Integrated TRADITIONAL Medicines
Peace Education for Better Health
Towards an integrated world health system, on the physical, mental and spiritual levels




José Sebastián Jansasoy - Colombia

JOSÉ SEBASTIÁN JANSASOY was born in Villagarzón, Putumayo, Colombia on June, 30, 1961. He belongs to the INGA Ethnical group. He carried out his primary studies in the Rural school in Puerto Asís and Bachelor’s degree in “Normal Superior” of Sibundoy (in course). Mr. Jansasoy has been studying Indigenous Traditional Medicine for 25 years with the Cofan, Siona and Inga Indigenous Peoples and for the past 10 years with Taita Querubin Queta Alvarado, Maximum Authority of the Cofan People. He has assisted to the following courses, seminars, workshops and scholarships:

• Human Rights and on The Right for Education, Summer University. Geneve, Switzerland.
• Diploma on formulation and evaluation of environmental projects. National University of Colombia.
• Communitarian Development
• Indigenous Legislation
• Social Projects Management
• Social and environmental planning
• Territorial Ordering
• Public Health
• Resolving of conflicts


Mr. Jansasoy’s work experience can be summarized as follows:
He has been the Executive Director of FUNDACIÓN ZIO-A’I “UNIÓN DE SABIDURÍA” since 1995, responsible for the Direction and Organizational Development of the organization, following up projects for indigenous communities; supervising management of indigenous proposals and projects at a national and international level. He as been the Adviser and traditional counselor to the COFAN PEOPLES PERMANENT WORKING TABLE from 1998 to 2003 for the elaboration and management of the Cofan People’s Life Plan. He has participated in international meetings in Spain, Switzerland, Belgium and the United States. He gave a lecture at the Amazonian Medicinal Plants Congress in Hervora - Verona – Italy in 1997. Participated in the Human Rights meeting in the University of Seattle in the United States. He was the adviser to the Senator Gabriel Muyuy from 1991-1992 and the National Treasurer of ONIC – Indigenous National Organization of Colombia from 1990-1991. He has been the adviser to the Investment Plan for Indigenous Peoples in Putumayo since 1990. From 1988 to 1990 he has been the General Secretary of the Zonal Indigenous Organization of Putumayo.


• Working group for Indigenous Peoples and their right for developing. United Nation’s Office, Geneve, Switzerland, July 23 - 27 / 2001.
• Lecturer about the impacts of fumigation in the erradication of ilicit coca crops as part of the Plan Colombia. Amazon Alliance, Seattle – United States. April 19 - 24 / 2001.
• Special guest for the seminar “Comerce, intelectual property and biological and genetic resources for Latin America”. Cusco Perú. February 22 - 23 / 2001.
• Guest for the Experts Meeting about Tradicional Knowledge. UNCTAD October - November 03/2000. Geneve – Switzerland.
• Internatinal Encounter for Peace, Human Rights and Internacional Humanitarian Right. San José de Costa Rica – October 2000.
• Indigenous Peoples World Consultation in Health Politics. World Health Organization. Geneve, Switzerland, November 1999.
• Advisorty for the strengthning of communitarian organizations. Bolivia, Aimara community. November 1999.
• Harverd University: Activity for Hydrocarbon Explotation in Indigenous Territories. Miami, USA, Octubre 1999
• Preparatory meeting for the Biodiversity Convention on the 8J article> consulting indigenous communities. WATU Indigenous Action. Sevilla - Spain 1999.
• World Nation’s Encounter for the Biodiversity Convention. General Secretary United Nations. Nairobi – Africa, November 1999.


Co-author of Life Plan of the Cofan People and the Indigenous Town Councils of the Guamuez and San Miguel Valley’s.


In 1982, the Indigenous National Organization of Colombia – ONIC, was born as the organizational mean for the defense of indigenous peoples rights and the conservation of Tradicional Knowledge in our country.

In 1991, as a selected member of ONIC, I had the opportunity to participate in the implementation of several activities promoted by ONIC. During this time, I was able to identify different weaknesses and main problems that specially concerned me. On one hand, the lack of actions regarding the recognition of traditional knowledge, and on the other, an increasing process of cultural loss and ancestral values within our Indigenous Peoples; remarkably, the value and recognition of our Elders and their wisdom for our rights defense and future as Indigenous Peoples.

Since 1992, lead by the Cofan elders, we started a great and profound reflection whose main purpose was to seek an organizational model that could really work to strengthen and recognize the traditional knowledge and spiritual guidance of the elders of our peoples. That was how we began to think strongly in a path that could lead us to this future organization, with me as the responsable person named by the Elder’s to develop a proposal that could embrace the objectives and vision of the Elder’s for the well-being of their own indigenous communities, indigenous peoples in general and humanity, as well as for the defense of our rights as Indigenous Peoples.

Between 1992 and 1995, we started working from our sacred center’s or Traditional Yage Houses, realizing traditional ceremony’s with our Elders, with the special objective of designing and giving concrete structure to the organization we wanted: this organization should be able to develop the thought and orientation of the Indigenous Traditional Authorities and had to be a base-kind organization.

On October of 1995, the ZIO-A’I Foundation “Union of Wisdom” was officially created, with me as its Executive Director; or in other words, with me as the delegate of the Cofan and Siona Elders to undertake and lead the great mission that for several years we had been working on and which main charachteristics we stated as: an alternative proposal for pursuing a path that could orientate our future generations; protect Mother Nature; and the recovery of the environment together with our cultural values, all based on the special guidance of our Elders and the blessing of our Creator Father.

Taita Querubín Queta Alvarado, as the Maximum Authority of the Cofan People, Taita Francisco Piagüaje as the Maximum Authority of the Siona People, Taita Diomedez Díaz and Taita Saulo Gil Botina, were the base of this construction, the four pillar’s of our organization.

Today, this initial proposal has grown up to be a structural, well-based and technical organization that is getting continually strengthen with the achievement of its objectives and the permanent orientation of our Elders, specially with the formulation and implementation of the Life Plan of the Cofan People and the Indigenous Town Councils of the Guamuez and San Miguel Valley; as a Peace alternative and a social development model for our country, in the construction of a better world.

Chigatsw afepaenha! (Thank’s in Cofan language)