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Intercultural Education for Indigenous Youth



Serving over 300 indigenous people, our unique Intercultural school in the Shipibo indigenous community of Puerto Fiermeza in the Peruvian Amazon combines Western and traditional indigenous forms of knowledge in order to provide high-quality education that strengthens cultural identity and empowers indigenous youth from an early age. The teaching of traditional agricultural and forestry practices provides sustainably grown and nutrient rich food sources for the students and community.

What is the issue, problem, or challenge?

Schools in indigenous communities in Peru offer poor quality education with insufficient resources, unmotivated teachers, and few classes. The curriculum places little value on indigenous culture, causing many indigenous youth to lose their language and customs. Additionally, food insecurity and malnourishment are serious problems due to unsustainable agricultural and fishing practices, and schools do not prepare students or the community to confront these issues, essential to their survival.

How will this project solve this problem?

Shipibo professors and elders at the school at Puerto Firmeza not only provide a high-quality Western education, but also use 8 interactive learning zones to teach Shipibo students about ancient agricultural practices, medicinal plant knowledge, traditional art and music, and more. The school leads efforts in building and maintaining knowledge in sustainable agriculture and fish farms that students learn to cultivate and cook towards a more sustainable future for students and community.

Potential Long Term Impact

The school at Puerto Firmeza has already created visible results and engendered high praise from community members, neighboring schools, and the Regional Government. We aim to replicate the program across the Peruvian Amazon, and work closely with the Peruvian Ministry of Education to develop it as part of the national intercultural education curriculum, improving access to quality education and benefitting indigenous youth nationwide.

Funding Information

Total Funding Received to Date: $11,685
Remaining Goal to be Funded: $21,615
Total Funding Goal: $33,300

Additional Documentation

This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).


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Alianza Arkana

Yarinacocha, Ucayali, Peru

Project Leader

Matthew Watherston

Iquitos, Loreto Peru

Where is this project located?

Map of Intercultural Education for Indigenous Youth
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