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Support Indigenous Medicinal Gardens in the Amazon

by Alianza Arkana
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Support Indigenous Medicinal Gardens in the Amazon
Support Indigenous Medicinal Gardens in the Amazon
Support Indigenous Medicinal Gardens in the Amazon
Support Indigenous Medicinal Gardens in the Amazon
Support Indigenous Medicinal Gardens in the Amazon
Support Indigenous Medicinal Gardens in the Amazon
Support Indigenous Medicinal Gardens in the Amazon
Support Indigenous Medicinal Gardens in the Amazon
Support Indigenous Medicinal Gardens in the Amazon
Support Indigenous Medicinal Gardens in the Amazon
Support Indigenous Medicinal Gardens in the Amazon

Since public health services do not efficiently cover the rural and indigenous population as well as the fact that they do not value traditional medicine, we promote medicinal garden through this project called Rao Banabo in shipibo language, which means cultivate your pharmacy or grow your pharmacy.

 

Four Plant Nurseries for Health

Until now we have four plant nurseries which are starting their production. We expect to have a high production of medicinal plants for the upcoming rainy season (from January to March). One of these is located in the city of Yarinacocha (inside our facilities), another one is located in the rural town of Santa Rosa (Jakon Rate Shipibo Project), and the other two are located in the Shipibo Community of Santa Clara.

We manage the first plant nursery while the others are managed by their shipibo owners. All the seedlings are used to enrich the medicinal gardens as well as to being hand on to neighbors that are interested in growing new medicinal gardens.

The two nurseries located in Santa Clara have a lack of tools and materials such as spades, hoses, manure, and others. We also require transportation to give technical support.

 

A New Medicinal Garden for Kids

From last month, we have a new medicinal garden; however, it is important to mention that “we” has a very wide meaning in this case. Without planning it or looking for it, a couple of friends asked us to set up a medicinal garden inside the kindergarten where their daughter studies and after some meetings, a great synchronicity worked out well for this purpose, several institutions converged to support this garden, as follows:

- The Bilingual Kindergarten of Yarinacocha

- Shipibo non-governmental organization Oni Xobo

- The Yarinacocha Bilingual Institute

- Some students from the local Intercultural Univesity

- Alianza Arkana

In this latter case we still need to install a watering system, since it is very difficult for kids to carry or transport water. We also need more tools for parents and children to carry more topsoil and buy some additional manure. The seedlings are being provided by us and the parents.

 

Reflection

Finally, we would like to highlight that sometimes less of the expected results are obtained, or in some cases different or better results from what was planned are obtained; therefore, we must flow with the social demand and the resources that come along the way. Up to this point, we are satisfied with the results obtained.

We still need your support, every coin is useful and let us to have more medicinal gardens and more shipibo people keeping alive their knowledge of medicinal plants, they deserve it.

University students in the kindergarten
University students in the kindergarten
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Because public health services do not efficiently cover the rural and indigenous population and do not value traditional medicine, for now we will continue to promote self-management of health through this project (and others) called Rao Banabo in Shipibo language, which means cultivate your pharmacy or grow your pharmacy.

On the other hand, we think that the Amazon and the indigenous peoples, being the source of so many medicines for the world; and even a source of psycho-emotional cures through their master plants such as ayahuasca, are deserving of the greatest justice in all senses, whether it be housing, water and sanitation, and mainly they should enjoy the best health coverage.

At the moment we are aiming at the self-management of the health of the Shipibo people in the cities (approximately 25% of the Shipibo), where medicinal plants are scarce. For this we invoke your solidarity for the urban medicinal gardens.

02 MEDICINAL GARDENS SO FAR

Our first garden (in our facilities) is in a beautiful evolution. we show some photos in this report. And our first replica, at the Soria family's house, planted a few months ago is on its way to being a beautiful and useful garden because the Soria's home is a very visited site by the shipibos and the general public because said family are generous practitioners of traditional medicine and they are also generous sharing their knowledge. So far we have invested about 1,200 dollars, of which a third has been paid with the proceeds from this campaign.

04 NEW MEDICINAL GARDENS NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT

It takes about 2,000 dollars to install each medicinal garden, and we have identified another 04 potential places to install new medicinal gardens that would also be free or cheap sources of medicines for urban shipibos, in order to achieve this we need a more generous (or fair) support. For now we do not have any source of income to be able to install those gardens.

Thanks in advance.

PS: We wanted to clarify that our staff is mainly made up of volunteers, and our material needs are covered by ourselves by other means. Very little of the proceeds is used by us to only mobilize to the work areas of the projects and to transport the materials; almost 100% is used in the projects, besides we also raise funds by competing for grants.

Male Matico and his sons
Male Matico and his sons
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First at all, our translator is on vacation, but we must go on (we hope this report is enough understandable).

 

On this new year we have 03 main goals (that are already runnig).

