Known as De'Aruhuä, De'Arua and Wothuha, also written Huǫttųją, or universal phonetics Wötʰïhä or De'atʰïhä; the "Guardians of the Forest."
Piaroa International Foundation
An international foundation dedicated to the preservation of Piaroa culture, traditions, indigeneity and way of life as an aboriginal people of the Amazon and Orinoco watersheds of Colombia and Venezuela. Our foundation works as a mediator and facilitator promoting native cultural values in the interest of creating sustainability to preserve ecosystems in indigenous territories. The principle development is a fund to build and develop an indigenous operated education and training institute in the middle of ancestral lands and territories.
Piaroa International is a representative formation of the Piaroa Protectorate Partnership (PPP), also known as the Piaroa Partnership Platform (PPP), which is co-sponsored by Globcal International and its parent organization Ecology Crossroads Cooperative Foundation, which has a 40 hectare foundation base there called Ekobius International. The property is located at the road (vehicle entry) border prior to entering wholly controlled Piaroa territory.
Who are the Piaroa?
Historically the Piaroa are known as the most peaceful naturally established society (nation or tribe) in South America, they are on the same list as the Amish and the Hutterites who are very well-known for their non-offensive disciplined traditional lifestyles in North America. Locally they are known to other indigenous tribes as the knowledgeable ones and the masters or guardians of the forest.
The Piaroa International Foundation (in formation) is located offshore and is under development currently from Belize because of the economic and sociopolitical instability in Venezuela since 2014. The foundation is being developed to protect the Piaroa culture, customs, traditions and their futures in an uncertain destiny as a people that is under fire and being torn apart by the government and military with dozens of incidents over the past several years resulting in their marginalization and dismantling of their communities and ways of life.
The foundation is to safeguard their resources and to allow them to interact with the international community abroad where they market their art, craftwork and sustainable agricultural production as well as promote tourism.
In 2019 the Piaroa of the Catañiapo, Cuao and Upper Paraguaza Rivers entered into an exclusive agreement to form the De'Aruhuä Cooperative & Trust Fund with Ecology Crossroads in Kentucky to market their cacao beans as chocolate which we will all make together in a co-owned factory. Read more about our chocolate factory here.
In 2020-2022 the foundation will be introducing agricultural cooperatives formed by indigenous peoples that are protected under international law that will market and sell agricultural products including wild cocoa beans, cured coffee, cupuacu, exotic fruits and other products derived from medicinal plants that are grown and harvested sustainably in the Orinoquia in the Guiana Highlands of the Indigenous State of Amazonas. Other products such as cultural artwork, baskets, hand carved furniture and hammocks will be made available as well.
The foundation program is based on protecting 5,000 square kilometers of Piaroa territory to provide ecosystem services, implement sustainable managed agroforestry programs, improvement of production post-harvest pre-processing techniques and watershed protection, there are currently 35 families living in 13 indigenous communities that belong to the program as of November 2019. Currently the project is at its absolute limit so it will grow based on the current members own affiliations.