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Apr 18, 2019

Building a better toucan

This past February and March, CACE conducted three workshops in Nauta, Brillo Nuevo and Puca Urquillo to help our artisan partners address three main topics: how to work together to create a new product, how to make a product in quantity with consistent quality, and how to sell handicrafts more effectively to wholesale buyers and tourists.

We kicked off each workshop by splitting the participants into small groups and gave each one some construction paper, glue, tape, scissors, colored pencils and a ruler. The simple instruction was: “make a toucan any way you can.” This initially produced a lot of blank stares. A few artisans had woven birds with chambira palm fiber, but most of them had never made anything with these materials – much less a complicated three-dimensional figure.

The artisans set to work, however, with a jovial spirit, and just over an hour later everyone put their toucan on a long bench. The creations ranged from fat to flat, colorful to dull, precise to crude, and few could stand on their own. The artisans filed slowly by to inspect these individual efforts and carefully observed how any part of any bird was well made or had some attractive feature. The small groups then got back together to make one better toucan based on ideas they picked up from seeing the first attempts. They prepared a basic plan for toucan 2 and assigned each member a task. Someone would make the beak; others would make the head, the body, the tail, the legs, some adornment and/or put the whole thing together. Francisca from Amazonas expressed her feelings about the exercise well, “The first toucan I made by myself was terrible. I clearly didn’t know what I was doing, and I didn’t want to ask anyone for help. Our group’s bird was incredible the second time. We learned SO much from each other. I know now that we can apply this process to create any new product we want.”

As CACE has tried to standardize various types of handicrafts with our partners, sizes still vary widely sometimes even when we specify the dimensions. We learned one reason for these inconsistencies was that many artisans did not know how to measure things. So, we began the next part of the workshop by explaining the basic units and equivalencies of the metric (centimeters, meters, etc.) and American system (inches, feet, etc.). We reinforced the concept of dividing inches into halves, quarters and eighths with a game in which 2, 4, or 8 people needed to quickly come together to make one whole. We next defined length, width, height and diameter on objects with different shapes and then helped artisans use measuring tapes to record the dimensions of a box, a bottle, a roll of masking tape and a pair of scissors. Angelina from Brillo Nuevo told the group “It was really hard for me to do this exercise, but I really appreciated it. I feel confident now that I can make my belts and other crafts to the right size each time.”

The next step of helping the artisans make products with consistent design and size began by posting a drawing of a water bottle carrier with the dimensions of the woven pouch, the size and color of three stripes and the specs of the shoulder strap. Small groups were then asked to make four identical models with paper and other basic supplies. A few groups who had each person in their group make their own bottle carrier had predictable results – each model was very different. Most groups at least tried to work together where one person would do the measuring, someone else would do the cutting, while others worked on the strap or colored the stripes. No group in any of the three workshops completed all four carriers according to the specs, but after reviewing their initial efforts, each group came up with several ways they could work together more efficiently in a second try. Adela made a point that hit home for several artisans, “I’ve only been weaving for a few years so I’ve been shy about trying to make things with other artisans in my village. If we work together in this way, though, I can do something to help our group be more productive and complete bigger orders. I will get better watching others, and we will all get better with time.”

The next part of the workshop focused on teaching artisans how to classify and organize their crafts to sell them to wholesale buyers through a catalog or to tourists at fairs. All of the artisans first put all of the crafts they had with them on tables. We listed each of these crafts and other kinds that they or anyone else in their village made on a white board and then put each type of craft into a category. So earrings, bracelets and necklaces were grouped under jewelry; baskets, hot pads, and placemats were put into housewares, etc. After this brainstorm, we asked the group to place the crafts distributed randomly on the table with like crafts and categories next to similar categories. We noted the advantage of making crafts with multiple uses that fit into more than one category. One prime example for us is the small calabash pod etched with an Amazon animal with achira seeds inside which serves as a Christmas tree ornament as well as a hand rattle popular with musicians.

