Beth Pitts interviews Alexandra Narváez, an indigenous Kofán defender from Ecuador’s northern Amazon region. Alexandra’s community of Sinangoe is famous for winning a historic legal battle against gold mining in 2018, which protected 79,000 acres of mega-biodiverse primary rainforest and the headwaters of one of Ecuador’s most important rivers. As the first woman to join her community’s territorial guard, Alexa is a trailblazer. She is a friend and ally of Goldman 2020 prize winner Nemonte Nemquino and was profiled alongside her in Amazon Frontlines’ recent piece, Meet Seven Indigenous Women Fighting for their Cultures & Territories.
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Beth Pitts has been working with indigenous communities in Ecuador since 2013, especially those defending their territories from extractivism. From these defenders, Beth learned that community-led eco-tourism enables them to protect threatened ecosystems and unique ways of life. This inspired her to write the Moon Guide to Ecuador & The Galapagos Islands (2019), the first international guidebook on Ecuador with a focus on ethical travel.
Beth is part of the Writers Rebel team, and is excited by the alchemic possibilities of uniting the two forces that give her the most hope for the future: indigenous nature defenders and Extinction Rebellion.