A Maltese woman who is passionate about the environment and human rights is working on a project in Ecuador and is seeking financial help in order to be able to produce a documentary about the negative effects of big corporate companies’ activities on the Amazon rainforest and the indigenous tribes who live there.
21-year-old Mariah Cutajar is working on the documentary project (watch the trailer here) along with five other people. They will be going on an eight-day journey deep in the Amazon rainforest “to show the truth and how important the tribes and the forest are for us”.
It is a non-profit project, but one that requires financial support to cover expenses; to this end, Mariah and the rest of the group behind the documentary have started a crowdfunding campaign to raise the necessary funds.
Mariah explained that the costs will cover transport, a guide, supplies such as books and toys for young members of the tribes and other essentials that the tribes have requested.
So how did this all start?
Back in Malta, Mariah worked as an artisan creating Maltese incense; her passion to create items started three years ago, little knowing that the market can affect one’s culture, as she put it.
Indigenous communities in South America are being scammed, killed and removed from their own land
Upon realising that she might be “part of appropriating cultures”, Mariah set out to start doing some research about the products she was creating and started developing a passion for different cultures. In doing so, she was shocked to see that indigenous communities in South America are being scammed, killed and removed from their own land because of minerals such as oil and gold.
“This is where I found my purpose. I thought I’m already in this, why not go further and do something to help out?”
Mariah spoke about the fact that lack of education is what makes indigenous people sell their land to billion-dollar companies for little money.
The tribes and the forest protect 80% of biodiversity
These companies have been destroying the forest and river. In this documentary we want to educate the rest of the world and the indigenous people themselves how important they are to us and the environment. They protect 80% of biodiversity left in the world.”
The documentary will also feature exclusive interviews with indigenous people who work with these companies.
“This is about awareness and education; people know little about these tribes and how they are replanting, giving back life to earth, every single day. We hope that influential people will start taking action against these companies.”
The documentary is called ‘The Guardians of Pachamama’ which refers to ‘the ones that protect our earth’, meaning the indigenous people, as well as the river, the animals, the trees, the wind, the sky, the sun and the moon.