Conduct intercultural dialogue with URACCAN Las Minas university community
The university community of the Las Minas campus discussing the resilience of indigenous peoples.
José Garth Medina

The health center of the communities was always the forest, the mountain.

An intercultural dialogue took place on Monday, August 10, 2020, in the Mama Cheya auditorium of URACCAN, on its campus in Siuna, called "Indigenous Peoples and Resilience in the Context of COVID-19, with the aim of commemorating the International Day of Indigenous Peoples.

The dialogue was articulated, from rectory, between Vice-Chancellor, CEIMM, the area of Culture and Student Welfare, promoting intercultural dialogue to make visible the historical struggles of the indigenous peoples of the Nicaraguan Caribbean Coast and their implications in personal and collective vines, and the practices they promote before the pandemic since their worldview and spirituality.

La PhD. Leonor Ruiz Calderón, vice-chancellor of the Las Minas compound, said that thanks to the knowledge of indigenous peoples and their relationship with the natural world, we have known for many years ago that environmental degradation triggers diseases.

The vice-chancellor said that indigenous peoples are seeking their own solutions to this pandemic, are taking action and using their own traditional knowledge and practices, such as voluntary isolation and ensement of their territories, as well as preventive measures disseminated and addressed in their own languages.

Teacher Maria Cristina Feliciano, indigenous leader of the Mayangna nation's women's organization, explained that indigenous peoples and women are in their communities preparing the drinks that have been tested to cure diseases, including COVID-19.

The struggles that indigenous peoples have fought have achieved some fruits and one of the language law is, in Nicaragua, but the implementation of laws as peoples and as women is needed, Feliciano said.

With the crisis in the territories and the pandemic has affected us, above all women have suffered discrimination, structural violence and as a people we must unite since this crisis, and there is better organization to deal with this pandemic and other problems they face.

"Women and indigenous peoples have set their sights on traditional life-saving medicine, and women and leaders have faced the pandemic, we have had deaths, but in our communities there is more unity to exchange medicinal plants and ancestral knowledge to address it," Feliciano said.

Briediel Rosales, a miskita student who remains in the student residence in Siuna, assured that the Miskito people have used traditional medicine, which gives unique value to nature and gives importance to each herb: ginger, cuculmeca, coriander root, eucalyptus, magician's shell, big man, are the ones used in the community. In the student residence what you have are prevention measures, such as hand washing, mask use and social estating, the miskita student argued.

The teacher Baudilio Miguel Lino, indigenous teacher of URACCAN Las Minas, reported that indigenous peoples never expected a health center to solve their diseases; its health center was nature, mountain, forest, oil, animal helmets, horns and that is still used today.

URACCAN, as an intercultural community university, promotes spaces for reflection to recreate and revitalize the cultures of our peoples and communities.