One of our most difficult tasks is telling an artisan who has spent days making a craft is that it isn’t good enough for us to buy. We have to do this, though, and tell them why so our partners can improve. They also need to do this quality control on their own to succeed with other buyers. To give the artisans practice with this task, we asked them to closely examine the crafts they had laid out on the tables, choose the best ones in each category and then explain why. We heard comments like: “Oh this, one has really precise edges,” “the knots are loose and uneven,” and “the colors on this one are faded.” It was encouraging that the artisans almost always chose or rejected the same ones we would have. This confirmed our suspicion that most artisans are well aware of the quality of their crafts. While some artisans don’t make high quality crafts because they haven’t learned to make them yet, experienced artisans sometimes rush to complete an order with the hope we will accept their work. While debriefing the exercise, Milda from Puca Urquilla said, “It’s hard to criticize the work of our fellow artisans, but we have to learn to do this in a constructive way. I know from experience that other buyers can be even more strict than CACE. It’s no good wasting our time and resources making crafts that large buyers won’t accept because they can’t sell them. We should develop a reputation as artisans who can be trusted to produce high quality crafts.”

Some of these exercises were challenging and intense so we separated them with interactive games. A few favorites borrowed from our Alternatives to Violence Project workshops were Armadillos and Holes (adapted from Landlords and Tenants) and Crocodiles and Frogs. Both required people to move around quickly and cooperate in some way and produced lots of laughter.

In two of the workshops, we did a session on photographing handicrafts so they could learn to help market their own work. We first set up cloths on tables to provide a solid color background below and behind a craft. CACE staff member Tulio then explained the basics steps for taking a good picture. Each artisan took a turn using one of our cameras or one on their phone to shoot one of the selected handicrafts. Tulio later compiled the photos on his computer and showed the group examples of shots which were in or out of focus, had good or poor lighting, or presented the craft in a good or not so good angle. Eliza from the village of San Francisco said, “I was very timid about doing this because I didn’t want to break the camera. Every time I pushed the button, the camera seemed to lurch, and the photo was blurry. I finally relaxed, though, and did it OK. I was proud to take a good picture of my woven turtles and discover that my son isn’t the only one in the family who can learn to use some technology.”

The next stage of the two-day workshop was helping the artisans start to make a catalog of their crafts. This began by explaining a product description that explained a bit about the artisan or artisan group, where they lived, what materials they used to make it, its size, its use, and their cost for retail and wholesale buyers. Small groups were asked to prepare a description of one or two products that mentioned these points and anything interesting about the craft’s cultural significance or animal depicted in the craft. In mixed-age groups, the elders usually talked while younger ones did the measuring and wrote responses. They then shared these descriptions with the full group to get their feedback and suggestions. One tough part of this exercise for the artisans was figuring out how much of a discount they could give to wholesale buyers who wanted many crafts of the same kind. When they make crafts one at a time by themselves, there are limited ways to improve their efficiency. They realized, though, that they could gain some economy of scale if they worked together to fulfill a large order.

We finally shifted to tips for marketing crafts to tourists. Some artisans had already had some experience doing, but was mostly new for artisans from more remote villages. Each small group was given a stand with a cloth, a batch of crafts, a big paper and some markers. They were asked to lay out their crafts in an attractive way and prepare a sign with the name of their artisan group and some phrase about themselves or their crafts. We did one review first to suggest ways to improve the presentation of their crafts or sign. After these adjustments, our facilitation team took on the role of tourists visiting their fair. Our Peruvian members asked questions in Spanish and tried to haggle with the artisans about prices. I pretended to be an American tourist who was a bit rude and spoke nothing but English. Milly from Puca Urquillo commented, “Wow, that was amazing, fun and hard. This was the first time I really had to explain everything about my craft.” Ofelia added, “It’s true that many visitors only speak a few words in Spanish, and it can be frustrating for all of us. We want you to teach us some simple English when you come back so we can communicate with them a little bit better.” I said I would.

We ended every workshop by asking artisans to answer a few questions in a written evaluation, and we helped the ones who had trouble reading and writing. The overall comments about the workshop were very positive, although there were sometimes mixed reviews about the food served during meal times. Other feedback helped us make our explanations of difficult concepts more clear and dynamic from the first to the third workshop and identify other topics the artisans want to learn about or practice more in the future.

There are many ways to build a better toucan, and we’re learning new ones all the time.

