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Indigenous migration: Otavalo diaspora in historical perspective

Migration A–Z

I

  1. Ella Schmidt

Published Online: 4 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781444351071.wbeghm593

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

How to Cite

Schmidt, E. 2013. Indigenous migration: Otavalo diaspora in historical perspective. The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 FEB 2013

Abstract

In July 1991 over 100 Otavalo from Ariasucu in the northern Ecuadorian Andes went to the shore of Lake San Pablo to comply with their communal work (faena) on the potable water project that the community had long lobbied for. At the insistence of the state engineer in charge, they had gone this day to clear the land around the spring that would provide water for Ariasucu. When they got there, however, women from villages surrounding the spring complained that if the Otavalo went through with their water project, their only source for clean water would be destroyed. After a long negotiation the Otavalo present decided instead to go to the neighboring field of an absentee landowner, clear it, and install the pump there. After the communal work was finished, the state engineer supervising the work got on his motorcycle and went back to the city. Later that day, one of the workers who had participated in the faena, an ex-president of the community, took a plane “with three other local textile dealers and flew to Europe to sell handicrafts” (Colloredo-Mansfeld 1998: 186).

Keywords:

  • indigenous peoples;
  • South America;
  • rights;
  • social justice;
  • poverty