Benki Piyãko Asháninka is an indigenous activist, environmentalist, and a highly respected spiritual and political leader of the Asháninka people in Brazil. He was born in the Amazon rainforest in 1974 and spent many years immersed in his people’s traditional way of life. From a young age, Benki was deeply committed to preserving the natural environment and cultural heritage of his people. As he grew older, he became increasingly involved in defending the rights and lands of indigenous peoples and promoting sustainable development in the Amazon rainforest.
Today, Benki is the president of the Yorenka Tasorentsi Institute, an organization that he founded to promote the preservation of the Amazon rainforest and the traditional culture and knowledge of indigenous peoples. The institute runs a number of projects, including a reforestation program, sustainable agriculture initiatives, and educational programs for people of all walks of life. He also spearheaded the Indigenous Ayahuasca Conferences, which bring together over 30 indigenous communities from the Amazon in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. Benki is widely recognized as a visionary leader and has received numerous awards for his work, including the United Nations’ Equator Prize.
Tibet House US was founded at the request of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who at the inauguration in 1987 stated his wish for a long-term cultural institution to ensure the survival of Tibetan civilization and culture, whatever the political destiny of the six million people of Tibet itself.