Nemonte Nenquimo

Co-founder, Ceibo Alliance

    "If we allow the Amazon to be destroyed little by little, of course, that affects us as Indigenous peoples, but it will also affect everyone because of climate change. The struggle we do is for all humanity because we all live connected to the land."

    Who are you listening to? Is it your ancestors? Is it women? Is it nature? Connect with Waorani leader Nemonte Nenquimo, and you’ll find an invitation to stop for a moment, listen, and ask yourself: are you a good ancestor?

    In 2020, Team Re:wild member Nemonte  was named one of TIME Magazine’s 100 most influential people (with an introduction by her friend, Leonardo DiCaprio) and she was one of six environmental leaders to be awarded the prestigious Goldman Prize. Nemonte is the president of the Waorani of Pastaza in the Ecuadorian Amazon and a co-founder of the Ceibo Alliance. Ceibo is a Re:wild partner and an Indigneous-led Ecuadorian non-profit organization of the Kofan, Siona, Secoya and Waoriani peoples, aimed at creating a model of Indigenous resistance and international solidarity rooted in the defense of Indigenous territory, cultural survival, and the building of variable solutions-based alternatives to rainforest destruction. 

    In 2019, Nemonte used her voice to defend her community, way of life and culture, and filed a lawsuit to prevent the government from opening Waorani lands in the Ecuadorian Amazon for oil extraction. Thanks in large part to her leadership, the court ruled to protect the Waorani ancestral home, protecting half-a-million acres of primary rainforest from oil drilling and setting a precedent for Indigenous rights across the region. 

    Now Nemonte is continuing the fight, calling on the presidents of the nine Amazonian countries and all world leaders to stop plundering the forests of Amazonia. She is also using her 2020 Goldman Prize to match up to $200,000 in donations to a fund to drive resources to the Amazon to support the Indigenous movement for years to come through a campaign by Ceibo and Re:wild partner Amazon Frontlines. [Donate now]

    Nemonte Earth Day video 2020

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    Wild Facts

    • Nemonte is from the traditional Ecuadorian Waorani community of Nemonpare on the Curaray River.

    • Nemonte was elected the first female president of CONCONAWEP, the Waorani organization of Pastaza province.

    • The Waorani nation consists of legendary hunter-harvesters of south-central Ecuadorian Amazon, who currently number about 5,000 individuals and spread across 54 communities over roughly 2.5 million acres of threatened rainforest.

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