Teyuna Foundation Launches First USA Indigenous Colombian Leader Tour



Mary Gaetjens (mary@teyunafoundation.org), +1-510-393-7671

Grant Wilson (gwilson@earthlaw.org), +1-510-566-1063

NEW YORK CITY, New York—The Teyuna Foundation announces their first ever USA tour today under the umbrella of leading rights-of-nature group Earth Law Center (ELC). According to the Pew Research Center’s 2017 study, (74%) of US adults said, “the country should do whatever it takes to protect the environment.”[1] 

The Teyuna Foundation is dedicated to sharing the wisdom of indigenous Teyuna leaders, 17 of whom will embark on their first-ever tour of the US spanning over 9,400 miles and 40 locations in 16 states from July 10 through September 14. 

“The Teyuna call their home 'The Heart of the World'. If there's paradise at the end of the rainbow, they live in it. Nature responds to them. They’re coming to the US because time is running out for denizens of this land to take a more active roll in nurturing and caring for Planet Earth. The Teyuna plan to inspire them to do so. Those born to earth stewardship, specifically the indigenous nations of the US, comprise less then 2% of the population. The Teyuna plan to support them in the selfless service they've been providing for thousands of years.” says Mary Gaetjens, Teyuna Foundation President.

The Teyuna, the Arhuaco, Kankuamo, Kogi, and Wiwa peoples of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta region of Colombia, number approximately 40,000. They are one of the few remaining fully intact indigenous peoples in the world. Living high in the mountains in dispersed communities, the Teyuna Nation considers its 4 families or tribes, 4 legs of a table. Their separate missions align to form a strong base of support for their service to Mother Nature, a service they believe is the sole reason they exist.

After the secretary general for the highest authority of the Teyuna families, known as the Concejo Territorial de Cabildos, or CTC, called and voiced an urgent request, “Earth's energy is going dormant [dying] in several locations in North America” – planning for the tour began. Though the Teyuna have seen devastation in their homeland, North Americans, they say, are walking the world's most critical precipice.

Leading up to their tour, the Teyuna people and their partners sought fiscal sponsorship from a U.S. organization whose principles matched their own worldviews. ELC was chosen for its commitment to evolving our relationship with our planet, particularly by establishing legal rights for nature.

“Earth Law Center is honored to sponsor the Teyuna Foundation and support its quest to share the teachings of the Teyuna people in the United States,” said Darlene Lee, Executive Director of Earth Law Center. “Indigenous groups have much to teach us about living in harmony with nature so we can resolve the ecological challenges of our time.”

With this new alliance, the Teyuna Foundation will facilitate the travel of 16 mamos and zagas (spiritual leaders) –and their liaison, and support them in performing pagamento, their sacred work, across the U.S. this summer. The tour aims to unite the Teyuna with indigenous leaders from North America to share knowledge and develop new initiatives that highlight the urgency of restoring our planet to health.

The Teyuna Foundation (http://teyunafoundation.org) shares the spiritual teachings and practices of the Teyuna with individuals, organizations, and networks focused on ecological protection and healing. With global environmental threats such as climate change, deforestation, and mass extinction imperiling both nature and humans, the Teyuna Foundation hopes that the Teyuna Tour will highlight new approaches to meeting our planet’s needs. 

Earth Law Center (www.earthlawcenter.org) works to transform the law to recognize and protect nature’s inherent rights to exist, thrive, and evolve. ELC has established rights-of nature laws, policies, and educational initiatives across the world.

[1] http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/04/20/for-earth-day-heres-how-americans-view-environmental-issues/