benito has provided trees and guidance for OIOC since 2022.

Benito Chasoy
Reforestation Lead

Indigenous to the Andean forest, Benito learned tree cultivation and ecological diversity from his father. With 15+ years managing greenhouses and reforestation, he specializes in ecosystem rehabilitation and landscape mitigation with terrain-specific tree planting. Benito has provided trees and guidance for OIOC since 2022.

Rye Lee
Story, Web

Vocationally experienced in early-stage startup software design (Dropbox, Asana) and grantwriting ($1.2M), Rye looks to apply her skills to meaningful, impactful work around ecology, permaculture, natural medicines, and ecovillages. Communes with CSN/OIOC since 2016/2022.

Rye Lee
Story, Web

Vocationally experienced in early-stage startup software design (Dropbox, Asana) and grantwriting ($1.2M), Rye looks to apply her skills to meaningful, impactful work around ecology, permaculture, natural medicines, and ecovillages. Communes with CSN/OIOC since 2016/2022.