Sani Warmi Artisan Project
The Sani Isla Kichwa Arts and Crafts project, developed in collaboration with our nonprofit partner in Ecuador, Conservación y Desarrollo (CyD), combined small business development, environmental education, and conservation of the Amazon rainforest. Specifically, we worked with the women of Sani Isla, empowering them to create, sell, and market artisan crafts made out of local seeds, vines, and fibers as a means of earning a sustainable income while avoiding deforestation.
Over the years, the community faced increasing pressure to open up their lands for oil prospecting, but they consistently refused. This program continues to play a large and important role in protecting over 50,000 acres of pristine rainforest land from outside threats.
As the project has developed and handicraft sales have increased, Sani Warmi has become increasingly self sufficient. The project is now generally regarded as environmentally sound, economically productive, and socially just. This achievement triggers RP’s preplanned exit strategy. Once the terms have been negotiated, our direct involvement in the project will end, although RP will continue to serve as a contact and counsel. Our goal now is to expand this model into other communities in the Napo river region.
- Approach new communities neighboring Sani Isla on the banks of the Napo River.
- Find new groups of women interested in the conservation of their territory and increased community income.
- Boost the personal development of the women and empower them.
The community of Sani Isla is located on Napo river bank, near the borders of the Yasuní National Park and Cuyabeno Natural Reserve in the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest in Sucumbios and Orellana provinces.