by Becky Mendoza April 11, 2017

One of the beautiful things about Changing Tides Foundation is having the opportunity to connect with incredible people doing amazing work to help others all over the world.

We have recently collaborated with world-travel editor, writer, creative strategist, and humanitarian, Jade Moyano (prounounced Jah-Gee Moyano) who has been doing incredible work with the indigenous Ese Ejja tribes of Peru. We are hosting Jade's online fundraising efforts to assist the Ese Ejja and will be supporting her in her work in Peru. You can learn more about Jade's work and find out how you can help, here.

We caught up with Jade to learn more about her story! 

Name:   Jade Moyano

Location:   The World - Between Bali, LA, Peru

Occupation:  Travel Editor, Writer, Creative Strategist


Where are you from/how did you get where you are now?

I am from a small town outside of Rio, in Brazil. It's safe to say I got to where I am now by exercising ridiculous amounts of resilience and always pushing to evolve, grow, learn, and give back to the world. I learned to manifest the things that I want, which combined with hard work is a good recipe for living a life you love. #nevergiveup!

Who Are the Ese Ejja?

The Ese Ejja are a nomadic tribe from the Peruvian and Bolivian Amazon, who dedicate their lives to protecting and conserving the jungle. They were resettled multiple times by the government and their population number has decreased from 15,000 to only about 800 total now.

How did you find out about them?

I went to visit my friend Kerry in Puerto Maldonado, Peru, and she had already been involved in a project with the Ese Ejja women artisans. I became involved too, and quickly realized the need to get their story told and help protect their natural habitat , which is decaying.

Describe the journey and the hardships you faced to gain the acceptance/trust of the Ese Ejja community.

It seems that a lot of amazon tribes receive visits from NGO's, anthropologists and journalists who are genuinely interested in them but don't follow through on their promises, or just simply have a hard time implementing strategies that work and bring long term results. So, after years of dealing with missionaries, researchers, and aid workers, the Ese Ejja are just tired of being treated as a research topic. When we arrived they immediately put us in the foreign aid category and were not very willing to open up and communicate. We did not give up, we made huge efforts to connect by cooking and sharing meals, camping with them and getting to know the children and tribal leaders. It took real heart-to-heart opening to be able to get through and understand their situation without trying to solve their problems. It's so relative, what's a problem to us may be something totally normal to them. I had to learn to go in without judgment and without taking the "'I'm going to fix this" approach. It's about doing what you can, from one human to another.

What are your top 5 goals in working with the Ese Ejja?

  1. To raise awareness about illegal mining and deforestation in the Amazon.
  2. To educate locals on the dangers of exposure to high levels of mercury, which is a serious health risk that some of them are unaware of.
  3. To give the community of Palma Real access to clean drinking water by installing filters in their homes.
  4. To empower women artisans by helping distribute their crafts outside of the village into the local community of Madre de Dios.
  5. To stop the spread of waterborne diseases.

What are your top 3 favorite places to travel to?

Anywhere in Italy because I love the language, Peru for the culture, energy and landscape, parts of Indonesia are very inspiring, culturally. It's hard to choose three, I'm a sucker for new places I'm always in love with a different city.

What advice would you give travelers who want to add an element of service to their trip?

Remember that we are not here to save the world, it's important to not impose your opinions onto other cultures and simply be more humanistic. I see real impact when people connect to each other on a human level, more than just show up and drop off supplies. It's not sustainable to give stuff, the real impact happens when we understand each other and carry that knowledge to everything we do in our lives.

Thank you so much Jade!! You're such an inspiration to us all! 

To find out more information about the Ese Ejja and Jade's work, and to make a donation please visit Jade's Ese Ejja crowdrise fundraiser here.

Becky Mendoza
Becky Mendoza


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