Peace Environment for your health
Inter-dependence between inner and outer environments
How to make our life more stable both physically, mentally and spiritually




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.


Indigenous People – A Wisdom that is Becoming Extinct

Colombia has 82 different indigenous ethnic groups that live in the Amazon rainforests, in the mountains and in the borders of Ecuador, Peru and Brazil. In almost every ethnic group there are traditional authorities that we call our elders. They are the ones that keep a vast richness of knowledge about nature and the environment. Most of them have received from their elders these gifts and wisdom about the world and the relationship with the spiritual beings that sustain this planet. The work of these elders in our communities is to be the stewards of these ancient wisdoms, of the spiritual world that is the basis of their culture and that allows them to protect their territories and nature (ie. water, the animals, the medicinal plants, their food and the artcrafts). Their work is also connected to take care of diseases in their communities, especially spiritual diseases, through their ceremonies and rituals, where they are able to harmonize and bring back to balance the spirit of the sick person with the environment that surrounds them.

Today these “elders”, that we also call “taitas”, “curacas”, chiefs, wise-man, depending on each culture, are becoming extinct because their lands are being invaded and their territories are being exploited indiscriminately, also because new cultural and life styles are being imposed on them and because they are loosing their food (wild animals) and their medicinal plants that allows their survival. The educational and social organization models that come from outside are different from their own system and is resulting in leaders, youth and children that lose interest in their culture, in ancient wisdom and in the knowledge held by the elders.

There are sacred territories that are environmental places of great importance, where the rivers start their travel toward the lowlands. Even in these sacred places, where the elders with his family commune with his ancestors and the spiritual beings of the rainforest, that take care and conserve these sacred sites, even there, the white world is arriving and is destroying these “Life Sanctuaries”of the planet and of our cultures.