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"Self-development occurs to the extent that indigenous peoples have the autonomy to decide on their future, and this is only possible when indigenous peoples own, dominate and above all, have control over the territory”
Representative of the Nasa people
, Cauca, Colombia.

Presentation

Almáciga* is a non-profit NGO, with legal statute of association. It works since 1996 supporting the politic, cultural, social and economic processes of indigenous peoples and the recognition, exercise and effective implementation of their rights.
Almáciga promotes the reflection and analysis in common, the use of participative methodologies, the exchange of information and experiences among communities and peoples from Latin America and other regions. We encourage the construction of an intercultural approach to development co-operation, based on the respect and appreciation of different cultural terms placed on the scale of development and human rights. We believe that every people´s culture constitutes its wealth and this is the best way to face the challenges of their own development.
The team gathers professionals from different countries, whose main heritage consists on their work experience with indigenous communities and organizations, as well as with non-governmental organizations. Through the years, we have been knitting a wide network of collaborators, men and women from whom we have been learning and constructing a theory and a practice about human rights, cultural diversity and co-operation.

Principles

  • Almáciga is a professional and independent working group, unattached to any religious or political ideology.
  • Almáciga has a performance creterion based on the respect and promotion of the cultural diversity. Almaciga wouldn´t carry out any activity that may cause damage or  impose limitations on cultural diversity.
  • Almáciga does not work with organizations or institutions that carry out activities against the fundamental rights and public freedom of indigenous peoples.
  • In its work and its organization, Almáciga promotes a effective and full participation, as a political, democratic and social criterion. Participation must be understood according to the cultural criteria of the peoples we work with and it must be a defining criterion of any actions to be implemented as well as the projects we support.
  • Almáciga promotes through its work a sustainable development, endogenous and participative.
  • Almáciga does its work in association with the indigenous peoples´ organizations and institutions, as well as support NGO.

Goals

  • To support the recognition, promotion and exercise of the fundamental rights of indigenous peoples.
  • To strengthen the organizational processes of the indigenous peoples.
  • To support the recovery of their culture, the acknowledgment of the cultural diversity and the intercultural phenomenon.
  • To back up the creation and the strengthening of the mechanisms for real and full participation of indigenous peoples in the negotiating processes about the multilateral instruments for human rights and environment.
  • To create the instruments to make easier the horizontal exchange of indigenous peoples´ experience in development and organization.
  • To create the instruments to raise public awareness in the Spanish society about the rights and reality of indigenous peoples.
  • To favor the design and the implementation of specific policies and instruments of co-operation for the development with indigenous peoples.

Members

Mikel Berraondo López. Jurist and lawyer. European Master in Human Rights and Democratization. Researcher specialized in human rights and rights of indigenous peoples.

Marta Borraz Fernández. Bachelor´s Degree in Philology. Teacher. Expert in consciousness-raising about interculturality and oral tradition research (Nicaragua).
Patricia Borraz Fernández. Bachelor´s Degree in Art History. Master in International Co-operation (IUDC/UCM). Expert in supporting and raising awareness campaigns about indigenous peoples. Consultant and technical assistant for international participation of indigenous peoples in United Nations, especially in the Convention on Biologic Diversity.

Luz Myriam Buitrago Escobar. Social assistant. Master in research, management and local development (UCM). Social mediation for immigrants course. Expert in participative research processes and participation of the community. Expert supporting institutional strengthen processes, cultural recovery and training, planning and management actions for development.

Carlos Deocón Bononat. Jurist. Ph. D. in Fundamental Rights, by the University Carlos III., in Madrid. Expert in counseling and training in the field of co-operation for development, human rights, and humanitarian international law. Researcher and technical consultant for indigenous organizations in relation to collective rights and indigenous colonial reserves.

Loreto Ferrer Moreu. Bachelor´s Degree in Law and Economy. Master in Human Rights by Columbia University. Expert in counseling on planning, management and assessment of co-operation projects for development of indigenous peoples and international participation processes of indigenous peoples in the United Nations frame.

Ángel E. García Pérez. Anthropologist. Expert in local communities and protected areas, use of natural resources, planning and management of development, organizational development, processes and methods of participation, anthropologic research (ethnography,  etnohistory, intercultural relations) and translation.

Antonio Monsalvo García. Jurist and lawyer. Expert in social economy and co-operative and labor societies´ law. Expert in training on several legal subjects.

Margrieth Nazareh Cortés. Historian. Ph. D. in International Co-Operation for the Development by University Complutense of Madrid. Master in NGOD Organization, Management, Communication and Actions (Politics and Sociology Guild). Expert advisor and trainer of indigenous organizations, black people organizations, and Latin-American NGOs. Organizer of workshops for immigrants about the recovery of collective memory.

