From a fearless, internationally acclaimed activist, an impassioned memoir about an indigenous childhood, a clash of cultures, and the fight to save the Amazon rainforest and protect her people
Born into the Waorani tribe of Ecuador’s Amazon rainforest—one of the last to be contacted by missionaries in the 1950s—Nemonte Nenquimo had a singular upbringing. She was taught about plant medicines, foraging, oral storytelling, and shamanism by her elders. She played barefoot in the forest and didn’t walk on pavement, or see a car, until she was a teenager and left to study with an evangelical missionary group in the city. But after Nemonte’s ancestors began appearing in her dreams, pleading with her to return and embrace her own culture, she listened.
Nemonte returned to the forest and traditional ways of life and became one of the most forceful voices in climate change activism. She spearheaded an alliance of Indigenous nations across the Upper Amazon and led her people to a landmark victory against Big Oil, protecting over a half million acres of primary rainforest.
We Will Be Jaguars is an astonishing memoir by an equally astonishing woman. Nenquimo digs into generations of oral history, uprooting centuries of conquest, and hacking away at racist notions of Indigenous peoples. Ultimately, she reveals a life story as rich, harsh, and vital as the Amazon rainforest herself.