Helena Siren Gualinga is a 17 year old activist, of Kichwa-indigenous and swedish origin. Helena has been involved in youth & indigenous organizing and has previously attended The Children's Climate conference and nominated for the Children's Climate Price for her advocacy for climate and environmental justice.
Nemonte was raised in the traditional Waorani community of Nemonpare, located on the Curaray River, where her family still lives. She left her community to study at a missionary school, which she left upon realizing that she was being forced by missionaries to leave behind her cultural identity and her history. She returned to Waorani territory determined to help her people.
Sônia Bone Guajajara is the leading voice of Brazil's National Indigenous Movement. Hailing from a Guajajara village in the state of Maranhão, she was vice-coordinator of the Brazilian Amazon's indigenous network COIAB for four years prior to assuming her national leadership position in Brasilia. Today Sônia's tireless leadership places her on the forefront of both Brazil's resistance to the Bolsonaro regime and a global movement to halt the government's manifold attacks on indigenous rights and territories.
Leslie VanSant brings a wealth of international organization and non-profit fundraising and communication experience to the Rainforest Trust. Across her career she has worked successfully building teams and stakeholder support in humanitarian relief and response, conservation, arts and community organizations large and small. Her travels to some of the world’s most vulnerable places in response to disasters, have given her a unique perspective on the importance of the intersection of land and habitat preservation with human development. Leslie holds a Bachelors from the University of Richmond in History and Art History.
Paul Rosolie is a naturalist, author, and award-winning wildlife filmmaker who has specialized in rainforests and endangered wildlife for over a decade. He is the director of Junglekeepers and Tamandua Expeditions, protecting over 30,000 acres of Amazonian habitat. As an author Paul’s mission is to explore the relationship between humans and nature, wild animals, and our vanishing wild places. Rosolie has written for National Geographic, published Mother of God: An Extraordinary Journey into the Uncharted Tributaries of the Western Amazon, and had shows on Discovery Channel and Netflix. His 2019 book The Girl and the Tiger is a novel based on ten years in the jungles of India.
Alexander Zaitchik is a freelance journalist who has worked throughout the U.S., Eastern Europe, Russia, South Asia and Latin America, where in the last decade he has focused on social conflicts in the rainforests of Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, and Brazil. His most recent reporting trip to the region was this past winter, when he traveled the indigenous lands in the Brazilian states of Rondonia, Acre and Amazonas. That story, underwritten by the Pulitzer Center, appeared at the Intercept, where he previously wrote about oil pollution in the Peruvian Amazon. Alexander has written for Foreign Policy, Rolling Stone, the Guardian, the New Republic, the Nation to name a few.
Don William Llerena Murayari is an artist, musician, and palero curandero, currently practicing in Pucallpa, Peru. He comes from a line of Quechua-mestizo and Cocama paleros, or healers who make medicines, remedies, and give dietas with the trees of the upper Peruvian Amazon. William was raised in a small Cocama village outside of Iquitos, where his father and grandfather treated their community, and themselves lived well into their mid-90s.
An ethnobotanical conversation with Don William Llerena Murayari about the medicinal plants and trees of the upper Amazon.