I am a woman from the highlands - a poem by Maxima Acuna

“I am a woman from the highlands

Who lives in the mountain ranges

Tending to my sheep

In mist and heavy rain

When my dog barked

The police arrived

My hut they burned down

My things they took away

Food I did not eat

Only water I drank

A bed I did not have

With hay I covered myself

Because I defend my lakes

They want to take my life

Engineers, police, they robbed my sheep

Sheep’s head soup they drank, in the mining camp of Conga

And with this, now I say goodbye

Dear friends, I wish you well, I will go on

I defend the land and water because it is life.

I am not afraid of corporate power. I will continue the struggle.” 

- Maxima Acuna, Peruvian farmer, Goldman Environmental Awardee