When we hear about indigenous villages most of us have the same picture: a small group of dark skin people, almost naked, with a bow and some arrows in their hands and living in the tropical rainforest in tree houses. Nowadays, as five centuries ago, Indigene is synonymous of backward societies, poverty, savage life, diseases and death. That’s to say, a way of life to wipe out. Thus, the World decided that everybody should do something to improve their poverty-stricken existence.

Far too many films and our own ignorance have been strengthening these wrong ideas for decades. And to make matter worse, there are hundred of indigenous villages that have nothing to do with this image but we have dumped them together into the same package.

The World decided that: they had to speak a social language (either Spanish, or English, or even French…), they had to wear ordinary clothes, live to work, work to get a house, go to the school, use mobile phones, drive cars and have the same kind of life than the rest of us, mere mortals. And, at the same time, Kindly enough, the most powerful global companies and their governments decided to occupy their territories for other much more profitable ends. As a result, Humankind has lost hundreds of native languages (only thirty two in Bolivia), the culture backgrounds are been obliterated, those people have lost their identity turning into people devoid of moral codes, and we are spoiling the most idyllic places on the Earth.

An anthropological study published a few days ago and carried out for ten years into different indigenous villages shows than our empty lives are more miserable than theirs. The more we have, the unhappier we feel. The more we work, the more money we need to provide for a decent living. Everybody is obsessed about what comes next instead of relishing their present bliss. On average, the indigenes invest two and a half hours a day to provide themselves with their basics. In consequence, they spend the rest of their time playing with their children, visiting friends from other places, chatting away, enjoying Nature and so on. Their paramount concerns are to live in harmony with their evironment, taking care of their relatives and looking for personal fulfilment in everything they do.

Thanks God, there are still clever people who recognize former wrongdoings and they have started to recover these forgotten cultures. By going back to their roots and reviving their original languages, they seek new ways of life, which maybe different from their forebears, but nothing to do with our senseless lives.

© Plataforma creada por Alfonso Hinojosa - Profesor de Inglés de la E.O.I. de Santander