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About the award
Each One Teach One
Daw Su Su Wai
Two Planes Crossing
Hope for Haiti
By Courtney Potter
Rosa Chivian, 9, is a Shuar Indian and recent amputee from deep in Ecuadorian Amazon jungle. Since her people believe that “accidents” are curses from evil spirits, her family fled with Rosa to another province to escape the shame of being “cursed.” Now the family is living at the Hospital Vozandes del Oriente in Shell, Ecuador, as Rosa undergoes rehabilitation and learns how to transcend the stigma attached to her malady.
Rosa is the youngest of 10 children, and she is not the only bearer of bad luck in the eyes of her people. The six oldest died during or shortly after childbirth. Though the Chivian family’s suffering has lowered their status among the Shuar, it has strengthened their love for their family.
Rosa’s leg could have been saved had the family had access to adequate medicine in the jungle. However, her village in Morono Santiago is a long walk from the biggest town, and there are no doctors there- only Shamans.
Juanita cares full-time for a healing Rosa while her husband looks for work. The family is not used to using money, since they live communally in the jungle and live off the land.
Juanita and Rosa practice walking near their hospital compound. The Chivians do not know how to pay for Rosa; they already owe the hospital thousands of dollars.
Rosa’s parents watch her closely at all hours. “She is getting thinner each day,” Juanita says.
The Chivians will not be able to stay at the hospital much longer. Though they are terrified of returning to the jungle, they are not accustomed to the Hispanic culture and language in Shell. “We must stay together,” says Juanita.