Alianza Arkana

The Arkana Alliance is committed to raising awareness about the current environmental and social crises in the Amazon; supporting the creation, connection and strengthening of strategic networks and regional and community-based alliances; and inspiring positive change at local, national and international levels to protect and preserve the people, environment, and ancient traditions of the Amazon Rainforest.
Mar 6, 2015

Update: Alianza Arkana Scholarship students

Percy with his parents
Percy with his parents

All the nine Shipibo students receiving scholarships to study at university to become professionals in the areas of teaching, law, agriculture and accountancy from Alianza Arkana completed their year at university for 2014. They are all at different stages of their degree programs.

We offer particular congratulations to one of our students, Percy, who successfully finished his five-year degree program in Primary Intercultural Education at the National Intercultural University of the Amazon in Pucallpa. He will be graduating in April 2016.

The last three months in education have been relatively quiet. This is because they are the long school summer holidays in Peru and the schools and universities are closed from mid-December until the beginning of March. During this time many Shipibo families temporarily migrate to other parts of Peru to work in poorly paid agricultural activities such as harvesting grapes and other crops.

Although the children have not been at school, we have continued to work on the agricultural project in the community of Santa Clara, which is attached to the school. The food produced in this project will be used in the weekly cooking and nutrition classes we are organizing with a group of mothers in the community, which will restart in March 2015.

Six of our scholarship students
Six of our scholarship students
Dec 29, 2014

Thanks for your support of the Quechua People

After the declaration of an environmental emergency in March 2013 and the declaration of a health emergency in April 2014 in the Pastaza river, the Peruvian government installed in May 2014 a Multisectorial Commission for Development, as a dialogue mechanism between the State and indigenous peoples to find solutions for the damages caused by more than 43 years of oil pollution in Pastaza.

 However, eight months after the installation of that Commission, and after numerous meetings, no solution has been found. During the last official meeting in November, the Prime Minister’s High representative admitted that it is not a matter of legal nor technical answers, it all depends on political will. He made the promise that during a meeting at the end of November, that is before the International Conference on Climate change would take place in Lima, answers would be given by the Prime Minister himself.

 None of that happened and during the Climate change conference the Peruvian government kept in silence the suffering of its peoples. Although the federation FEDIQUEP together with woman leaders and its environmental monitors tried very hard to denounce the situation on the international scene, by presenting and sharing the Pastaza movie on different occasions, little attention was paid to it on an official level. However new alliances were woven with social movements from Peru, Ecuador and across the world, and the Quechua women returned home obviously inspired and strengthened by the many women’s movements they met. The internationally recognized ethic Tribunal for the Rights Of Nature accepted the case of the polluted river basins of Loreto as a case of severe violation of the rights of nature and assigned it a special hearing in Peru in the very near future.

 The situation for the people of Pastaza is concerning. And there is more: PeruPetro, the company that promotes oil and mining inversion in Peru, announced the bidding of at least 26 new licences for 2015, including a new contract in the severely polluted area of oil block 1AB, now 192, on the Quechuas’ territory. In the meanwhile the operating company Pluspetrol is appealing against the fines imposed by the state’ environmental control body, and tries constantly to divide the communities by offering and negotiating amounts of money for the use of their territories.

 The federation FEDIQUEP and its communities face a very challenging year. 2015 takes off with too many pending questions and unsolved matters. The hard task for the Federation is to organize, unite and inform its communities even more and to re-strategize in the wake of the announced new oil contract on their territories. One of the key issues for 2015 will be the right to prior and informed consent in oil block 192.

 That is why we dare to ask your very necessary support again. Please help FEDIQUEP and its communities to stand up against the injustice of 43 years of oil contamination and to get real respect for the indigenous right to prior and informed consent.

Dec 3, 2014

Murals, Elder Education, and Nutritious Food!

Youth artists in Shipibo community of Santa Clara
Youth artists in Shipibo community of Santa Clara

In October this year, we took our intercultural education program another step forward by starting to work with the Shipibo community of Santa Clara. This community is geographically close to other communities in which we have been working and enables us to connect together permaculture projects in all these communities, which is part of our overall vision of landscape regeneration in this area.

Activities have been initiated in Santa Clara that we have successfully pioneered in other communities:

  • Working with a group of mothers to teach them about nutrition by cooking a healthy meal together once a week for all 50 children in the community
  • Having our Shipibo permaculture expert working with the children in the community school to teach them principles of sustainable agriculture through cultivating fruit, vegetables and medicinal plants on land close to the school
  • Organizing workshops in which elders in the community teach the children aspects of the traditional culture (for example stories, songs and crafts), which are in danger of being lost.

The work in Santa Clara has been greatly helped by Lucy, one of our long-term volunteers living in the community. That has enabled her and us to better understand the needs of the community and gain their trust. Through the relationships that she developed with the local children, and the involvement of an artist friend of hers, she was able to facilitate the painting of two beautiful murals on the outside walls of the local primary and kindergarten schools.

We are very excited for the coming months, as the rainy season arrives and the kids will be getting their hands dirty planting lots of trees in the Permaculture Living Classroom.

Kids eat healthy lunches in Grow & Cook project
Kids eat healthy lunches in Grow & Cook project
A completed mural in Santa Clara
A completed mural in Santa Clara

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