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Today we invite you to take a moment to give thanks just as many of our Indigenous partners do on a daily basis. 

Harakbut indigenous spirituality and ecological ethics are based on the idea that our mother earth, mountains, forests, sky, rivers, lakes and groves give human sustenance and hence they repay them with great gratitude, respect and offerings in the presence of the “pacha” or cosmos.

For centuries, Harakbut indigenous people of the Southeastern Peruvian Rainforest  have considered mountains, forests, rivers, lakes, waters, wetlands, rocks and groves are sacred.  For the Harakbut spiritual community, these are not just Sacred Natural Sites, but a spiritual home for their ancestral spirits, traditional knowledge production, and a sacred space for the continuity of their ancient spirituality. Similar to native Americans North America, Harakbut community also believes in and worships natural mountains, stones, rivers, trees, and forests.

In ancient times, Harakbut elders used to go to El Rostro for spiritual consultant, ritual enactment, prayers and healing. They asked mountain spirits at El Rostro for medical assistance to cure sickness when someone gets sick in their community. When communal problems arise they also approached  El Rostro for guidance and solution to the conflict. The practice of the eshuva (songs of invocation) is one of ancient spiritual practices among Harakbut-language speaking people. The eshuva (song of invocation) is central to Harakbut socio-spiritual life as it is the part of their belief system about life, death and the cosmic order.

As the Harakbut return to El Rostro, a sacred site lost to them for many years, they sing the eshuva to gather the spirits of nature, plants and supernatural beings to alleviate their illness and promote well being. In 1986 Harvard naturalist, conservationist and sociobiologist Edward Wilson used the term ‘biophilia’ to refer the intimate bond between human beings and other living systems on earth. This is certainly true for Harakbut community in Peru. Today, Harakbut people find inspiration in El Rostro as they work to renew and further develop spiritual relationships with nature.

Just as the Harakbut are reconnecting with their sacred space we invite you to reconnect with the planet on Earth Day, and thank you for helping us protect the rainforest and our planet!