Huottüja Foundation

To Live and Let Live, in Harmony with Planet Earth
Protecting Peaceful Cultural Heritage and Indigeneity

Huottüja Foundation

Commissioned by authorized community leaders to ensure that the Huottüja culture, ethnic identity, indigenous knowledge, language, self-determination, territory and traditions are acknowledged, preserved, recognized and respected globally, not only by Governments, but by all peoples.

About the Huottüja Foundation

International non-governmental, non-state and non-profit organization founded by leaders of Piaroa villages located in Colombia and Venezuela. The Foundation is dedicated to the progress, promotion, protection and preservation of Huottuja (Piaroa) culture, customs, heritage, independence, indigeneity, knowledge, language, sovereignty, territory, traditions, and way of life as an aboriginal autonomous people of the Northern Amazon (Guiana Highlands) and Orinoco River watersheds within the countries of Colombia and Venezuela.

The foundation was chartered extralegally on September 03, 2021 under the authoritative engagement of sovereign Huottuja De'aruhua leaders with Globcal International in their special indigenous legal jurisdiction to autonomously establish an Internet Domain, constitute an international foundation and register as a foreign resident non-profit, indigenous, and non-governmental commission in the Republic of Colombia.

Piaroa Nation until the 20th Century

The Huottuja have lived with the Spanish influence since 1758 with the establishment of the San Fernando de Atabapo by Doctor José Solano. The influences that followed were explorers, military forces, missionaries, scientists, researchers and land speculators which began when San Fernando de Atabapo became the capital of the Amazonas territory in Venezuela.

Today this area has been reduced to half, from almost 41,000 square kilometers 100 years ago, to about 21,000, based on the constant encroachment and unsustainable development objectives of the national government since 1924.

This map reflects the original territory occupied by the Huottuja from prehistory until the 20th Century according to researchers Freire and Zent.

Known as Uwottuja, Huottöja, Wothuha, is most properly written Huǫttųją (Piaroa) or Huottüja (American English), are also known as the De'aruhua or De'aruwa, or with the universal phonetic alphabet Wötʰïhä or De'atʰïhä; are the "Guardians and People of the Forest." There are many different ethnonyms that are both exonyms and autonyms, or endonyms for our people.

The Piaroa international autonomous and sovereign territory is located mostly within Venezuela and overreaches to Colombia since the 1940's. The Huottuja are not native to Colombia, however since the Colombian state was reconstituted in 1991 some of us hold legal jurisdiction there under law. The territory has direct access to the sea by way of the source waters of the Orinoco River, the Piaroa nation understands international maritime and admiralty jurisdiction. Our official language is our own most often referred to as Piaroa, Piaroan, or called Guagua, Quaqua, Adole, Ature, Wo'tiheh. Our legal recognition exists with the Colombian and Venezuela governments through their courts in Castilian Spanish. Our official language for international non-state relations including business, commerce and tourism is English; our activities, negotiations and relations with our host countries are independent activities in the international theater.

Geographic map of the Huottuja (Piaroa Nation)

Fig. 1 Original Piaroa Autonomous Territory (PAT)
Source: Freire and Zent, Los Piaroa, 2007

Piaroa Heritage & Sovereignty

Since the 1930's the Huottuja people have become subjects of the state under several different national constitutions (Venezuela has 23 Constitutions since 1813), with the establishment of Puerto Ayacucho the nation-state government of Venezuela has eroded away the approximately half of our original nation. At one point from the 1950's until 1970's the Piaroa were considered "campesinos" under illegal government claims giving designated owners of large tracts of land.

The shaded area is the understood as absolute self-delineated territory based on how much the government has pushed our back against our territorial region. Under the Indigenous Peoples Laws of Venezuela in 2004, the Colombian Constitution of 1991 and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2007, the Piaroa behold and maintain their sovereign rights to their territory and their right to self-determination. In 2020 the Huottuja established a Special Legal Jurisdiction and a Court in Las Pavas and expelled armed non-state actors from the Catañiapo River notwithstanding the nation-state or military.

In 2022, the shaded area will begin the application process for consideration as a World Heritage Site and to receive additional protection under UNESCO. Patrons and sponsors are being sought now to establish a Huottuja cultural center crediting sponsors.

The De'aruhua are in actuality, those who live and work in the forest (among us), in general it does not refer to civilized Huottuja that have cars and live in the city.

There are no roads in the traditional territory, there are many unmarked trails and rivers that facilitate travel. To visit the shaded area with a backpack as a guest a person must have a valid passport, make a customs declaration, provide a donation to the foundation, and sign a recreational use agreement waiver. Visas are issued for 30, 60 or 90 days based on the amount of the donation, party size and customs declaration.

