Huottüją Foundation

Let Us All Live and Let Live, in Harmony with Planet Earth
Protecting Peace, Culture, Heritage, Nature and Indigeneity

Huottuja | De'aruhua Tribe (Piaroa People)

Commissioned by authorized community leaders to ensure that the Huottuja | De'aruhua (Piaroa people) culture, ethnic identity, knowledge, language, self-determination, territory and traditions are acknowledged, preserved, recognized and respected globally, not only by governments, but by all people and corporations. The Huottuja Foundation humbly represents a tributary state based on commerce, economics, and trade of the intangible cultural assets, goodwill and peaceful relations offered by the Piaroa people internationally. Our sovereign nation and people have been recognized as an autonomous Amerindian ethnicity by a number of diplomats, governments and organizations around the world as the "Piaroa, the Guardians of the Forest." This is an identity and reputation we intend to live up to and defend, others know us as the Peaceful Piaroa People.

Now you too can help us become better known, before the bulldozers arrive and wipe out one of the last safe-harbors of biodiversity, indigeneity and nature; or before they can exterminate our 3,000 years of self-governance and autonomy which are being adapted now, presently, to serve our ends before they are upended. We have consultants advising us who have joined as members.

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International Civil Society Foundation

The Huottuja Foundation represents the well-being of over 20,000 people across an area of 33,000 to 41,000 square kilometers in 198 traditional communities and family villages located in Colombia and Venezuela. The Piaroa People (Huottuja People) have been recognized as a native Indigenous ethnic group with collective rights to their ancestral traditional territory that are inextricable and inalienable through the foundation.

US Law recognizes the Huottuja Foundation as an extraterritorial Indigenous Nation (Tribute State) under Title 22 U.S. Code § 262p–4o capable of protection of the territorial rights, traditional economies, cultural integrity, traditional knowledge and human rights of the Special Indigenous Jurisdiction of the Huottuja People. The foundation is legally recognized as a charitable non-profit civil society commission (program) of Globcal International, a subsidiary of the Ecology Crossroads Cooperative Foundation.

The Huottuja Foundation (commission) is grounded offshore (across the river) in the northernmost extreme of the Piaroa Nation in Puerto Carreño, Colombia since September 2021 due to the economic sanctions imposed by the United States against Venezuela in 2019 and the sociopolitical instability in Venezuelan government since 2013 with the expulsion of two Indigenous representatives from the Venezuela National Assembly in 2014.

Our foundation in essence is an extraterritorial extension exempted from the jurisdiction of local law as the result of commerce, diplomatic negotiations, protecting cultural heritage, licensing intellectual property and tributary status representative of our collective entity. Funds raised by the foundation may only be utilized for fully approved and qualified projects within autonomous Huottuja territory.

The area shaded in the orange color is the original ancestral territory of the Huottuja (Uwottuja) people, one of several tribes in the Amazon region that are active in protecting their culture and territory. (Image: Indigenous Territories and Sustainable Development in the Amazon Region, Springer)

Establishing International Claims

The Huottuja-De'aruhua People never understood their rights under international law or under United States law until we began to understand that many of the things we once had were being exploited by others without our knowledge or consent that are considered to be Indigenous cultural and intellectual property (ICIP). As a tributary state (a tribe) we expect that those who use our assets treat us honorably and fairly, for our creative works and discoveries.

When we began to examine the law and the programs we may qualify for, or that may assist us in protecting our ancestral territories, we discovered many new regulations and conventions that should make our claims stronger and our protection greater. It is not surprising that many programs and projects that are executed fail to qualify or meet their goals due to lack of oversight. The foundation works to create the missing integrity with legal solutions that are most often taken for granted between Indigenous communities and the private sector commercial sponsor or the benevolent Indigenous philanthropist.

Fight Illicit Trafficking of Cultural Property! Help us protect ourselves by joining us in recognizing our intangible cultural heritage, Indigenous knowledge and intellectual property.

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, naturalists, scientists, researchers and land speculators began when San Fernando de Atabapo became the capital of the Amazonas territory in Venezuela.

The Huottuja are also known as the Huottüją, Huottöja, Huottųją and Wothuha, Uwottüja, Uwotjüja, Uwotjuja or Uwottuja, also Wotiheh, Uhothuha, Wóthuha is most popularly written as Huottuja or Piaroa (in American English), are also known as the De'aruhua or De'aruwa, or with the universal phonetic alphabet Wötʰïhä or De'atʰïhä; who are the "People and Guardians of the Forest." There are many different ethnonyms that are both exonyms and autonyms, or endonyms for our people. Variations in spelling are based in regional accentuation, confusion, error and the use of a non-English and non-Latin universal phonetics alphabet introduced by missionaries in the 1940s.

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 according to the elders in Cuao, however since the Colombian state was reconstituted in 1991 our tribe holds legal civil jurisdiction there under law, members of our tribe cross from Venezuela to Colombia without passports. 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, the Indigenous laws of Venezuela (2004) respect our sovereignty and right to self-determination. Our official language for international non-state extraterritorial relations including business, commerce and tourism is English or Spanish; our activities, negotiations and relations with our host countries are independent activities in the international theater. See our region on Google Maps.

