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What can the global community do to help Ecuador?

Meg Mitchell
Posts: 204
Location: Gulf Islands, Canada
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As most of you probably know, Ecuador has been locked in a general strike for many days now, triggered by their fuel subsidy being cut. Normally I'd be against fuel subsidies, but I think in this case, there are a lot of working class people, particularly indigenous people, who were relying on that subsidy for their survival. Cutting the fuel subsidies isn't going to push these people towards more sustainable technologies, because they can't afford them and they aren't available locally; it just means they can no longer afford to live period. The government is now bringing in tear gas, curfews, and other measures against the protesters, and many protesters are dead or seriously injured.

Usually in cases like this it's better to donate money instead of goods, but I've been looking around for places to donate money and haven't found any. As a regular person living far away, I hate feeling like there's nothing I can do to help. Does anyone have any insight into what the heck is going on down there and what a regular person can do to help?
Hugo Morvan
Posts: 694
Location: France, Burgundy, parc naturel Morvan
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I get what you're saying and feel for those people, I'm in France, same thing, people can't afford to live anymore.
I felt really double about the yellow jacket protest too. They have a lot of their demands met by the way, because the powers that be could not have them go on forever, the police force needed to protect the elites was too massive. So more debt and lending for France, which is also not sustainable.

We literally live in a world where we eat petrol, that's what people got to start to understand. It's not going to last. It's a finite planet.
Poor people going to burn all the oil, they can't afford to care about the environment even if we cut down our emissions.
The only thing we can do is plant trees. A thousand trees per person is not a lot, and we will sequester the carbon.
If we put our minds to it. There are poor men in third world countries that planted hundreds of thousands trees.
But there is no money to be made from that. And people find soil yucky, so ain't gonna happen.

Helping Ecuador really? Rocket mass heaters maybe? There is a lot to say for that perma culture has a much better chance in third world countries to take root.
People are not as damned lazy, still have a connenction to nature, they're not entitled, they're hard, and have the ability to be happy with small progress.
Maybe sponsoring local permaculture projects is the best?
J Davis
Posts: 346
Location: East tn
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The indigenous are in the streets because people with badges are selling their food forest for lumber, oil, and minerals.

Ecuador, like many countries, is caught in a proxy war, albeit early stages.

Check out the book "rising powers, shrinking planet " for the big picture.

How can we help them? They are qiite possibly us in a few years. So its an inportant question. If we dont help them, who will be able to help us?

Paul's backyard ideas highlight whats is in our span of control. The challenge is that as long as extractive and military forces are out of control, our food forest can be ruined with a simple policy change/reclassification.

Still, we do the next right thing. And we pray. And we cry a little now and again.
Chris Kott
Posts: 3573
Location: Toronto, Ontario
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This is tough. Honestly, we'd need the global will to fix things in Ecuador and at least a dozen other places in similar straits.

Practically speaking, we can rally together to muster that will, doing things like identifying not only the gross products, but the specific companies in particular that are responsible for pressuring the local governments (people with badges) to sell the food forests for lumber, oil, and minerals. If we do that, we have options in voting with out dollar, and getting others to do so.

This isn't exactly the same, but it's laterally related. We all know that palm oil is a concern. For that reason, my much better half and I have stopped buying all products that contain palm oil. It's a lot of ingredient reading, but we do that anyways, and we can't really eat many processed foods anymore, but if everyone did exactly that, palm oil wouldn't be an issue.

I think that, for Ecuador and all places that share it's issues, we should boycott certain substances and products derived from destructive environmental practices. I think we should develop a list and try to get some traction here on Permies, if that's the sort of thing the membership will get behind.

We can take pictures of ingredients lists and maybe have a wiki that lists common brands and goods that we could eschew in favour of competing products that are better sourced.

We could contact organisations, like SumOfUs.org, that rally public sentiment for good causes and against bad ones, and that can stop platforms from allowing them advertising and publicity. If these bad products can't be bought on Amazon, that's a serious chunk of market share down the drain.

Because we're consumers distributed across the globe, what we can do, I think, is vote with our dollars and get as many others on-side as we can.

Great question, by the way. That's the first step after realising something's wrong.

Travis Johnson
Posts: 4958
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A Chinese Proverb says "that the start of truth is to call something by its real name". I suspect when we skim off the dross, it will end up being Greed, and that is what needs to be addressed.

As for how to act, I do a lot for the impoverished in Moldova, and I do so because I am "Glocal" That is Global/Local. I think we are amiss to say "let them fend for themselves, we have enough troubles over here", but just as amiss to ignore the impoverished in this country."

I am not sure exactly how to help, but I think promoting the message of being Glocal in these types of matters, is a start at least, to generating compassion for a foreign nation.

Here are some ideas that maybe someone can start, or find those already working on, based on what our church does on the global side:

Sends worker teams to build rocket stoves to help heat and cook meals in their homes/huts.

We have, and sponsor, a "sister church" in Romania

We sponsor a woman who works full-time in Moldova doing market gardening. Teams occassionally go over and work with farmers on crops, sheep, dairy and chickens. We also provide long term loans to Moldova Farmers.

We provide motorcycles for people in Thailand

We provide food that goes across the border from Columbia clandestinely into Venezuela

Are part of an 80 member group that works together for aid to Moldova so that as many services as possible can be provided with no overlap. And so other aid organizations know what we are doing, and we know what they are doing, so that referrals can be made for needy Moldavian's.

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