Personal story

Stewards of the Earth

Stewards of the Earth
I see it as us returning to our cooperative and sustainable traditions, but with new technologies and approaches.

I know some of the stories of what happened. My great x 5 grandfather, Ivan, lived through some of the worst of it. The Earth and its animals suffered a lot, species were lost. Cities Sank, the air was toxic, and false gods promised the future. After the third pandemic, people didn’t want to ‘return to normal’. They realized these corporations weren’t going to bring them the future, they were selling it away to the highest buyer. The working class populations of many countries rose up against the few that were exploiting them and their lands.

Nations reorganized, borders were redrawn or done away with. The old world and its way were replaced. A demilitarized and imperialist free world was within reach. The people were finally free to form their own future. A lot of the old world ‘luxuries’ were lost, but in return those who were cheated and robbed in the old system, were finally given justice and agency of their livelihood. The new nations mobilized and cooperatively set out to solve the climate problems left by the old world. Community leaders from all over; elders, indigenous peoples, differently abled, and the youth came together to create our new future and ensure no one was left out of this new future.

Ivan was a hydrologist, his dream was to help the people. He saw how corporations drive the river of his mother’s pueblo. He wanted to make sure everyone had access to clean water. He worked for years in different communities around the world. Learning as much as he could from different programs and projects to bring new knowledge, tools, and financial resources to help build out the energy and water projects in our pueblos. Inspired by his uncles, who instead of permanently immigrating came back with new resources and ideas to help the community.

I’ve learned that outside of our pueblos, food was grown thousands of kilometres away, raw materials were taken around the world, then sent back to be sold. Plastic drowned the ocean, cars dominated the streets, and poor infrastructure worsened inequalities. Today our communities grow and build everything we need. We trade our goods with other communities and vice versa. Public transportation, bikes, and better infrastructure help us move. Our homes and technology are powered by the sun and wind.

We live comfortably and all our needs are met. Everyone has healthcare and access to education. Our elderly, the sick, and whoever needs help are taken care of. Our elders tell us that our pueblos used to be like this before colonialism and capitalism changed our way of life. I see it as us returning to our cooperative and sustainable traditions, but with new technologies and approaches. Our world isn’t perfect, we are still learning and improving, but we honor our ancestors and their sacrifices by continuing to be stewards of the Earth and our community.

Story by Ivan Gonzalez Ivan currently lives in NYC. He’s from California and studied at University of California, Santa. In this story, he speaks about a rural area outside of Oaxaca Mexico.

Art by José Fernández Villamayor @jose.fernandez.villamayor. José is an illustrator and graphic designer. He lives in Turin, Italy and illustrates for clients around the world. José is particularly interested in diverse worldviews and art from different cultures.

This story is part of our story prosjet Voices of the land: Decolonizing sustainability. Read more stories centered on sustainability and climate justice, decolonization and liberation, and any emotions related to land, like belonging, responsibility, and care.

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