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NEWLY BUILT MALOCA

The Cabildo Indígena Monifue Urukɨ is an Indigenous rights organization which unites the Uitoto community in Bogotá under a collective strength. They act as a support system and network for Indigenous people from across the Amazon who now live in the city. As Colombia entered lockdown during the height of the pandemic, the work of the Cabildo was greatly impacted. Many people were experiencing food insecurity, lack of work, and spending time confined indoors, and so the Cabildo’s role as community support system was an integral part of ensuring that the Indigenous people living in Bogotá could weather the pandemic. A major success during this time was the completion of the maloca (traditional roundhouse) pictured below, which now serves as a gathering space for the Cabildo and the community.

Community effort, community space

Members of the Cabildo pause during construction of the wooden frame of the maloca. Customarily made from timber posts, with palm slat walls and woven palm roofs, the maloca is a home, ritual center, and ancestor for its community. This urban maloca is made from wooden beams and corrugated metal, reflecting the challenges and resourcefulness that define Indigenous lives in the capital.

Caring for kin

Cabildo members lead an activity for children during the difficult height of the pandemic.

A Center for

Shared Strength

Members of the Cabildo, with cabildo leader Claudia Mejía Eimenekene, celebrate the opening of the completed maloca.

“The pandemic made us stronger, made us fighters in all areas.  It made us value more what we have... making paths with friends, calling for support.”

— Claudia Mejía Eimenekene, Cabildo Indígena Monifue Urukɨ

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