Mar 11, 2020

Please Don't Disturb, New Food Forest is Growing!

Youth from the communities during theory lessons
Youth from the communities during theory lessons

Dear Friends and Supporters, 

Only yesterday we finished another 10-day key activity that we had been planning meticulously over the last months. We made it back just in time from the rainforest and our partnering communities to report to you today. 

As you may remember, through this campaign, we have been promoting a regenerative, diverse and resilient agroforestry system, which we call a “chacra integral”. Bridging traditional, indigenous land-management techniques with modern permaculture methods, a chacra integral produces abundance for local communities, creates healthy food forests, counteracts deforestation and soil degradation, and thus helps to combat and mitigate climate change. 

Under the masterful guidance of Tierra Martinez, founder of the Ná Lu’um permaculture Institute and one of the leading permaculture experts in Latin America, we offered a ten-day capacity building workshop to local families. A diverse group of over 30 people participated; women, men, and youth from 3 neighboring communities to our permaculture center in the lower Nanay River basin, in the Peruvian rainforest. 

The course offered a profound experience into a method called “agrofloresta”. Also known as syntropic agriculture, it is an extremely diverse and productive system of climate- and biodiversity-friendly sustainable farming. Just like a multi layered rainforest ecosystem, it works with plants that thrive on different levels and in different conditions (high, low, medium altitude, shade, sun, etc..), each producing food, timber or medicines at different time intervals, assuring a year-round production. Perfectly aligned with our local chacra integral system, we promote the agrofloresta as a part of it. 

Finishing the ten days, our team of eighty+ hands of villagers and Chaikuni staff had left growing three such rich agrofloresta plots. Installed in areas previously degraded by local farming practices, they are bound to grow back to thriving and productive forests. Two of the planted fields are in very accessible places in the communities, serving as example plots for community members which didn´t participate in the training.

With your help, we will continue to spread the knowledge on chacras integrales and the agrofloresta within our neighboring communities and beyond, to keep creating a movement to regenerate the Amazon.

Thank you for all your support to local communities in the Peruvian Amazon and for being part of our movement.  

 

With gratitude,

 

The Chaikuni Institute Team

No matter our origin, we all work for one dream
No matter our origin, we all work for one dream
Variety of crops and seeds is "agrofloresta"
Variety of crops and seeds is "agrofloresta"
These seed beds will become a "Food Forest"
These seed beds will become a "Food Forest"
Only with your support we made it possible!
Only with your support we made it possible!
Feb 10, 2020

Getting ready for the new academic year

OEPIAP's Vicepresident Gimena, with her classmates
OEPIAP's Vicepresident Gimena, with her classmates

Dear Friends and Supporters,

December in Peru coincides with both the closing of the academic year, and the period for entry exams. As we have been writing to you throughout the years, getting access to higher education and entering University is a very challenging endeavor for indigenous youth in the Northern Peruvian Amazon region. Most don´t have the economic means to travel to Iquitos and cover the costs of daily life and study fees. Those who could, or those who try to access a stipend, have to compete with students from the city, to get one of the much desired but limited study spots. In general, primary and secondary education in the far away indigenous villages is of much lower quality, and often entirely lacks an intercultural and bilingual approach, meaning that indigenous youth arrive in the city with a clear disadvantage. Only a very limited quota of study spots is reserved exclusively for indigenous students, the rest has to compete on equal terms with young folks from the city, who in general have reached a higher academic level when finishing secondary school.

Chaikuni´s Intercultural Education Program Sui Sui has for years been offering tutoring and extra classes to indigenous students, directly responding to their actual needs. This year, the main focus was on math, oratory and rhetoric skills. In November, in the time leading up to entry and semester exams, we offered 10 additional math classes and 23 lessons in oratory and rhetoric skills. Many of the participants in the classes were students which had newly arrived and aspired to get into University. Today we are happy to inform you that 7 of the 15 newly arrived aspirants have passed their entry exams!  

The dream: the struggle continues…

In terms of the main dream, i.e. that of their own student residence [which at the same time is the core of our campaign on GlobalGiving], the struggle sometimes might seem endless, but the dream is alive and well. After a change in government denied them the already agreed long term lease of a piece of land to build the student center, the negotiations continue in order to find a new solution. Three different areas have been pointed out, and each option is being investigated for its viability. It is a tedious process, frustrating at times, but Chaikuni continues to stand behind the students and support them in their advocacy to finally get a secure and adequate place of their own to live and study in Iquitos.

Thank you for standing with us, and thanks for everything you continue to do to support indigenous youth in the Peruvian Amazon.

With gratitude,

The Indigenous Students of OEPIAP and The Chaikuni Institute Team

Traditional dance performed by the UCP students
Traditional dance performed by the UCP students
Gimena plays a big roll to bring interculturality
Gimena plays a big roll to bring interculturality
Dec 11, 2019

Hectare by Hectare

Refreshing the benefits of the Chacras Integrales
Refreshing the benefits of the Chacras Integrales

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Since we last reported to you, we have continued our on-the-ground work to bring chacras integrales – diverse, regenerative and resilient agroforestry systems – to the surrounding communities of our permaculture centre, situated a couple of hours outside of the jungle city Iquitos, in the heart of the Peruvian Amazon.

Our dedicated permaculture team has been supporting the local farmers that were trained in the permaculture design course (PDC) in May to establish these chacras integrales on their own land. Implementation happens through so called mingas, where, additionally to the Chaikuni team, family and friends of the owner of the land come to lend a hand during a full day of communal labour in the field.

We are currently working with a core group of 10 local farmers, and support every participant with three mingas to help them on their way to establishing their own chacra integral. By the time of writing, and since we last reported to you, we have organized, supported and participated in 13 such communal work days, and 3 more are planned for this year. By now, five of the participants have fully established their agro-forestry plots, and one more will have his chacra integral up and ready by the end of the year. Each chacra being approximately 1 hectare, we will count 5 to 6 hectares of these diverse, productive, regenerative and healthy agroforestry plots.

Additionally, we also held 2 full-day workshops with this core group to refresh the knowledge from the PDC and address questions and issues which the participants experience during the implementation of their chacra. When asked about their experiences so far, one of the participants, a local farmer called Levi, lit up. He told us that while he used to mainly plant yucca and plantain, he has now opted for a much more diverse chacra integral. He recently had his nephews visiting him, and said they were all excited about the various different fruits and products they found growing on Levi´s land, tasting a bit of each.  

At the Chaikuni Institute, we are as excited as Levi to slowly but surely see the fruits of our outreach work. For the next year and a half, we have set ourselves the goal to increase the number of hectares to be turned into chacras integrales to 24, regenerating degraded land, turning it into productive and healthy food forests, producing benefits for the local farmers, the global community, our climate, and the Amazon rainforest alike.

We are as committed as ever to keep creating a movement to regenerate the Amazon, hectare by hectare, which we cannot do without you having our back. Thank you so much for all that you do to support local communities in the Peruvian Amazon and for being part of our movement.

 

With gratitude,

 

The Chaikuni Institute Team

Alfredo, the Chaikuni staff in charge of the bees
Alfredo, the Chaikuni staff in charge of the bees
Alfredo making a demonstration to local farmers
Alfredo making a demonstration to local farmers
Silvia proudly shows the products of our chacra
Silvia proudly shows the products of our chacra
Time for imagine and planning the new chacras
Time for imagine and planning the new chacras
 
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