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.
Jan 19, 2017

Update on our work in Ecosocial Justice

AA team with community members of Calleria
AA team with community members of Calleria

The main focus of our work in the last three months has been finding someone to replace our former Director of Ecosocial Justice, Tom Younger, who did such a great job with us and sadly had to go back to the UK when his father became ill.

We are delighted that we have now found two people who will work with us in this area.

The first is Daniel Matthews, who is Peruvian. Daniel has been involved in social movements in Peru snce the 1970's and so brings a wealth of experience with him. Additionally, he has a Doctorate in Latin Americal Literature and is a published poet.

The second is Jane Shirley Mori Cairuna. Shirley is a young Shipibo woman and graduate in agro-forestry from the Universidad Nacional Intercultural de la Amazonia (UNIA) - the first indigenous university in Peru, based about ten minutes away from our offices in Yarina. (We are supporting six students with scholarships at this university.)

Shirley will be working with us first as a trainee with a view to assuming a paid role in six months time, when we have funding for that. She will focus on the courses we want to give young people in communities about eco-social justice and also alternative livelihoods.

The highlight of our work this month was visit to the community of Calleria, which is one of the few Shipibo communities who are successfully managing the forest in their ancestral lands. Shirley wrote an excellent blog (in Spanish and soon to be translated into English and also Shipibo!), which you can read here.

In the future, we want to offer workshops in other Shipibo communities, bringing the people from Calleria to share their experience, to look at how other communities might successfully manage their own forests, rather than granting concessions to mestizo logging companies, which is what happens at the moment in at least 80% of Shipibo communities

Many thanks for your ongoing support for this important work.

Jane Shirley Mori Cairuna
Jane Shirley Mori Cairuna
Daniel Matthews
Daniel Matthews
Leader of community showing us the tree Lupuna
Leader of community showing us the tree Lupuna
Dec 1, 2016

Supporting Ecotourism and other Developments

Shipibo welcome music
Shipibo welcome music

Dear all

As always many thanks for your support.

The last three months have been uncharacteristically very hot in Pucallpa, in the heart of the Peruvian Amazon. Usually these months are cooler as the rainy season approaches. Sadly, I think this is climate change really starting to bite here. As always the people most affected are the indigenous and other vulnerable populations.

If you have not already seen it, please look at our new video of the work in Santa Clara. It was made by a highly professional videographer who has just finished working with us for three months.

I have just come back from a two day visit with 25 people from the Universeum of Gothenburg, in Sweden, to the Shipibo community of Santa Clara. This was their second visit in two weeks and is part of our support to the community alongside the permaculture/intercultural education project we have there.

The visit was a great success - see the photos, where the Swedes also shared aspects of their culture (¡like Papa Noel!). Also see more photos on our Facebook site:

The other really good news from the community is that the young people there are increasingly taking intiatives and breaking out of the cycle of dependency on external help. They have recently formed an association and want to talk to us about their ideas for creating sustainable livelihoods in the community, which could include further development of ecotourism in the community and the cultivation and sale of medicinal plants.

Our intercultural book for Shipibo primary school children continues to progress well. We now have all 30 paintings of plant spirits from Shipibo artist Lastenia Canayao (see photo for another example of her work) and also 30 botanical drawings of the plants. These will now be sent to New York City, where we are working with the Shipibo Conibo Center for Contemporay Arts there, who are helping us design and produce the book.

We have also created a strategic plan to increase the number of Shipibo people working in Alianza Arkana. This can be viewed in the accompanying document. We have already appointed one talented young Shipibo woman to work with us - first as an apprentice in the work in eco-social justice and with young people and then to take on a key role in one of these areas.

Finally, we had a very successful staff retreat last Friday focussed on funding and the future of the organization. We continue to attract high quality volunteers and researchers, including more Peruvians who can stay much longer term with us as they do not have issues with visas to be able to stay in Peru.

Any questions/comments please contact me at: paul@alianzaarkana.org

Best wishes

Dr Paul Roberts

Director Intercultural Education

Alianza Arkana

Shipibo girls dancing
Shipibo girls dancing
Papa Noel all the way from Sweden
Papa Noel all the way from Sweden
Small trees ready to be planted for reforestation
Small trees ready to be planted for reforestation
Lastenia
Lastenia's painting of plant spirit of Maranon
Photo from staff retreat
Photo from staff retreat

Attachments:
Oct 30, 2016

Engaging in Intercultural Education

Welcome outside school at Bena Jema
Welcome outside school at Bena Jema

We have recently hosted a visit of Swedish kindergarten and primary teachers in Pucallpa. Five Swedish kindergarten teachers spent four days working with the kindergarten school in Bena Jema. Three primary school teachers visited the primary school in Bena Jema for three days and had a one day visit to the school in Santa Clara, where they saw the permaculture project we have established in the community.

The Swedish teachers visit was part of a program of intercultural exchange. Next year, there will be an opportunity for three Shipibo teachers to visit Sweden to continue exchanging ideas about educational practice.

Our intercultural book on plant medicines for Shipibo primary school children continues to develop well. We now have all 30 plantings of plant spirits commissioned from Shipibo artist Lastenia Canayo. Additionally, we have most of the botanical drawings from another artist in Pucallpa that will also be part of the book.

The paintings and drawings will soon be shipped to New York where a professional photographer will photograph them. We will be working with the Shipibo-Konibo centre for contemporary art, also based in New York City, on the book design. We plan to publish the book in the early New Year.

Swedish teachers singing
Swedish teachers singing
Meeting at Santa Clara
Meeting at Santa Clara
Lastenia
Lastenia's painting of plant spirit of Bobinsana
 
   

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