AMUPAKIN is a self-organised birthing centre run by a collective of traditional Kichwa midwives. We specialise in ‘natural’, vertical births using traditional tools and techniques, including plants and chants, and we also provide a range of holistic health services for women as well as men, including steam baths and medicines tailored to specific conditions, especially in the context of female reproduction.
We also welcome tourists, volunteers, students and researchers who want to learn about our culture and get to know the Amazon, or as we call it, ‘the forest’ (la selva).
Birth, as well as sex and death, are magical moments in a life and we aim to preserve the sacred aspects of existence as we move in to uncertain times of climate chaos, political unstability and the threat of civilisational collapse.
We are custodians of and continue to maintain and develop ancient knowledge systems that have evolved in a symbiotic praxis with the forest and all its beings – such as spirits, plants and animals – and which have been handed down to us by our grandmothers and grandfathers. Together with the rest of humanity – and there are many similar systems of knowledge and ecological praxis in other places – we assert our right to engage in the further evolution of cultures that enrich the earth and our habitats and leave the world a better, richer, more diverse environment for our children. The skills, knowledge and ideas, as well as value practices that underpin habitat enriching cultures are necessary for our collective, future thriving as human beings.
The power of women as ‘those who know’ about reproduction was always central to Kichwa culture, and, we believe, to women everywhere in the past. We decide when we want to have sex for pleasure and when we want to conceive, where and how we want to give birth, and how to support our children’s health as they grow up.
Traditionally there is no opposition to men – who are our brothers, husbands, sons, fathers and grandfathers – and we work together to keep our families and communities together on the principles of mutual respect and complementarity.