 

1) REPLICATE MEDICINAL GARDENS ON INSTITUTIONAL PLOTS.

The first new urban medicinal garden is in the house of Richard Soria, a wellknown shipibo healer, a Comando Matico member and a natural leader of the Shipibo People. Others main factors to support this garden are: His home is a non-official social center for shipibos with a lot of social traffic and cultural exchange, and he already has a medicinal garden, a humble one, which deserves support. By noy we had gave him materials to improve the garden such as planks, topsoil, sand, manure, tubes for watering, shade netting, and so on. During the next month, after the infrastructure improvement we will plant all the garden.

We had identified at least other 4 plots which deserves medicinal gardens for this 2022.

 

2) REPLICATE MEDICINAL GARDENS IN PUBLIC PARKS.

There is a projected garden in a public park in Pucallpa City. The last year we had and agreement with Pucallpa goverment, but for some governance issues the garden was delated, this week we will resume coordinations.

We will scale this goal on 2022, but the ultimate goal in mid-term is that local goverments in Ucayali cities grow medicinal plants in public parks and plant nurseries with their own technical and financial resources. We are just pushing them to change their policy about public parks.

 

3) GIVE MEDICINAL SEEDLINGS FOR FAMILY PLOTS

This goal sprouts right now: Just today we had a meeting with shipibo mothers artisans, after taking some pictures of them, they were roaming around our pilot medicinal garden and started to show real interest in this, chattering about medicinal plants in shipibo language, finally they asked for seedlings and we gave them some, just some. Now, we have a new commitment: to grow a lot of new seedlings for at least 20 mother artisan backyards in urban areas and for any shipibo family (in general urban shipibo families do not have enough money to buy pharmacy drugs).

Croton lechleri (to stop bleeding)
Croton lechleri (to stop bleeding)
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Our meeting with Municipality
Our meeting with Municipality

What we consider a great achievement, the municipality of the province of Coronel Portillo, where we are located, has contacted us regarding technical support for the implementation of a public medicinal garden as soon as possible. We are now coordinating the specific resources they will provide; so far they offer their plant nursery to grow the seedlings, enough space in a centric public park, and the labor required for both planting and mainteinance. Meetings with the municipality's tourism office will also be held.

We are really excited because the local governments have the resources to invest in such projects, they just need the guidance and support that a team with the experience and knowledge such ours can provide. Sooner than we thought, we have managed to promote the incorporation of local natural medicine into public policies in our province.

On the other hand, thanks to donations like those from GlobalGiving, we have replaced recycled wooden planks for new, studier ones, and added better soil in all plant beds and pots in the pilot medicinal garden in our facilities. We are happy to see how the plants in our garden are starting to bloom, produce seeds and get stronger as rain season comes closer.

Cleaning our garden
Cleaning our garden
Replacing wooden planks
Replacing wooden planks
Any bucket is good as a pot
Any bucket is good as a pot
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First donations of seedlings to neighbors
First donations of seedlings to neighbors

Over the last 4 months, we have been seeing how, pleased and full of hope, despite the small amount of money raised, our first medicinal garden is growing both in number of species (almost 60) and visibility for the shipibo neighbors.

Since we have little resources to work with, we are learning how to take advantage of all materials available: we are reciclyng and employing our ingenuity. Those are valuable trasnferable skills because if we want new medicinal gardens to sprout in the homes of shipibo urbanites, which have limited monetary resources, they will need such skills.

Our new achievement during the end of this period was the forming of a new alliance with the charity collective "Dona para la Olla" (Donate for the Pot), an iniciative that mainly raises money by organizing virtual concerts to support the cooking of common meals, a slum strategy employed to face the scarcity of jobs and food during the crisis due Covid-19.

Since the crisis for food is mostly overcome, this collective contacted us and offered to support us under a new slogan: "Dona para el Jardin Medicinal" (Donate for the Medicinal Garden). Together, our main goal is to improve 3 medicinal gardens in shipibo homes, wich will be available for the whole neighborhood, providing tools, seedlings, better fences and watering systems and more, according to their needs.

While this report is being written, one of our shipibo neighbors is pruning an overgrown huito tree that stands in our own medicinal garden, in exchange for harvesting the fruits, highly aprecciated for obtaining organic hair and fabric dye.

This spontaneous sincronicities show us we are on the right path.

With your donations, we look forward to further access to traditional medicine for shipibo families living in the city, a population usually overlooked by state healthcare systems.

 

Leaf of mucura (Petiveria alliaceae)
Leaf of mucura (Petiveria alliaceae)
Shimipampana (Maranta arundinacea)
Shimipampana (Maranta arundinacea)
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Organization Information

Alianza Arkana

Location: Yarinacocha, Ucayali - Peru
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Yarinacocha, Ucayali Peru
$16,772 raised of $24,526 goal
 
212 donations
$7,754 to go
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