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Sani Warmi Women's Organization

Sani Warmi, a women’s organization in the Kichwa community of Sani Isla, is Rainforest Partnership’s longest-running partnership. For over ten years, the women of Sani Warmi have led projects focused on traditional handicrafts, ecotourism, and sustainable production of cacao and coffee, creating new sources of income and economic independence for themselves and their families. The women also lead conservation projects, such as the Sani Warmi Charapa Turtle Sanctuary, and represent their community and region at biodiversity and conservation conferences and other events. 

Impact

Location

Sani Isla, a Kichwa community in the Ecuadorian provinces of Sucumbios and Orellana, on the border of Yasuni National Park (one of the most biodiverse places in the world)

Impact

  • Generating reliable income, greater opportunities and financial independence for the women and their families
  • Protecting the local population of threatened Charapa river turtles
  • Empowering women to support the entire community of over 600 people 
  • Protecting 50,000+ acres of the Amazon by strengthening capacities to lead conservation and resistance to oil companies and other threats

Project Overview

Since 2009, Rainforest Partnership has worked closely with the women of Sani Warmi (warmi means “women” in Kichwa) to create a successful and replicable model for women-led sustainable enterprises. 

The women create diverse and beautiful artisan handicrafts, from pottery to woven baskets, beadwork, and wooden carvings of animals, canoes, spears, and oars. They have also produced coffee and artisan chocolates with our partner Conservación y Desarrollo, using cacao grown, fermented, and dried in the community.  

The income and opportunities created through these projects supports the community’s efforts to protect the 50,000+ acres of land owned by Sani Isla, parts of which are in the famously biodiverse rainforest of Yasuni National Park and Cuyabeno Nature Reserve. 

The women are active leaders in forest and biodiversity conservation and often participate in conferences and other events to share their expertise in community and women-led sustainable projects and conservation. With more than a decade of successful project experience, they offer a model to women in communities with less external support, and their initiatives have since inspired similar projects in the region.

Partners

Community Partners: Sani Warmi, community of Sani Isla

Partner Organizations: Conservación y Desarrollo, Centro Lianas

Current Actions on the Ground

Artisan handicrafts

  • Creating new income streams by using natural resources from the forest to make traditional crafts like beadwork, pottery, carvings, etc. 

Community ecotourism

  • Hosting visitors from the community’s ecolodge Sani Lodge for traditional Kichwa cooking demonstrations and meals, crafts making demonstrations, and other cultural activities to share and pass on Kichwa culture

Charapa Turtle Conservation Project

  • Restoring and protecting the local population of charapa turtles, an important and threatened species, by running a nursery to raise and release baby charapa turtles 

Capacity building and community resources

  • Coordinating capacity building and training activities; sourcing project materials and infrastructure like solar panels, clean water systems, and internet access; and providing technical and project management support

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

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Conservation Strategies for Long-Term Impact

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