log in

About us - Save The Native Forest

History of STNF and CNBN

Off 1995 the (at the time 14 year old) Ecuadorian Stalin Armijos was taken in by Huane, chief of the Huaoranis in the village of Ñoneno, on the East side of the Huaorani Territory. He stayed with them for a few years and lived with the Huaoranis completely as they live. He thought them Spanish and learned their language, their way of living and many things about the rainforest. His brother Javier Armijos came later and he lived with them for about ten years, also completely in their way of living. If Javier would have stayed there, he would have become the next chief, but he wanted his children to be able to go to a good school and the culture was too different for him to stay there for the rest of his live.

In the past on several occasions the Huaoranis of these East-side Huaorani villages have asked Stalin and Javier to help them protect their forest. They really want to keep living the way they live, full in respect of nature and only taking what nature offers them, and only when they need it.  

So on Huaorani request, both Stalin and Javier fought for (and side by side with) the Huaoranis for years, against oil- and timber-companies, long before STNF was founded. They all feel very connected, until this day, both Stalin and Javier and the Huaoranis on the east side of the Via Auca. The Huaoranis still consider them and their families as family, and the other way around.

Since 2002 Stalin lives in The Netherlands with his Dutch wife Dorien. In 2009 they were asked to invite Johnny de Mol and Frederique van der Wal into the Huaorani community, for a television show called “Waar is de Mol”, which aired in The Netherlands. Johnny is a Dutch famous tv-maker and actor and Frederique is a world famous former supermodel and now entrepreneur.

Being totally impressed by the mysteries of the rainforest and the incredible way of living in it, Frederique stayed in contact with Stalin and Dorien, trying to find ways to help them protect it. This resulted in founding the Foundation Save The Native Forest in 2010. Frederique managed to arrange a donation made by Samsung for a Campaign using her pictures.

To be able to do all the actual groundwork in the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador and also to be able to  purchase land and do all the paperwork to make it a protected area in a completely legal way, the next logical step was to found a foundation in Ecuador to be able to do all this. Dorien has been active in the foundation STNF, Javier in the CNBN and Stalin has been very active, back and forth between The Netherlands and Ecuador as the liaison between the two foundations and working for CNBN in Ecuador, to keep everything as short-lined and resolute as possible.   

This is how STNF and CNBN started. Now IN 2018, after 8 years, a lot has been accomplished. CNBN has a strong network of people on the ground, who help to protect the forest. Already 450 ha strategically located rainforest has been purchased and legalized. We are now in the process of making it Bosque Protector, to give it a more protected status. Over the years many threats to this rainforest have been conquered and with that also all the rainforest located behind it.

Both STNF and CNBN is very proud of all the accomplishments and we are very happy that all this wonderful rainforest has still been untouched by dirty hands and safe.