Native American Heritage Day: Sangre Indígena and Proud

Image of Cindy with long black hair wearing traditional adornments with a dark red background.    

 

Live Tinted began as a community platform highlighting and amplifying the stories of people who have been left out of the beauty narrative. This mission is at the core of what we do, who we are and will continue to be. This piece, in honor of Native American Heritage Day, features Cindy Rivera Ramirez, 20, @cindyriveraram

Born and raised in sound east London. My parents are from Colombia. I am Afro indigenous. I am an aspiring female DJ and music producer who has a huge passion for music and dancing. In my free time I enjoy modelling and reading. 

I am co-founder of La Voz de Las Amazonas. Translation: The voice of the Amazon. Las Riveras (me and my sisters) joined forces with @atteye. Birthed during the COVID-19 pandemic, living in a Western Society we have all felt the awful effects of COVID-19, coming from an Indigenous background we have become aware and conscious of the fact that the Colombian Government have been neglecting many families within the Amazon for centuries. My uncle who lives in the Amazon reached out to us to express his concerns and experience therefore we decided to take immediate actions. When the government fails us, us as human beings, who have empathy need to come together to unite and help others anyway possible. It is important for us to at least try, even though we live on the other side of the world, to provide assistance for the indigenous communities that are constantly suffering from injustice and neglect.

Our aim as @La Voz de La Amazona is to provide daily essentials such as food, diapers and clean water. We wish to protect these families in remote communities of the Amazon during COVID-19 and as they do not have a voice and live within a country that silences them and ignores their basic needs to live. We wish to continue this service well after the pandemic in order to help create sustainability and consistency.  I’m super happy and grateful to those that have donated and giving us the opportunity to expand. We started off in Colombia and recently reached Peru. We wouldn’t have been able to do this without those donations and my family along with the members of their community that have been helping out. A HUGE THANK YOU goes out to you all!! 

Earlier this year the president of Colombia, Ivan Duque imposed a tax form which will make the working and middle class pay 19% tax on services and necessities such as water, gas and electricity, meat, egg, medication, tampons etc. They seek to increase hunger and poverty of the people during the most difficult situation Colombia has faced: the COVID-19 pandemic. The Colombian people have had enough of the terrible injustice and for the first time they have come out to strike/protest peacefully. Began April 28th voice of a history of injustice. However the government have sent military and police to murder anyone they seen on the streets which are defenceless people only fighting for their rights. Even the rich are taking advantage to kill the poor, it’s crazy it’s like a purge movie. Ivan duque and his puppets are responsible for One of the largest massacre in 2021 with hundreds of people missing and sexual assault cases. 

 This has had a huge impact on me it honestly breaks my heart seeing all this happening to my people, the racial police brutality and young girls fearing for their lives as the police who are suppose to be the ones that citizens go for help, are kidnapping and raping these innocent females. I fear for my peoples safety and can’t begin to imagine what it is like to be in the front line. We joined forces with @soscolombia to spread awareness and raise money for those on the front line/activists of the protests to provide protective equipment and medical supplies for the thousands of people that have been injured from excessive force by ESMAD. Also other necessities such as food and water as they have been paying people to vandalise the streets of Colombia and access to necessities has become harder.

I may not be in Colombia but everything happening and past conversations with family members has made me realise how terribly embedded the colonizers' structural system and mentality still runs through my people. Colombia is a very diverse country however the lighter skin look down and racially abuse the Afro and indigenous communities, the recent occurrences have made us stand together in solidarity as together we are stronger! 

I am aware of what is going on and I will not stay quiet. I will continue to fight for my people.

My ancestors walk with me.

They guide and protect me.

I am my ancestors.

And even though others still try to oppress us and take or destroy our land, the fight for our rights will continue.

As indigenous people we are fighting to protect what we love - our way of life, our rivers, the beautiful animals, our forest and life on earth.

It is time you listen!

Sangre Indígena and I am proud#latinxheritagemonth #indigenous

Image Credit: @dont.smile__ & @atteye_

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