Help Leonela and her friends to protect the environment

Imagine a giant candle, or a very tall chimney that’s always burning. Now picture hundreds of these giant candles all burning at once. This is what gas flaring looks like—it’s when companies burn off natural gas while producing oil. It’s not only wasteful but also harmful to the environment and the health of people and animals.

In the Amazon region of Ecuador, 14-year-old Leonela Moncayo is fighting against this. She and eight other brave girls from the Amazon have taken legal action to stop companies from flaring gas in their community. The court agreed with them and told the Ecuadorian government to end this harmful practice. However, the government hasn’t done anything about it yet, and gas flaring continues in communities already suffering from pollution and cancer.

Six young girls with their backs to the camera. They're looking at a gas flare

Leonela boldly challenged the Minister of Energy in a video that has spread widely, about the government not following the court’s order. Shortly after her confrontation, a homemade bomb exploded outside Leonela’s home. Thankfully, no one was hurt, but it was a scary attempt to silence those speaking out against harmful practices like gas flaring.

Gas flaring can cause health issues like asthma and other breathing problems. It can also damage natural areas and wildlife, limiting outdoor activities that young people enjoy, such as hiking, swimming, and playing sports.

Leonela speaking on a podium

Will you stand with Leonela and her friends in their fight to protect their community and the environment from the harmful effects of gas flaring?

Here’s what you can do:

Write a short and polite letter to the Attorney General of Ecuador. Ask her to use her authority to find out who was behind the bomb attack outside Leonela’s house. Also encourage her to protect Leonela and the other girls who are working hard to protect the environment.

You can write the letter in your own words using this as an example of what to write.

Subject: Please Protect Leonela and Her Friends

Dear Attorney General,

My name is [your first name] and I am 11 years old. I’m writing to ask for your help. I heard that Leonela and her friends, who are trying to stop gas flaring in the Amazon, were scared by a bomb at Leonela’s house. This is unfair and scary because they are just trying to protect our planet.

Please can you make sure they are safe? And can you find out who did this scary thing? They need protection so they can keep helping the environment without being afraid.

Thank you for making sure everyone is safe and for listening to me.


[Your Name]

When you finish writing the letter, mail it to:

Ms. General Attorney

Diana Salazar

Juan León Mera N19-36 y Av. Patria,

Edificio Fiscalía General del Estado Quito

Quito, Ecuador

Email: /

You can also send a similar message to the Ambassador of Ecuador in Ottawa:

His Excellency Carlos Alberto Patricio Jativa Naranjo


Embassy of the Republic of Ecuador

99 Bank Street, Suite 230

Ottawa, ON K1P 6B9


Four young girls looking into the camera

What else can you do?

Share Leonela’s story with your friends and family. If you use any social media, you can share the graphic below and urge others to take action as well.