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April 18, 2018

Making links with the Misak

Forty years ago the indigenous Misak people of Colombia were displaced from their land and very nearly disappeared.  In response to this threat, the Misak developed a particular approach to envisioning their future which they call Plan de Vida. This technique has transformed their lives, enabling them to reclaim their lands and rediscover their cultural identity. The Misak have since been sharing their unique approach and have transformed the lives of hundreds of indigenous peoples across South America. Over the next few weeks they will be visiting communities across Scotland to share knowledge and understanding.



This April and May, there is a unique opportunity to meet with community leaders from the indigenous Misak people of Colombia, as they tour Scotland to share their experiences of the ‘Plan de Vida’ or Life Plan, and learn about Scotland’s own journey towards land reform and community empowerment.

The Misak were displaced from their lands and almost disappeared as a people. Over the last 40 years they have reclaimed their territory, their culture and their futures against all odds. They did this by developing the Plan de Vida, an exceptional approach for communities to re-envision and take control of their futures. Pioneered by the Misak in the 1980s, this approach has been adopted by hundreds of indigenous peoples and communities across South America and beyond.

Misak leaders Jeremias Tunubala and Liliana Pechene will be holding events with communities in Mull, Eigg, Skye, a residential training on Bute, and a final event at the Scottish Parliament.

The events will offer valuable insights on rebuilding community, reclaiming cultural identity, and collective visioning, and an opportunity to reflect on the synergies between the Misak’s indigenous approach and Scotland’s growing community empowerment and land rights movements.

The tour is being organised by LifeMosaic, a Scottish-based charity that works with indigenous peoples around the world to help build the capacity of communities and movements to protect their rights, cultures and territories. LifeMosaic is co-organising the tour with the Cabildo Misak (Misak leadership) and Scottish community organisations, educational institutions, and the Scottish Parliament.

All events are open to the public, to book a place please visit the links below:

Tues 24th – Wed 25th April, Isle of Mull, with North-West Mull Community Woodland Company: A series of events to learn from and reflect on the Misak experiences in the context of Mull’s history of clearances and loss, but also at a time when community ownership can bring economic, social and environmental benefits for Ulva, North West Mull, and beyond.

Fri 27th – Sat 28th April, Isle of Eigg, with the Isle of Eigg Heritage Trust: Last year Eigg celebrated the 20th anniversary of their community buy-out. This visit will be an exchange sharing the experience of those 20 years, and the Misak experience of regaining their rights, culture and territory.

Wed 2nd May, Camuscross, Isle of Skye with Camuscross and Duisdale Initiative: A workshop on community-led development and an evening Ceilidh.

Thurs 3rd May, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig (Gaelic College), Isle of Skye: Exchanging experiences on cultural revitalisation and the importance of mother tongue language and culture in community-led development.

Fri 4th- Sun 7th  May, An Tearman, Isle of Bute, with Centre for Human Ecology: a 3-day in depth residential workshop on Plan de Vida for practitioners and activists.

Tues 8th May, Edinburgh, with Mark Ruskell MSP: an evening at the Scottish Parliament about the Misak Plan de Vida, an exceptional indigenous approach to community visioning and planning.