Watch our new video 'Leaders of the New Amazon' from The Chaikuni Institute on Vimeo!!!
Dear Friends & Supporters,
Since June 2017, through this campaign, we have been working diligently in support of the self-organized indigenous youth organization OEPIAP, which represents over 120 indigenous youth from 13 Amazonian peoples from the Peruvian Amazon. These indigenous youth come from all over the rural areas of the Peruvian Amazon region of Loreto to study in the city of Iquitos because it is the only place for several hundred miles where they can study. Many of these students come in boats through connecting rivers of the Amazon fromisolated indigenous communities on trips that can take several days to arrive.When they arrive, they are strangers in a strange land and know almost no one. They often arrive with only the very basic necessities, very limited financial resources, experience a culture shock, and must live in extreme poor living arrangements in order to study to improve their lives and to take this knowledge back to their community to help their people.
These indigenous students have come together to overcome their many struggles, and their biggest dream is to obtain a higher education and to have a safe place with suitable conditions to live and study.
After years of political struggle, including numerous protests, last year the regional government of Loreto finally granted the student organization a piece of land for them to begin to build their dream.
A critical and central piece to this dream has been for them to have their own residency and study center in order to have better living conditions and appropriate places to study. In early May of 2018, we initiated the construction of a computer lab and office space on the land. Several students took actively part in the building. This exciting advance has been made possible thanks to your donations as well as a grant from the Liechtenstein Development Service (LED).
In June of 2018, the computer lab was completed and the students are eager to move to the land in order to begin using this facility and to benefit from your generous donations. However, the largest and most important part of our vision has yet to begin: The Residency Center
These students aspire to build a residency hall for approximately 200 students on the land granted to them by the regional government of Peru, as they are currently living in extremely poor conditions compounded by an environment that insufficiently provides a conducive and stimulating learning experience.
Since the last report, we have been working with a group of student architects from the local university, Universidad Científica del Perú (UCP), to begin designing the future site of the student residency and study center...and the future looks exciting!
Our plan, coinciding with the vision of the students, is to not only make the residency center a place to live and study, but also a laboratory for sustainability in the Peruvian Amazon, in which the students themselves can learn about installing and managing renewable energy systems, collecting and filtering rainwater, and growing permaculture gardens that will provide healthy, organic food for the students so that they can learn these techniques and apply them in their native communities, in which many lack basic infrastructure such as electricity and access to clean water.
We have also recently been in talks with the amazing organization responsible for the Una Escuela Sustentable project from Uruguay, which has already built two sustainable ‘Earthship’ schools using 67% recycled materials, the first two “Sustainable schools” of their kind in Latin America. We hope that possible future collaboration with Una Escuela Sustentable will allow us to create a unique yet innovative example for the entire Amazon region.
Every bright, young mind who desires to better themselves and their community should be able to have the access to the proper living conditions and tools necessary for their success. With your support and generosity, the indigenous youth of the Peruvian Amazon can achieve their dreams and goals of a higher education, which they can bring this knowledge back to their communities. By donating to their cause, you are creating a partnership with these students in their development, and supporting a brighter and healthier future for the indigenous people, the Amazon rainforest, and the global community of life that is dependent on life giving resources the Amazon provides to all of us.
Consider a donation today and support the future leaders of the New Amazon!
We wish all of you and your families around the global on this #GivingTuesday a very blessed holiday and a very Happy New Year for 2019!!!
We will continue to run our campaign until we reach our full goal of $24,000USD.
If you would like to stay updated with the students and their progress, please sign up to The Chaikuni Institute newsletter here for exclusive updates on the project and news on our work in the heart of the Peruvian Amazon.
With Gratitude and Love,
The Chaikuni Institute Team