Children playing in the orchard of Alianza Arkana
We extend our appreciation to the donors whose support breathes life into our project. At its core, our endeavor is rooted in this purpose: to safeguard the medicinal heritage of the Shipibo People, fostering self-reliant healthcare practices, particularly amidst the urban sprawl and makeshift settlements of Yarinacocha in the Peruvian Amazon.
Once sacred grounds to the Shipibo, Yarinacocha has evolved into a bustling metropolis where the sway of Western influence has partially eclipsed age-old traditions of herbal medicine. However, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, a resurgence of interest in these ancient healing practices has emerged among the Shipibo.
Tragically, the Shipibo endure a state of perpetual medical neglect, such as the inadequate reach of public services and the absence of an intercultural approach. Hospitals, supposed places of healing, are alien, indifferent and even hostile to them.
In essence, the Shipibo find themselves in a perpetual state of emergency, where for now the path to a solution is the recovery of their traditional medicinal knowledge.
Our main focus is the promotion of medicinal gardens, especially in places of high transit of the Shipibo population such as Shipibo leaders' homes and institutions where the transmission of knowledge can occur in a natural way.
02 Medicinal Gardens in Indigenous Communities
In this last period, we left the urban area, at the request of two herbalist families, helping to improve 02 medicinal gardens, one in the indigenous community of Puerto Firmeza, and another in Nuevo Egipto. A great learning was that in the design of gardens in the city, where there is public water supply, one can afford to group plants more densely and with aesthetic criteria. But in those communities, where they depend on rainwater, plantings are more scattered, taking advantage of the diverse microclimates and variable natural fertility of the soil.
Useful Holidays with the Children of Shipibo Craftswomen
In addition to working on the installation of a medicinal garden in Maroti Shobo, a place where Shipibo artisans sell their products. We have taken advantage of the vacations to promote the cultivation of medicinal plants and biogardens with their children. We also took them to visit government institutional nurseries, and were even able to take them to a private swimming pool where we paid the entrance fee with medicinal plants in pots to plant around the pool.
LOOKING AHEAD TO THE NEAR FUTURE
The project needs to reiterate the need to address the requests of the Shipibo society of Yarinacocha to increase access to their medicinal plants in the city, where they are scarce.
The Genesis of a Medicinal Refuge Within the City
We began the creation of a medicinal garden in the facilities of Maroti Shobo, a refuge for Shipibo women artisans located in the heart of Yarinacocha's bustling main square. Here, amidst the vibrant tapestry of handicrafts, mothers work tirelessly, embroidering and weaving both cloth threads and community bonds.
A beacon of hope, this orchard holds the promise of preserving ancestral wisdom, as veteran matriarchs impart their invaluable knowledge of medicinal flora, while the younger ones, cradled in the bosom of this cultural enclave, cultivate a deep-rooted connection to their heritage.
The groundwork has been laid, literally, with the clearing of debris and meticulous leveling of the land. Now, with our sights set on the horizon, the next phase awaits: creating fertile soil and carefully nurturing the budding seedlings.
A Sanctuary of Learning: Cultivating a Medicinal Oasis
Next to a lake, into Yarinacocha lies the Bilingual Institute, a bastion of knowledge where the echoes of indigenous tongues resonate. It is here, amidst the rustle of leaves and the whisper of the wind, that we envision the creation of a medicinal forest, a sanctuary of holistic learning and healing.
In collaboration with the esteemed institution, we aspire to cultivate a lush expanse teeming with medicinal treasures, where towering giants stand as guardians of tradition, and winding pathways lead to verdant gardens brimming with botanical marvels.
The Bilingual Institute, a beacon of indigenous education, serves as the fertile ground upon which the seeds of cultural resurgence are sown. By nurturing this symbiotic relationship, we endeavor to not only enrich the educational experience of future generations but also provide a vital lifeline of medicinal sustenance to the community at large.
A CALL TO ACTION: Sustaining Our Collective Vision
As we traverse the ebb and flow of seasonal cycles, our project stands resolute, adapting to the rhythmic cadence of nature. The medicinal gardens, pulsating with life, serve as sanctuaries of biodiversity and bastions of healing, offering solace to those bereft of conventional healthcare.
Yet, as the specter of climate change looms large, casting its shadow over the Amazon, urgent measures are imperative. With temperatures soaring, the need for efficient irrigation systems becomes paramount, ensuring the vitality of our nurseries and gardens.
In this crucible of innovation and resilience, your continued support is not merely a gesture but a lifeline, breathing life into our collective vision of a healthier, more resilient future. Together, we sow the seeds of hope, nurturing a legacy of healing that transcends time and tide.
Shipibo children planting
Children in a state medicinal forest
Children in a state nursery
Shipibo herbalist in indigenous community
Resting on a medicinal vine
Chiric Sanango (Brunfelsia grandiflora)