1To work with local leadership, and together support community-led processes that seek peace, justice and reconciliation, strengthen and equip the church, and care for the cultural and natural environment;
2To build bridges and encourage collaborative partnerships between the communities we accompany and the private sector, churches, and government entities; and
3To invite groups unfamiliar with our context, to engage the communities we accompany in order to reflect, mutually encourage and build meaningful relationships.
The Wájaro Foundation is a legal Colombian NGO and is run by a diverse Board of Directors that receives input from individuals and organizations with both local and international experience.
Though recently founded, the Wájaro Foundation comes as a result of years of engagement with indigenous and vulnerable communities across the Americas—their way of life, their struggle, and their wisdom. At the most fundamental level, Wájaro is an active expression of faith in Jesus, and of reverence for the indigenous and vulnerable communities he desires to see flourish.
The word “Wájaro”, which comes from the language spoken by the Amazonian tribal group known as the Eduria, means “let’s go together” and captures in large-part what the Wájaro Foundation seeks to do—to walk alongside groups of people from indigenous and vulnerable communities that are working on behalf of others.
The Wájaro Foundation believes that what is needed today is a church that is inserted into the history and concrete realities of indigenous and vulnerable communities; one that contributes to the preservation and application of their cultures, one that supports social and political formation, one that is culturally and spiritually incarnate, and one that is on the side of the people and ready to face the oppressor with courage and commitment—namely a truly indigenous and local church, that prophetically defends the life of the community.
The general violent conditions resulting from Colombia’s ongoing 60-year internal armed conflict and its spillover into neighboring countries, especially at the borders, have had a direct and disproportionate impact on the lives of indigenous peoples. Exacerbated by drug cartels, armed groups, and multinational companies pursuing the rich natural resources in their territories, this serious humanitarian situation has resulted in displacement, extreme marginalization and environmental degradation in indigenous communities. Of the 700,000 indigenous peoples in Colombia, it is estimated that 50,000 are victims of human rights violations.
Today, in all of Colombia, there is new hope for peace as a historic truce was signed between the Colombian government and the largest armed rebel group in November of last year. Though indigenous peoples continue to suffer as a result of a war-system that can only be dismantled over the course of time, the possible emergence of a Colombia without war, creates immense possibilities for the healing and strengthening of Colombia’s indigenous community.