Threads of the Earth

Gran Tierra Energy recognizes the importance of strengthening relations with Indigenous communities living in areas near GTE’s operations. With this in mind, Gran Tierra in partnership with the World Corporation for Women in Colombia (CMMC) created the Hilos de la Tierra (Threads of the Earth) program, which aims to recover ancestral practices through the creation of handcrafted designs using recycled materials as well as innovate with new materials and techniques in design.

In the Putumayo the program works with artisans and ethnic women’s groups using natural fibers, dyes, seeds and recycled goods to help facilitate the recovery of ancestral practices. In the Middle Magdalena Valley, the program works with vulnerable women dedicated to fashion. The project is aimed at improving the incomes of participants and addresses gender bias in traditional family dynamics with women making up 78% of the participants.

The handcrafted products reflect the culture, traditional practices, and history from local Indigenous, Afro-Caribbean and rural communities. These traditional artisans preserve their culture through their handcrafted artifacts and share stories about their lived experiences and their territories as a way to inform and educate others.

“The moment GTE arrived we’ve seen more interaction with and support towards the community. They’ve helped us with investments in cultural areas like the arts, entertainment and sports. Historically, we’ve had a mixed experience with previous oil industry operators in this area. While there were jobs and work for everyone, it came with environmental damage as well as impacts on the community. Things changed as the armed conflict went away before GTE’s arrival and now we have a really nice relationship with them.”
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