Oscar Peña Gama. Biologist. Expert in processes about autonomy, territory and resources of indigenous peoples from Colombia and other countries at the Amazon River´s bank. Advisor and trainer of institutional empowerment and self-development projects with indigenous organizations. Specialist in indigenous production systems.

Beatriz Pérez García. Social Teacher. Master in NGOD Organization, Management, Communication and Actions (Politics and Sociology Guild). Expert in development of educational programs for peace and intercultural education.

Marta Rodríguez Gómez. Bachelor´s Degree in Environmental Sciences. Researcher of environmental accounting systems, sustainable development strategies and urbanism and territory regulation. Technical assistant for international processes with the participation of indigenous peoples in meetings related to the Council for Biologic Diversity (CBD).

Luis Rodríguez- Piñero Royo. Jurist. Bachelor´s Degree in Politics and Public Administration Sciences. Expert in cultural co-operation, legal training and political strengthening with indigenous peoples and local organizations in Latin-America. Teacher and awareness-raiser about the political reality in Africa.

Eva María Sainz Ramos. Anthropologist. Expert in training of managing projects of co-operation for development and indigenous peoples’ rights. Advisor and technical assistant for international participation processes of indigenous peoples in the UN system.

Eva Sánchez Buendía. Spanish Diplomatic with experience in planning and assessing policies for development. Economist and jurist. Experience in working with immigrants and refugees from Guatemala, and in promoting indigenous peoples ‘rights, especially in the interamerican scope.

Alejandro Yurisich Maldonado. Technical Expert in International Trade and Economic Integration. Expert in training indigenous organizations on management of international co-operation resources and project rationale. Co-ordinator of emergency aid and reconstruction projects.

Advisory Council

Since 2008 Almáciga has been counting on the advice of the Advisory Council, which is comprised by the following wide renowned experts, with prestigious careers in the field of indigenous peoples´rights:

  • Abadio Green Stocel, kuna native, adviser at the Indigenous Organization of Antioquia and co-ordinator of the Indigenous Education Programme, at the Education College of the University of Antioquia (Colombia).
  • Joji Cariño, igorot native, adviser of the Tebtebba Foundation (Philippines).
  • Veronica Huilipan, mapuche native, werkén (speaker) of the Mapuche Co-ordinator of Neuquén (Argentina).
  • Bartolomé Clavero Salvador, Professor of History of Law and Institutions, at the Law College of the University of Seville and member of the Permanent Forum on the Indigenous Issues.
  • Pedro García Hierro, Hispanic-Peruvian lawyer, specialized in territory and indigenous peoples’ rights.

ALMÁCIGA on the net

In Almáciga we are aware of the importance of the collective work, which contributes to the enrichment and the improvement of our work. Sharing experience and knowledge are the principles that lead our daily practice. For this reason, we have gone from the beginning for the construction of strong and steady relationships with other groups of our environment, as joining efforts help us to optimize the political and social influence of our activities.
In addition to local partners with whom we collaborate implementing projects on field, Almáciga is part of the following spaces for co-ordination:

  • Fund for the Indigenous Peoples ‘Human Rights, which aim is to finance the participation of indigenous representatives at the UN bodies related to their rights. It comprises the following organizations: Anti-Slavery International (United Kingdom), Coordinating Group on Indigenous Affairs (KWIA, Belgium), The Netherlands Center for Indigenous Peoples (NCIV, Holland) and the International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA, Denmark).
  • Fund for supporting the implementation of Indigenous Peoples ‘Rights, which endorses the mechanisms of the UN Human Rights Council, in relation to the rights of indigenous peoples. The International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA, Denmark) and Rights & Democracy (Canada) are parts of this Fund as well.
  • Training Programme for Latin American Indigenous Organizations, at Pedro Arrupe Human Rights Institute, by the University of Deusto (Bilbao) and the UNHCR, in co-ordination with the International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA) y Mugarik Gabe. Its goal is to train representatives of indigenous organizations on subjects about human rights and participation at international bodies.
  • The Co-ordination for the Indigenous Peoples ´Rights (CODPI), together with Mugarik Gabe (Basque Country), alterNative Exchange with Indigenous Peoples (Catalonia) and ACSUD Las Segovias País Valencia, which aim is to promote the defense of the rights of indigenous peoples.


Almáciga has signed agreements for collaboration with Antígona Participative Processes, CIC-Batá, and the Institute for the Promotion of Social Studies (IPES-Elkartea), for implementing together some projects in the field of indigenous peoples ‘rights, participative methodologists and sustainable development.
Finally, Almáciga collaborates with the Intercultural Chair of the University of Córdoba (IUCO) in affairs related to indigenous peoples and interculturality.