Kester Reid is an outdoor mentor leading land-based learning and nature connection work in Canada. He has a background of conservation field work in the tropics, mainly in the Western Amazon: Peru and Ecuador. It was during work with isolated Achuar communities of Pastaza’s interior that Kester came to know Flavio in 2014. They quickly established that they had shared vision, and Kester began to spend time with Flavio’s family – learning and assisting them in such ways as he could. Kester is a writer, and Flavio requested that he begin work on a book telling the history of the Ayuy Yu clan. Working from some seventy hours of recordings with Flavio and some elders, Kester has been crafting the story that tells of the clan’s origins and purpose – where they are from, and where they are going. Flavio is keen for the story to reach Western ears, in the English language, and that the story reflect the Mystery and Wealth of their lived experience as medicine people and true guardians of ancestral territories. Kester also assists Flavio with international travel, facilitating and interpreting for events and ceremonies. He lives between Canada and Ecuador.
Dr. April Liu is an independent scholar and cultural programmer based in Vancouver, BC who is focused on building bridges between Indigenous communities around the world. She has served as the Curator of Public Programs and Engagement at the Museum of Anthropology at UBC, and taught courses in visual culture and global modernity at Emily Carr University of Art and Design and the University of British Columbia. Over the years, she has organized numerous festivals, arts programs, and international research projects involving the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage in Asia and Canada, and served as an expert consultant for UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage section in 2016. She holds a doctorate in art history from the University of British Columbia.
Cian Dalglish completed his MSc in Anthropology, Environment and Development in2018 at University College London. His interest lies in Amazonian cultures, Indigenous knowledge and shamanistic knowledge-practice. In particular, he examines the relationship between these and mainstream development initiatives. He chose the Wayusa School as the topic of his Master’s dissertation and spent a transformative two months living in the Amazanga community. The dissertation explores the Wayusa School as an alternative model of development grounded in the spiritual practices of Flavio and his family; it represents a decolonial project that seeks genuine Indigenous empowerment and revival through land-based healing and ancestral teachings. Cian is also a passionate musician, traveller, budding writer, and linguist (with fluent English and French and fast improving Spanish). Whether through a PhD, professional research or otherwise, Cian is dedicated to deepening his knowledge and understanding of Amazonian cultures and their complex relation to their physical and metaphysical realities.
Arun Fryer is an award-wining Vancouver-based Métis filmmaker, producer, and educator. His films and multimedia projects have been featured in festivals around the world. He directed a number of films and TV shows such as Before She’s Gone (2017), Behind the 8 Ball (2012), Cyburbia (2010), and Tomorrow’s Love (2010). He has produced short films, documentaries, and videos, including The Shipment (2018), Cadence (2016), and Citizen Jane (2014). Arun was the recipient of the 2013 Vancouver Mayor’s Arts Award for Emerging Artist in Film & Media and sat on the Board of Directors for DOC BC from 2013-2015. Arun has mentored Indigenous youth at the Fort McMurray Reel 2 Reel Filmmaking Workshops (2017). He is currently an instructor at the Vancouver Film School. arunfryer.com
Ana Maria Carrizales is a Peruvian-Canadian actress, writer, filmmaker, and media producer based in Vancouver. She served as a senior producer of video content at Pocketlive (2016-2017) and a program coordinator and community liaison for the Cineworks Independent Filmmakers Society (2012-2015) and Urban Ink Productions (2014-2015), an Indigenous and intercultural theatre company. In 2009, Ana co-directed the Playback Theater Youth Troupe, a multi-disciplinary project that won the 2013 City of Richmond’s Arts Innovation Award for artistic excellence. She has written and directed a number of films and short docs, including Playback (2009), Prayers for Dawn (2010), and Journey for Action (2012). She served as production manager for the Coyote Science pilot episode, directed by Indigenous filmmaker Loretta Todd. She was awarded an NBC Universal Screenwriting Scholarship and received the Best Screenplay Award in 2008 and the Audience Choice Award from the Vancouver Short Film Festival in 2017. She sits on the Board of DOC BC and Vancouver Latin-American Film Festival. Recently she served as juror for Best Canadian Documentary in DOXA film festival. She is currently a part-time instructor at Vancouver Film School.
Andrea Davis is a passionate vegetable and plant grower, herbalist, food artist, writer, and traveler. She comes from South Dakota and Panama, and has spent many years working on projects ranging from permaculture to teaching English all over Latin America. Andrea met Flavio Santi and his family in Pastaza, Ecuador in 2014 when she came to learn about medicinal plants with his parents Rafael Santi and Lucila Vargas. Soon thereafter she became immersed in the Ayuy Yu family mythology and began a collaboration to recuperate the myths to preserve them for future generations. Andrea continues to study mythology and healing/spiritual practices with Flavio and other indigenous communities, as well as translate, write, and organize for various events.