Frontpage > About IWGIA > Where we work > Projects in South America

Projects in South America

Thematic priorities

In Central and South America, IWGIA has developed its strategy around the following thematic priorities:

Organisational empowerment

Over the last 30 years, a significant number of indigenous organisations have been established in Latin America at local, regional and national level. Despite their long history, most organisations require external technical and financial assistance. IWGIA believes that strengthening the indigenous organisations through leadership training, communication with the grassroots and exchanges of experience with other indigenous organisations is essential.

Land Rights

Since the 1990s, the titling of wide areas of land has been achieved in favour of indigenous peoples. IWGIA considers the defence and consolidation of indigenous territories to be its main work priority.


Many indigenous organisations are beginning to see the importance of giving women a more active and decisive role and the number of organisations that express concern for women's issues is increasing. There is also a growing number of women's organisations, and issues – such as women's legal rights, women's knowledge and control of natural resources, domestic violence, women's rights versus traditional norms, etc. - are now increasingly being discussed.


IWGIA intends to focus particularly on indigenous youth groups, particularly those living in urban areas (who have migrated from their communities because of poverty or armed conflict), helping them to discuss their situation and their future as indigenous people with indigenous youths from other countries.

International issues

Over the last decades, new spaces have opened up at international level that could be used by indigenous organisations to promote their interests. IWGIA has organised a series of consultation workshops in the region such as, for example, around the election process for indigenous representatives to the UN Permanent Forum and on the OAS Declaration.

Awareness Raising

IWGIA combines financial support to indigenous organisations with awareness raising around the problems they face. In order to do this, we have been developing a publications programme, which we try to supplement with public campaigns. IWGIA runs an online Radio Platform in Spanish - Radio Encuentros with a mix of own and locally produced pod cast on current indigenous issues.  We also support Servindi, which produces a weekly, broad and detailed information service on the indigenous situation in the continent through the internet: