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Andrew and Maria Leake - Argentina

The majority of indigenous people living in the dry tropical forests of northern Argentina do not have legally recognised land rights. Their situation is made worse by advancing deforestation of the native forests they live in and depend on for their well being.

We work with the Anglican Diocese of Northern Argentina. Andrew initially worked on the legalisation of indigenous rights to land. Since 2005, he has worked more specifically on initiatives aimed at empowering indigenous groups to protect their forest from being destroyed to make way for agriculture and cattle. He is now engaged in advocacy, seeking environmental justice for rural communities.

Call 

Social and environmental justice (creation care) among marginalised indigenous communities

Role 

Advocacy with those affected by land and environmental conflicts in northwest Argentina

Read more about Andrew and Maria Leake

Andrew was born in the UK, Maria in Argentina. Andrew grew up in Argentina, where his parents and grandparents were missionaries. Maria’s parents were exiled by Argentina’s military junta, and moved to England where she grew up. Maria has a degree in European studies and Italian and lived in Florence for two years teaching English. Andrew studied environmental sciences and rural social development. His doctoral thesis focussed on indigenous land and resource use in Paraguay.

Since we first met, we have shared a desire to serve God through addressing issues of social and environmental justice. This led us initially to work on indigenous land rights in Honduras (through Tearfund). Our strong affinity with Argentina and its indigenous population eventually led us back here, where we have been working since 1999.

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