Artisans making paper toucans at workshop in Nauta
Artisans making paper toucans at workshop in Nauta
First round of toucans made by individual artisans
First round of toucans made by individual artisans
Artisans inspecting first round of paper toucans
Artisans inspecting first round of paper toucans
Artisans cooperating to making toucan in round 2
Artisans cooperating to making toucan in round 2
Artisans showing toucans made by groups in round 2
Artisans showing toucans made by groups in round 2
Artisan showing toucan made by her group
Artisan showing toucan made by her group
Yully from CACE explaining measuring units
Yully from CACE explaining measuring units
Tulio from CACE explaining measuring terms
Tulio from CACE explaining measuring terms
Artisans studying bottle carrier design
Artisans studying bottle carrier design
Artisan group making model of bottle carrier
Artisan group making model of bottle carrier
Artisans selecting best baskets for display
Artisans selecting best baskets for display
Armadillos and holes game (Light and Lively)
Armadillos and holes game (Light and Lively)
Artisan taking studio photograph of woven bag
Artisan taking studio photograph of woven bag
Artisans describing handicraft for product catalog
Artisans describing handicraft for product catalog
Placing product photos in practice catalog
Placing product photos in practice catalog
Bottle carriers at practice fair for tourists
Bottle carriers at practice fair for tourists
Artisans practice selling crafts to tourists
Artisans practice selling crafts to tourists
Helping artisan complete written evaluation
Helping artisan complete written evaluation
Serving lunch at artisan workshop at Brillo Nuevo
Serving lunch at artisan workshop at Brillo Nuevo
Pet parakeet in artisan home
Pet parakeet in artisan home
Artisan daughters from Brillo Nuevo
Artisan daughters from Brillo Nuevo
Kids playing soccer at Brillo Nuevo
Kids playing soccer at Brillo Nuevo
Heron flying over Ampiyacu River
Heron flying over Ampiyacu River
Tarantula and termite tunnels on CACE house wall
Tarantula and termite tunnels on CACE house wall

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Jan 18, 2019

I am who I am thanks to the forest

It was about ten o'clook in the morning when we spotted the port of Jenaro Herrera - the small town on the bank of the Ucayali river which was named after a famous Amazonian writer. The “rápido” (long narrow speed boat) slowed as we approached the metal floating dock where a bunch of children and adults anxiously waited with trays in their hands to sell us their products. Some did not even wait for our boat to stop before they jumped on. They crowded inside to offer packets of the town’s signature buffalo cheese and other refreshments to the seated passengers. When I finally managed to get off, I found Italo waiting with a smile and greeted him with a hug.

Italo has been working for CACE for eleven years. His face reveals his years of living in the forest and gives off a kindness that can not be ignored. He helped me carry my bags to the “hospedaje” (local inn) while we caught up on general topics like our family and health. Once I settled in a bit, we discussed our job for this trip. Italo has been observing the number, size and condition of the resin lumps on copal trees in our study areas in the government reserve on his own for the past three years and helping with every other phase of the research for even longer. While we had long hoped to develop a system to sustainably harvest these resin lumps and distill them to extract a novel and valuable essential oil, we finally had to accept that there were not enough of these trees or lumps in the forests around our partner communities for the enterprise to be profitable for the harvesters (See more details in our report: Letting go of the idea we love most). Before wrapping up our study in Jenaro Herrera, however, we wanted to get one more complete photographic record of the resin lumps on the trees we have been observing since 2007. We can use these photos to estimate how fast these resin lumps grow as the weevils inside them mature – key scientific information to better understand the relationship between copal trees, its resin and this specialized insect.

Very early the next day, I put on my boots, grabbed my camera, and found Italo waiting for me outside the inn.   We took a “motocar” (three wheeled motorcycle taxi) to the government research center that is a few miles up the road that eventually reaches Brazil. The road is not paved, so the tires skidded on the muddy ground and jumped when we hit bumps and ruts. Once we got to the center, we entered the forest that provides a large study site for scientists and students. Immediately the mosquitoes came out in force to greet us. They made it clear that they reigned here; we were just passing through.

We walked for a long time under a thick cover of leaves that protected us from the sun, but not from the heat. The humidity was intense, and we were soon sweating profusely. Italo went ahead, paying attention to the trail and everything around it. His years of experience in this environment has remarkably sharpened his vision. He can spot a tiny frog hiding in the foliage meters away when others would only see scattered leaves. I trusted Italo to notice any snakes – my main fear of walking in the forest. When we finally arrived at the first copal tree of the day, I got my camera gear ready.

When the larva of these special weevils chews into the inner bark of copal trees to feed, liquid resin oozes out of the wound onto the outer bark of the tree. As the resin begins to harden, the larva pushes the sticky material to the side to create a protective chamber for itself as it develops over the next couple of years. I took photos of every resin lump we found and recorded the code number of the study tree. Some lumps were near the roots while others were higher up the trunk.  Italo helped me steady a telescopic rod to photograph the lumps in difficult positions and record information about their condition. When we finished one tree, we moved on to the next according to a map that only exists in Italo’s head.

