Senior Solar Technician from San Pablo
My name is Adilson Payaguaje. I am from the Secoya nationality. I am 22 years old. My wife and I have three children. My oldest child is six, the other one is five and the youngest is three years old. I’ve been married for seven years, my wife is 23 years old. I live in the community of San Pablo. I don't live right in the community center, but a little bit further down the river. I take the canoe and it takes me about 10 minutes to arrive to my home.
What does it mean for you to be a solar technician?
Well, first it was a bit difficult but then I learned, little by little, and now, I understand almost everything and I can help others to learn more about solar energy and I can help the communities. I really enjoy working with the solar system myself. I like the whole team, I like to work with the solar panels, to connect the terminals and cables, to connect the batteries, and all the electrical components! I like it very much. When you don’t know how to do it, it is difficult. Now everything is easy, but I have to and want to learn more.
I also like to guide and work together with the groups. Every day I teach a little more to the technicians who are new in my group and I teach them how to connect everything correctly.
How do you feel about bringing light to your community and the other communities?
For me it is great, it is wonderful because before we did not have any light, now my family has it, too. I'm not spending money on buying fuel to run the diesel generator, that is good. Here in the Waorani communities where we are installing solar systems right now, they are also going to have light for the first time. I can see that they are very happy about this.
What are some differences between the communities and different nationalities?
The cultures are a little different, in the different nationalities. The languages are also different. I don't understand anything here, because here in Tzapino the Waorani only speak Wao to me. Our language is the Sekopai. We speak in Painkokai, that’s our language.
In the Cofán and Wao territory they also eat differently. They drink a lot of chicha [traditional homemade brew]. We, the Secoya-Siekopai, do not drink so much, just during festive activities.
What do you like to eat and do?
I like to eat everything that comes from the jungle and to drink chicha our traditional brew. I like jungle food, bushmeat. I like to eat a lot of Guanta, it is my favorite. I also like to hunt. On our way to the Wao community, we found a Guanta, but we didn’t have anything with us to kill it. When I go hunting, I only use a shotgun, normally I go alone. It is difficult to hunt when there are no animals, when there are, it is easy.
I also really enjoy working with the solar project.
What are some challenges or problems your community has?
After the oil companies arrived, there are almost no animals, there is nothing left in and around my community. There are some but only far away, you have to go deep into the jungle to find them. It takes a whole day to find them. The oil companies emptied my homeland.
How have the different communities welcomed the solar technicians from different nationalities?
When we arrive to a community to install solar systems, we are always welcomed very nicely. I'm very happy, happy to be here in the Waorani territory to install the solar systems. I feel like it is another home.
What do you do in your free time?
I like to play sports, soccer, as a striker. My cousins all me and tell me: “come play”, and sometimes I go and we win. We have a lot of good players.
What is your dream?
My dream right now is to make the most out of those who are giving the solar system training, and work, get ahead and see how far I can get. I really like working with you the LOVE FOR LIFE team and the solar project. It is great that I can work for the project in the second year now. I really like working with you and, next year I hope that I can continue to work with the solar project, too.
I like to work with technical things and out in the field in the different communities. I really like to work out in the field. I also have a finca (farm).
What is your dream for your community?
Right now, in my community we are fighting for our territory. We need to help on that. I also help in the mapping program of Ceibo to protect our territory. I help in mapping GPS points in Ecuador and on the Peruvian side of our territory as well. I enjoy doing that work and to be able to help my community with that, too.
What are the major threats your community faces today?
The biggest problems we face are related to territorial issues. We are struggling to find solutions to all the big territorial problems. For example, we have problems with the oil companies, they want to work in our territory, they want to “negotiate”. They want to build a platform to extract oil in the Siekopai territory. Animals that are near will start moving even further away which causes problems for the people in the communities to have no food anymore to eat.
What would be your message to all those who have supported the solar project?
Many thanks to those who have supported our community and the other communities as well. I thank the solar team, LOVE FOR LIFE, you (Rose), the engineer Andreas, Cristina, and the others who help the communities, too. I also thank the Ceibo Alliance and the people from the communities.