Ancestral Wisdom and Water Sources

By: Milton Lozano  

In the last 10 years, the Colombian departmental government has implemented sustainable development policies within the sacred territories of the indigenous community. Electric towers and second generation roads have been built on the community's lands, which have particularly affected their water sources, contaminating it with chemical and industrial materials. This has meant that their social and cultural structures, as well as daily living practices, have been drastically transformed. This has been damaging and destructive to the indigenous community of Coyaima. With the contamination of water sources, their economic dynamics and livelihoods have been completely hit. The religious ancestral identity of the community, its ancestral wealth and its natural ecosystem are in great danger, due to the accelerated process of sustainable economic development. In addition, damage to water sources and nature could become irreversible. This situation is even worse, taking into account that these development policies have been decided and implemented without taking into consideration, at any time, the opinion and the religion of the indigenous community. This has been invisibilized politically and legally. We will show in detail the problematic situation in which the ancestral community of Coyaima is located. But we are also interested in showing that an alternative sustainable development model would be much better suited to interact with the community and to protect its natural ecosystem and its religious ancestral identity that has been maintained since immemorial time.

Water, Sustainability, Religion, Indigenous, Ancestral, Spirituality
The Politics of Religion
Virtual Lightning Talk

Dr. Milton Lozano

Professor, Humanities, University of Ibague, Colombia