From a fearless, internationally acclaimed activist, We Will BeJaguars is 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. Nemonte 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.
About the Author
Nemonte Nenquimo is a leader of the Waorani people, co-founder of the Ceibo Alliance, and an internationally acclaimed activist. Born in the Amazon region of Ecuador in 1985, she is a winner of the 2020 Goldman Environmental Prize and was named to TIME’s 100 Most Influential People of 2020 list (lauded by Leonardo DiCaprio).
Mitch Anderson is the founder and executive director of Amazon Frontlines, which supports the struggles of Indigenous peoples to defend their rights to land, life, and cultural survival in the Amazon rainforest. A native of the Bay Area, he is Nemonte’s partner, and they have two young children.