Four shamans
The shaman is among the most popular of our traditional community members, they are the keepers of spirits and interpreters of our cosmogony with the natural world. They are responsible for protecting the community from the evil and the grotesque. (Photo: © Hortimio Ochoa 2019)

Piaroa Heritage & Sovereignty

Since the 1930's the Huottuja people have been 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 perhaps receive additional protection under UNESCO as a cultural, natural and scientific landmark which it is. Patrons and sponsors are being sought now to establish a Huottuja cultural center crediting sponsors. A portion of this area is dedicated to provisioning ecosystem services, see the distinction on Google Maps. The Piaroa Traditional Territory (PTT) map represents approximately 23,000 km² of the original 41,000 km² region attributed by Spain in 1671 from San Fernando de Atabapo.

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, motorcycles and live in the city or more civilized regions of the territorial area.

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

(Reduced) Piaroa Traditional Territory (PTT)
Birthplace of 9 Navigable Rivers
UNESCO World Heritage Site Proposal

Support the Foundation

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

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

Tourists are welcome all year, the laws of ecotourism and Indigenous peoples overlap and conflict in Venezuela and generally the law governing tourism is not recognized within Indigenous territories that are self-governed, therefore each village is entitled to its own customs. Patrons of the foundation are always welcome to visit our villages, hike our trails and enjoy our nature.

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

Palm thatch building with 1 adult and 3 children in the forest
Typical Huottuja family dwelling, one room with 2-6 hammocks inside.

Campaigns, Initiatives, Projects, and Programs

The Huottüja Foundation in 2021 began 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 commission established for the public good and a civil society development, we are also an organization that is established to protect the natural environment and preserve intangible 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.

Currently we have several programs that we have developed, endorsed, implemented, initiated or sponsor that require international cooperation funding, public participation and/or diplomatic recognition. Join us!

  • De'Aruhuä Indigenous Chocolate — Cooperatively owned factory, 13+ villages, foundation capital development project at Fundo Ekobius headed by Simeon Moreno.

  • Barranco Colorado Indigenous Community supported agriculture and agroforestry management project from Rio Gavilan to Fundo Narajal, includes members of numerous tribes and private property within Piaroa legal jurisdiction.

  • Ajeteoto Traditional Village (Paraguaza) — De'aruhua forest masters 60 kilometers up the Paraguaza river where they plant and harvest wild cacao and traditional foods.

  • Huottuja | De'aruhua Biodiversity Protectorate — Protected biodiversity conservation and forestry ecosystem services management area which overlaps with Piaroa Traditional Territory (PTT) see Google Maps.

  • Indigenous Jurisdictional Court (Las Pavas) — In 2019, Hortimio Ochoa and other from the Catañiapo river valley established a local jurisdictional legal system. A book was published about this!

  • Ecological Restoration Program (198 Villages) — Any of the 198 villages located within the Piaroa Autonomous Territory (PAT) can qualify for crowdfunding small grants with the Huottuja Foundation. Villages can be individually sponsored by foundation supporters as well.

  • Huottuja | De'aruhua Conservation Office (Scouts) — Cooperative effort among Piaroa communities to train forest conservation officers and youth as scouts.

Digital NASA map for carbon credits
Satellite digital forest density imaging of 90% of our territory has been completed by NASA and NOAA which demonstrate the quality and value of the forest cover ecosystem services that can be provided from our ability to sequester carbon that is imported from other countries. (Image: NASA, Google Earth)

Supportive Programs and Projects

  • International Museum RecognitionThe Smithsonian Institute has several pieces which are considered as art, culture and heritage at the National Museum of the American Indian in North America.

  • Sustainable Development Bank — Recognition with the World Bank through the Environmental and Social Framework (ESF) with an Environmental and Social Standards policy implementation. Consistent with the US Code.

  • United Nations Sustainable Development Goals — The SDGs provide a partnership platform which is used to officially and transparently recognize program sponsors and stakeholders as well as monitor program results and progress.

  • GoFundMe and Indiegogo Crowdfunding Program — We are partnered technically with all those who provide support for our objectives and have created social media accounts to accommodate communications and news.

  • Global Goals Program for 2022 - Establish an Environmental and Social Management Framework (ESMF) for Territorial Lands that provide Ecosystem Services

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. This website serves as a contact point, collection site and junction for the Huottuja People, researchers, and the public 'internationally'; the foundation or the website as a virtual embassy, remotely may or may not take up political, governmental or matters with the nation-states of Colombia or Venezuela, however we will promote the news 'good or bad' as it may be relevant to our mission, the Piaroa Tributary Nation and our website readers. The foundation is committed to serving as a safe-harbor and non state diplomatic bridge between Indigenous communities (places) and international sponsors, notwithstanding the state, there are no financial intermediaries.

The website in general is to promote the Huottüja people, help create economic solutions for communities, promote business, and ensure that our members are treated fairly, legally and never exploited. The foundation and website is based in actions, deeds, facts, treaties and titles and developed to function as a virtual international embassy for the Huottuja | De'aruhua People, the Piaroa Autonomous Territory (PAT) and the Piaroa Traditional Territory (PTT). Interactive forms are connected directly to tribal leadership authorities located within their own communities.

Suggested keywords and tags: Huottuja people, Uwottuja people, pueblo Huottoja, De'aruhua, De'aruwa, Guardians of the Forest, Knowledgeable Ones, forest people, Uwotjuja people, Piaroa territory, Piaroa Nation, Huottuja-De'aruhua tribute state, Huottuja-De'aruhua sovereign territory, Huottuja-De'aruhua autonomy

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

Wataniba Logo
Globcal International
Endangered Languages Project
Movimiento Regional Por La Tierra