Vivir Bien is a Spanish phrase used to describe the way of life of indigenous peoples in the Andes region of South America. The Aymara call it sumaqamaña, the Quechua call it sumakkawsay, the Guaraní ñandereko, the Peruvian Amazon tribes Kametsa Asaiki. It has been translated into English as “living well,” “good life,” “knowing how to live,” “inclusive life,” or “sweet life.”

The particular philosophy and practice of vivir bien (or buen vivir) differs depending on the history, location and culture of each indigenous community in the Andes of South America. But there are some common elements that have been identified and developed into a concept now codified in the national constitutions of Ecuador and the Plurinational State of Bolivia.

Many of the underlying principles of vivir bien regarding social harmony and harmony with nature can be found in indigenous cultures all over the world. Indigenous peoples in the Philippines also have terms in native langauges that they use to refer to what they call “simple life,” where one has enough to enjoy life. They also use the words hayahay, hamugaway, gumpi-a katubo. Similarly, native groups in India speak of the Adivasi way of life. In many cases there are no exact words, but there are similar practices.

This video documents discussions on this topic held in Thailand, India and the Philippines in 2013.