We spent another five hours walking through the forest, finding study trees, photographing resin lumps and using the opportunity to talk. Italo had countless stories to tell – things he has seen, things he has learned, how he respects nature and what these things mean to him. His words are full of the wisdom of an Amazonian woodsman, of a man of the jungle and sweat with alert eyes and tired feet.

While resting on a fallen trunk, Italo reflected, "You know Tulito, I have walked through the forest all my life. I have almost been bitten several times by poisonous snakes.  I have gotten lost in the bush, and I have lost friends who walked into the woods and never came out. I have seen things that you would not believe. But you know, I would not change my life for any other. I have enjoyed focusing on copal because I have learned so much studying it with CACE. I have spent so much time observing the trees and resin lumps that it makes me feel good about myself. I know I'm not a professional, and I have not studied at a university, but I'm not going to feel bad about it. I like the life I have. I have assisted students and professors who have come from several universities to do their research here, and they have learned from me. How do I explain it? I am who I am thanks to the forest."

His words are full of pride, and I deeply appreciated that he shared them with me. Time has passed, though, so we stood up and carried on with our work since we still had to visit several hundred more trees.

When we finished for the day, we headed back to the research station. There was no motorcar at the entrance to take us back to town, but we hadn’t really expected to find one. We walked along the road under the attentive gazes of water buffaloes who were accustomed to people and did not flinch as we passed.  Back at the inn, taking off my boots and resting my tired feet was one of the great pleasures in my life.

We repeated this pattern for several more days.  My tasks became routine, but the forest did not. The forest always seemed to have something to say, just like Italo. While I was used to the rhythm of the city, the change from its fast pace to the life here was memorable. Not everyone has the chance to walk through the Amazon rainforest or to share this experience with someone whose life is the forest. The time finally came to say goodbye to Italo and my other friends in Jenaro Herrera and go home with my own stories to tell.

Italo monitoring resin lump on copal tree
Italo monitoring resin lump on copal tree
Italo and Tulio fishing near the Ucayali River
Italo and Tulio fishing near the Ucayali River
Italo measuring copal tree size
Italo measuring copal tree size
Italo and Angel monitoring copal tree in the rain
Italo and Angel monitoring copal tree in the rain
Resin lumps on copal tree at Jenaro Herrera
Resin lumps on copal tree at Jenaro Herrera
Italo and snake in the forest
Italo and snake in the forest
Lychen patches on copal tree
Lychen patches on copal tree
Italo and CACE volunteer Tracy S.
Italo and CACE volunteer Tracy S.
Italo collecting copal resin lump sample
Italo collecting copal resin lump sample
Italo manually harvesting copal resin
Italo manually harvesting copal resin
Italo harvesting resin lump from copal tree
Italo harvesting resin lump from copal tree
Italo and Campbell Plowden - Project Leader
Italo and Campbell Plowden - Project Leader

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Dec 17, 2018

Dare to ask others to listen deeply.and have some fun together

The Center for Amazon Community Ecology (CACE) has been working to develop sustainable livelihoods for native families and support health, education and conservation in their forest-based communities in the northern Peruvian Amazon since 2006. Our best accomplishments have been helping artisans learn to make innovative fair-trade handicrafts and improve their management of the plants used to make these crafts. We have made some progress encouraging small groups of artisans to work together, but many artisans still struggle to cooperate due to poor communication, persistent grudges, a lack of trust, and negative dynamics within their communities.

Apart from my work with CACE, I have been a volunteer facilitator with the non-profit Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) since 2002. AVP sponsors conflict resolution workshops in prisons and community settings throughout the U.S. and more than 50 countries. I had long thought that AVP principles and practices might benefit our partner communities in Peru so a few years ago I incorporated a few fun exercises from AVP workshops into our meetings. The artisans enjoyed these, but the positive effects were short-lived. I was reluctant, however, to propose doing full AVP workshops with them because I didn’t want to seem like I was pushing an agenda for another organization, and I wasn’t confident I could effectively present AVP concepts in Spanish.