Reduced Traditional Territory of the Piaroa

Fig. 2 (Reduced) Piaroa Traditional Territory (PTT)
Birthplace of 9 Navigable River
UNESCO World Heritage Site Proposal

Who are the Huottuja?

Historically the Piaroa are known as the most peaceful naturally established society (nation or tribe) in South America, we are on the Peaceful Societies List along with the Amish and the Hutterites who are very well-known for their non-offensive disciplined traditional lifestyles in North America.

Our pacifism and humility has contributed greatly to the illegal entry into the Piaroa Nation and reduction of our territory. Traditionally the Huottüja are a decentralized anarchist society composed of 150+ villages with just as many community leaders.

We have found that the best way to align ourselves with the world is to embrace our cultural identity and heritage by understanding our rights, preventing abuse and forcing their recognition.

Resources

The Huottuja of the Catañiapo River Watershed have taken it upon themselves to form organizations, demarcate their territory, run-off paramilitary threats and recover their indigenous heritage notwithstanding the national government. Photo: Lander Altuve, Prensa ULA

Foundation Purposes

The Huottuja Foundation (in formation) is located in the northernmost extreme of the Piaroa Nation because of the economic sanctions and sociopolitical instability in Venezuela since 2013. The foundation is being developed to protect the Piaroa culture, customs, futures and traditions in an uncertain destiny as a people that have been under fire and being torn apart by the government, military and mining interests with dozens of incidents over the past several years resulting in their marginalization and dismantling of our communities and ways of life which remain under constant threat.

The foundation is established to safeguard our forest based resources, engage communities with international interests to provide ecosystem services, attract commerce for agroforestry products, ensure fair dealing between parties and to allow our members to interact with the international community abroad to create a point of economic resilience where we can market art, craftwork, medicinal plants, sustainable agricultural production and promote ecotourism using our name.

Support the Foundation

You can support the foundation directly, become a member or you can support us by doing business with us, funding a social enterprise, ecotourism start-up, sponsoring agroforestry production, improving agroeconomics, purchasing carbon sequestration rights (forests), restoring ecosystems, creating a local tourism concession, investing in our infrastructure with bonds or dedicating indigenous parkland.

Our initial international projects will involve community centers, providing clean drinking water and installing sanitation systems in villages in order to establish long-term international relationships with NGOs and to facilitate tourism accommodation.

Campaigns, Initiatives, Projects, and Programs

The Huottüja Foundation in 2021 will begin to initiate independent relationships directly with third-parties (iNGOs, companies, civil society organizations, and individuals) based in diplomatic protocol, the United Nations Rule of Law and international private law. As non-profit organization established for the public good and civil society development we are also an organization that is established to protect the natural environment and preserve indigenous heritage. While we seek advancement we must conserve our indigeneity, ecosystems and sovereignty in order to retain our identity as the Masters of the Forest.

The Foundation seeks protectors, patrons, sponsors, grants, volunteers and funding for a great number and variety of initiatives, projects, international cooperation and development opportunities.

About our Website

The information presented on our website is based on accountable and factual investigative research and first hand accounts by both Huottüja natives who have been educated in universities and independent third-parties that have published their work in social sciences, biodiversity, human ecology and ethnocultural studies. Permalink resources are displayed where required and from our Resources Page.

The website in general is to promote the Huottüja people, help create economic solutions from within communities, promote business, and ensure that our members are treated fairly, legally and not exploited. The foundation and website is based in actions, deeds, facts, treaties and titles and developed to function as an embassy for the Piaroa Autonomous Territory (PAT).

Legal Notice: The Huottüja Foundation reserves all rights to publish or republish text, diagrams, photographs, videos and news articles focused on our ethnic group; all intellectual property including indigenous knowledge, names, terms, words, marks, artwork, crafts, designs, drawings, cooking recipes, medicinal formulas, costumes, clothing styles, trade names and ideas belong exclusively to the Huottüja Foundation and the people of the Piaroa Nation which are protected under law by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Indigenous intellectual property rights relate to the legal rights to protect specific IP, which includes cultural knowledge of their groups, aspects of their cultural heritage in the visual arts, literature, and performing arts, as well as science and traditional medicines. To better understand our legal rights to our artwork, ideas, intellectual property, knowledge, and trademarks, see WIPO Leaflet 12 on Indigenous Peoples. Our website is sponsored and powered by the Non-State Network operated by Globcal International, the website is presented in English because the founders are seeking endowments, funding from charitable tax-exempt bonds, grants and donations from associations, churches, cities, corporations, embassies, foundations, individuals, international non-governmental organizations and other public charities located in the United States and Europe.

We welcome the continued support and collaboration with the following institutions and organizations that have demonstrated their transparency and support for the Huottuja People in Colombia and Venezuela.

Movimiento Regional Por La Tierra
Endangered Languages Project
Querida Amazonia by Pope Francis

Projects and proposals are under development with the following institutions and organizations.