Saturday, May 4, 2013

One woman saves a mountain!

Mama Aleta an honored recipient of the 2013 Goldman Environmental Prize proves that it just takes one person that cares to make a difference. When the government began issuing permits to mine marble from the mountain in Mama Aleta’s homeland she was moved first to anger and then to action.

“The philosophy of our people is that we regard the Earth as a human body, that stone is our bone, water is our blood, land is our flesh and forest is our hair. If one of them is taken away we are paralyzed.” Mama Aleta  

Mama Aleta set out on a journey to create a quiet protest against the mining and simultaneously remind the community of the importance of honoring Mother Nature. She walked for months meeting with tribal elders, creating solidarity, organizing hundreds of women and reminding all concerned that we cannot put a price on the gifts of Mother Nature nor can we abuse her. They surrounded the mountain for nearly one year to protect it. The women would bring their looms and weave colorful fabrics at the mining sites to remind the workers about the interconnectedness of all things in nature. “The materials used in weaving consist of natural components, the natural fibers, the colors the wooden frames. The protest is actually a reeducation of our people. That we live from nature and we should respect nature. We get our clothes from nature, therefore we need to protect nature. If not we will be naked.” Mama Aleta

Although Mama Aleta and her two-year-old daughter’s lives were threatened and they had to hide in the forest, there was no bloodshed and one day the miners just left, never to return. Take 3 minutes to watch her story, narrated by Robert Redford. Mama Aleta is an inspiration to all that love nature and peace. Thank you Mama Aleta!!!