My perception of ongoing frustrations in many communities led me to test the AVP waters last March in Peru where I held one four-hour mini-AVP workshop in the Bora native community of Brillo Nuevo and a comparable session in the campesino community of San Francisco. The response to these short sessions was better than I had dared to hope for. Many participants said that that this positive and practical approach to communication was exactly what they needed to help heal rifts within their community and give them tools to work in harmony as they remembered doing long ago. I explained that AVP typically involves conducting a series of three workshops (Basic, Advanced, Training for Facilitators) and promised to try to convene the first level workshop in their community when I returned to Peru in the fall. I could help facilitate them, but I would need help from at least one native Spanish speaking co-facilitator and raise funds to pay for workshop related travel and materials.

After reaching out to other groups over the summer, I was very pleased that we were able to do three Basic workshops with participants six partner communities this past October with financial support from five organizations – State College Friends Meeting, Central Pennsylvania AVP, AVP InternationalCACE and Minga Peru. I was joined by Magaly, a very experienced AVP facilitator from Bolivia and Carmen, an apprentice facilitator from Puno, Peru.

We held the first workshop in the twin native community of Puca Urquillo Bora and Puca Urquillo Huitoto on the Ampiyacu River. Preparing ground rules for the workshop included agreements like “be on time,” “don’t speak when someone else is speaking,” “respect confidentiality,” and “don’t put down yourself or others.” These concepts seemed very basic, but they immediately set the tone for a dynamic that was new for the participants. It was also new for them to sit in a circle with the facilitators rather than sit in rows facing workshop leaders talking at them from a higher platform. We succeeded in creating an environment where people felt safe sharing very personal things with a partner, others in a small group or all 20 participants. The exercises and role plays brought to light many common sources of tension that included discord within and between families and between community leaders and other members of the community. Participants practiced how to share their feelings about difficult situations with others in non-judgemental ways, demonstrate empathy and seek non-violent solutions to conflicts.

One new challenge that our facilitation team faced in this workshop was figuring out how to include two people in wheel chairs in some of the interactive games like “Human knot” and “Crododiles and Frogs” which involved a lot of movement. Our team felt proud to develop creative ways to include them in these activities so all participants felt fully integrated into all of the processes. Another workshop highlight was bringing together people from both villages in a personal and meaningful way that rarely occurs despite their close proximity.

We did an oral evaluation with the group at the end of the first and second day and asked every participant to respond to six questions in writing at the end of the workshop. Others helped a few of the older workshop participants fill out their evaluation form if they couldn’t read or write well or couldn’t express themselves well in Spanish. Two responses that stood out were:

 “I thought this workshop would be just lectures, but it was much better with exercises that helped me consider myself.”

 “I learned what I never knew – listen to the person who is speaking.”

 The second workshop was held at Tambo Minga - a simple workshop center near the town of Nauta on the Marañon River operated by the Peruvian NGO Minga Peru. This workshop’s participants included people from the Cocama village of Amazonas, the campesino village of San Francisco, two CACE Peruvian staff members and an artisan from the town of Jenaro Herrera on the Ucayali River. One major topic of conflict that frequently emerged in this workshop were the challenges families faced when men got drunk and/or abused their wives.

All participants expressed their sense of empowerment to deal with highly sensitive issues in more forthright ways. We deeply explored how differences in peoples’ values can be underlying causes of conflict and showed how becoming aware of and accepting these differences can help establish understanding at a basic human level. This workshop also provided a potent opportunity for people from neighboring villages who rarely cooperate to come together to share common challenges and aspirations. The representatives from one village were acutely aware that their small number of participants was much less than hoped for. This sentiment reflected a general sense that despite its moderate size and relative success selling handicrafts, the dynamic in this village was dominated by an individualist approach rather than a cooperative spirit. The people who attended this workshop, therefore, hoped that they might use the skills they learned to strengthen this spirit which many people yearned for but did not know how to achieve.

One salient comment from this workshop was: “(This process) can help me to be a better person by listening to the opinions of others and value myself.”

The third workshop was held in the Bora village of Brillo Nuevo on the Ampiyacu River. Physical and emotional violence within families and the theft of food and fiber resources from the land of fellow community members were major topics that emerged during this workshop. Core exercises focused on better listening, values, triggers, empathy, and communicating in honest but non-judgmental ways. Considering these ideas and practicing related skills gave people new ways to approach situations that often led to discord, fear, and depression within their homes and dysfunctionality of their community. This negativity had already led many people to leave the community entirely. In the workshop, however, many participants tearfully said they now felt empowered to approach potential conflicts in more positive ways. They only wished they had been able to learn about this affirming style communication years ago since it could have drastically altered negative events which had occurred since their youth.

