Welcome to Colombia. I’m Sierra but the indigenous people call me Heart of the World. I like that.
See, I’m a place like no other. I am the steepest coastal ascent from tropical reefs through sandy beaches to snow-capped glacial mountains - all within an area a tenth the size of Belgium.
In a single hectare I house 650 tree species. Think of me as a microcosm of life.
I’ve been under the protection and stewardship of indigenous communities for longer than anyone can remember. They’ve really helped me blossom.
Sounds dreamy. But over the past 50 years, a quarter of ancestral lands have been lost to illegal squatters and extractive industries - leaving me broken. The threat to all life in the forest has never been greater.
But here’s the good news:
Alongside my indigenous guardians and European investors, we’re restoring 27,000 hectares by 2027.
27 million trees
Natural born protectors
Introducing the Arhuaco
Our bond with the Sierra and the Forest runs deep
For us Arhuaco, it’s more than just our home. Our worldview embodies a central idea: the Sierra Nevada is sacred ground, the heart of the world. Protecting her is woven into our lives and the very fabric of our culture. Even our attire resembles the Sierra: white hats like snow caps and long flowing river-like hair.
For us, this land is a living person complete with feet, hair, veins, and organs. Thoughts are locked in her snow and ice. Meltwater from the glaciers is lifeblood. Not only ours, but for tens of millions of Colombians in the plains who depend on it too.
We resisted and survived the different waves of colonisation (legal and illegal), we warned about the negative impacts of mining, we fought against massive deforestation.
Now we ask your support to do what we have always done, protect and care for the forests that should be sacred to all of us.
Buy back the territory and protect 13k hectares of endangered forest- that’s 11.2 million trees.
Regenerate 14k hectares of forest - that’s another 15.8 million trees.
Arm the indigenous community with high tech surveillance and build joint ventures (food forests / agroforestry (cacao / carbon sequestration) on up to 10% of the land, with rights owned by the Arhuaco.
Apply best practice. Learn & share most productive techniques to boost biodiversity.