Peacebuilding en Las Américas

Kichwa Women Leaders in Cotacachi Deliver Peace Baskets to Community

by Dr. Monica Maher, PLA Initiative Coordinator

Ecuador is one of the countries in South America hardest hit by Covid-19. Peacebuilding en las Américas (PLA) partners in Ecuador are now enthusiastically engaged in the Peace Baskets project in order to address the dire effects of the Covid-19 lockdown: widespread hunger and domestic violence.

Indigenous peoples have been among those in Latin America most greatly impacted by the pandemic, and the population of Ecuador is almost one-third indigenous.

PLA’s partners in Ecuador are Kichwa women leaders in Cotacachi, a town in the Andean Highlands, who have been trained in AVP. Through the Peace Baskets project, they are reaching out to Kichwa women-headed households, women victim-survivors of domestic violence, and large families with elders to offer basic food stuffs, disinfectants, and messages of motivation and peace.

The women leaders are also planting vegetable gardens at home and encouraging youth and other women to do the same, with plans for a fair to exchange their diverse agricultural produce upon harvest.