One notable comment from the evaluation was: “If someone attacks me in a discussion, we will be able to reach a solution. It’s always better to listen and have patience or practice tolerance before acting.”

Participants at all three workshops expressed their great surprise and joy for its interactive format. They often felt that instructors in other workshops looked down on them so they only went to them to receive free meals. Such poor expectations were probably responsible for the unfilled spots in our workshops. Comments made processing exercises and evaluating sessions revealed that participants appreciated learning new ways to consider their lives, communicate and transform their communities to kinder and more cooperative places to live. People also liked gathering in a circle where facilitators helped create a trusting environment for all voices to be heard. This was a sharp contrast to the dynamic in other workshops or community meetings where the presenters or leaders sat on a stage facing everyone else sitting below on benches. This alternate format fostered engagement and cooperation rather than boredom and confrontation.

The evaluations provided insights into some things our facilitation team did well.

 “I loved the facilitators very much because they came to speak about how we can manage conflict. I liked their way of working because they were concerned with the well-being of everyone.”

 “The facilitators were an example for me for how a team is good because they worked together well. This will help me work better in my family and community with coordinated agreements.”

 “The facilitators are very gentle because they manage the workshop with care and speak with clear and simple words.”

 “Very good facilitators – easy to understand, very humble, and that is important because in this way the participants feel more confident. Good people and very comprehensive – thank you for all.”

 People in all three workshops universally expressed their desire to continue this learning process in the Advanced level AVP workshop. One participant commented, “I want to continue to the next level because I want to learn more about how we can change to become united. I have changed a lot in the way I think. I was very angry, but now I feel very happy because you have taught me many things.”

While none of the facilitators had met each other before the workshop, our team enjoyed abundant joy, creativity, and cooperation working together. Our first touchstone was our mutual appreciation for multiple ways that involvement with AVP had nurtured our personal growth and enabled us to empower others. This collaborative spirit was strengthened by sharing personal stories before the workshops, and doing simple activities together to support for CACE’s work with the artisans in between workshops. We relished connecting with people from diverse native cultures in our own way and eat foods unique to the Amazon rainforest. We loved absorbing the sights and sounds of birds, frogs and natural scenery on numerous boat trips and went fishing together one evening. We went dancing with great zeal after every workshop and shared the common fate of poor sleep caused by buzzing mosquitos and itchy legs and bellies from chigger bites. We readily applied our shared experiences to create and refine the workshop agenda on the fly, support each other when one person’s energy or focus was waning, and seamlessly handed off the lead to another team member with nothing more than a simple hand gesture. It’s clear we formed a friendship in a few weeks that will grow and endure for many years.

One benefit for me doing these workshops was that it helped me establish much stronger relationships with many of our partners. Many people previously only knew me as the leader of the organization who bought their handicrafts – often with very stringent conditions. In the workshops, they shifted from calling me “doctor” to “Creative Campbell” – one of my affirming adjective names in the AVP world. These workshops gave some villagers and me a chance to get to know each other as whole people – people who have talents, dreams and problems that go far beyond the making and selling of handicrafts, and they gave me added confidence to apply AVP principles in a more direct way into my work.   In one artisan meeting that we held after the workshop in Brillo Nuevo, a few artisans who had not been at the workshop began talking with each while I was presenting ideas about an upcoming palm management workshop. Rather than talk over them or ask them to be quiet, I simply stopped talking. When the artisan pair realized that the whole group was listening to them instead of to me, they become silent, and I resumed.

While these workshops did not deal directly with handicraft making or caring for trees, I believe that sponsoring them with other organizations will help CACE improve our other programs for one simple reason. Our partner communities realize even more strongly now that we care about the well-being of their community and all of its members. We truly want to listen to them, and help them listen more deeply to each other.

Human knot exercise at Brillo Nuevo
Human knot exercise at Brillo Nuevo
Human knot exercise at Brillo Nuevo 2
Human knot exercise at Brillo Nuevo 2
Facilitators in boat en route to Brillo Nuevo
Facilitators in boat en route to Brillo Nuevo
Facilitators giving participant a certificate
Facilitators giving participant a certificate
Participants at workshop in Nauta
Participants at workshop in Nauta
Huitoto woman selling chickens for workshop dinner
Huitoto woman selling chickens for workshop dinner

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