There was a time when Noemí Gualinga, a leader of the Indigenous Kichwa Sarayaku people of the Ecuadoran Amazon, used to sit out on the stoop of her old house and wait for strangers to show up and ask for help. They would always come. Mothers without work or victims of violence would come to ask for rice, noodles, eggs or whatever Noemí could offer. The sick came to look for medicine. In August 2020, Noemí moved to another house in Puyo, a city in the Ecuadoran Amazon with chaotic streets and ramshackle houses that reverberate with heat during the day and shiver with cold at night. From her new home, she keeps asking where help is needed, especially now that COVID-19 and a violent flood have endangered her people. Sarayaku women have long been part of the resistance of their people. Photograph by Verónica Potes. The Sarayaku territory is reeling from this double impact: When the COVID-19 pandemic began to stalk the Indigenous territories and the cities began a strict quarantine, the overflow of the Bobonaza and Arajuno rivers caused a ferocious flood in Sarayaku. “We were not prepared for a flood that had not been seen in more than 100 years,” Noemí says over the phone in perfect Spanish. Sarayaku is also the name of a parish where more than 30 Indigenous Kichwa communities live that was heavily impacted by the flood. The villagers lost their huts, their belongings floated away in the water, and the school and…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer