by Javier Carrera, Red de Guardianes de Semillas

From 2nd to 4th October 2015, more than 1.500 people gathered in the little town of Tarqui, in the south of Ecuador, to celebrate life with a series of workshops, music, theatre, documentary screenings, a fair and a seed exchange.

Participants came from all the regions of Ecuador, including native communities, farmers, fishermen, students, activists, etc. and from 9 other countries of the Americas.

They enjoyed high quality workshops including seed production, biointensive gardens, food heritage, cultural and ecological activism, natural building, water management, reproductive health, history of food, ancestral agro-ecological systems, alternative monetary systems, composting toilets, food fermentation, herbology, un-schooling and more. Teachers were not theorists, but down-to-earth practitioners who have walked the talk for years and have a refined ability to communicate.

Workshops were followed by the screening of groundbreaking documentaries in the evening like Craig Leon’s “Modern Nature” and María Aguilar’s “A dólar, a dólar”, with the opportunity to discuss with the authors. A musical theatre play by La Mestiza showed how much can be done with high quality grassroots art to promote discussions about key issues like ecology and trans-culturalism. And later in the night, well-known artists with ecological inclinations like Alfredo Rubín from Argentina, Nacho Choque from Perú and Salú from Ecuador alternated with an open mic for everyone to participate, in a Fiesta of joy and fun.

Sunday the 4th was the Fair day, with more than 100 stands including a huge range of ecological products. The seed exchange took place in the middle of the fair, with people spontaneously exchanging seeds from three continents in a moment of delight.

More information [Spanish] and photos:

After the Festival, representatives from seed networks of the Americas gathered for two days for a General Assembly, to discuss common agendas and strategies. 10 countries and one international body were present: Chile, Argentina, Brasil, Perú, Ecuador, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, México, native peoples from North America and Navdanya International. The main results of the meeting where:

– The creation of the Red Semillas de Libertad (Seeds of Freedom Network of the Americas), an international network of seed guardians created to answer the need of communication, experience sharing and strategic planning at the continental level.

– Scheduling the next meeting of the RSL in Mexico, 2016.

– The agreement that the RSL members will provide support to each other, exchanging knowledge and experiences as needed. Special attention will be given to Brazil and Argentina, to promote the connection of local seed workers and networks at the national level in these countries.

– The decision to articulate the RSL into the Seed Freedom campaign and with other like-minded national and international bodies.

More on and

3 días de Festival con 43 Talleres y Charlas en: agroecología, alternativas educativas, bioconstrucción, ecotecnias, salud, alimentación y más! Música y documentales por la noche. Feria e intercambio de semillas el 4 de octubre. Más fotos en:

En apoyo a las semillas libres y la construcción de alternativas reales al desarrollo extractivista.

Related Calendar Event



Festival Madre Tierra Internacional

Tarqui, Azuay, Ecuador, 2nd – 4th October 2015






This post is also available in: Spanish