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
Children of craftswomen
Children of craftswomen


Currently, we have successfully established and maintain 06 medicinal gardens, consisting of an impressive variety of 62 medicinal plant species. Our commitment is to expand this number to at least 100 by the end of this year. To achieve this goal, we are planning trips to indigenous communities located far from our city in order to collect additional species. In fact, we have already completed one trip and discovered species that were previously unknown to us.

Cyclical Functioning of the Project: The project's cyclical functioning is well underway. Our nurseries are being activated in preparation for the upcoming rainy season. The medicinal gardens continue to flourish, benefiting our neighbors by providing free access to natural medicines, seeds, natural regeneration seedlings, and cuttings. Given the insufficiency of public health coverage, our efforts are akin to laying the foundation for self-managed healthcare.

Improvements Needed: While our supported medicinal gardens have been making remarkable progress, certain improvements are still required to optimize their functioning. These include enhancing irrigation systems, acquiring tools, fertilizers, signage, and other essential resources. Your consideration of these needs is greatly appreciated.

A Garden for Mother Artisans: At present, we would like to address a specific demand put forth by Maroti Shobo, a collective of Shipibo mothers. They seek support to establish a medicinal garden on their premises. We appeal to your solidarity on their behalf. The garden they envision will not only serve as a natural pharmacy within close proximity but also preserve their traditional knowledge and allow them to pass it on to their children, even in an urban setting. While they have sufficient space and a few plants, they require assistance with fertilizers, tools, technical advice, and an irrigation system.


Initially, we contemplated transforming our project into a program encompassing the teaching of traditional medicine, empowering relevant civil society actors, and engaging in advocacy with decision-makers in state health services. However, over time, we have come to realize that other indigenous NGOs are already undertaking commendable efforts in these areas. We take immense pride in their accomplishments, and many of them are our friends. Therefore, for the time being, we have chosen to focus primarily on developing medicinal gardens, knowing that complementary missions are being undertaken by others.

Additional Worthwhile Initiatives: In the spirit of recognizing and acknowledging other worthy initiatives, we would like to highlight the following organizations:

  1. The Matico Commando: An indigenous volunteer collective that played a pivotal role during the COVID-19 pandemic, combining traditional and Western medicine to treat over 1,300 patients. They are evolving into an organization that addresses a broader range of diseases using predominantly traditional medicine and knowledge. Their aim is also to promote medicinal gardens and forests. (Facebook:

  2. ASOMASHK (Shipibo Konibo Ancestral Medical Association): This association offers traditional cures at nominal prices while preserving their knowledge and traditions. It primarily consists of highly esteemed and experienced Shipibo doctors. (Facebook:

  3. ONI XOBO (Ayahuasca House): They actively promotes the traditional use of medicine through various means, as combining it with Western healing knowledge. They also support environmental conservation and their arts. (Facebook:, Website:



Furthermore, we have forged a new alliance, or rather strengthened an existing one, with the Instituto Superior Pedagógico Bilingüe de Yarinacocha. A few months ago, we established a medicinal garden in their kindergarten. We now plan to enrich their remaining forest (a jewel in the middle of the city) to transform it into a medicinal forest. This endeavor involves incorporating medicinal trees, which are not feasible to cultivate in gardens due to their size, as well as constructing mosaics and pathways with medicinal gardens.

The Bilingual Institute focuses on training bilingual teachers proficient in various indigenous languages, who subsequently return to their jungle communities to teach in kindergartens and primary schools. Apart from the formal curriculum, the director, teachers, and ourselves actively promote a holistic culture that includes traditional medicine. Therefore, we have been requested to support the creation of a medicinal forest.



  1. Funding for two trips to collect additional medicinal plant species.
  2. Development of the future medicinal forest at the Bilingual Institute of Yarinacocha, including paths construction, inventory assessment of existing plants, purchase of seedlings, establishment of a nursery, labor for installation and maintenance, benefiting the students financially.
  3. Improvement of the 06 current medicinal gardens.
  4. Establishment of a new medicinal garden for Shipibo artisan mothers and their children.

In the Peruvian Amazon, public health services are insufficient, both in terms of scale and intercultural relevance. Your support is urgently needed to address this ongoing health emergency.

Thank you for your solidarity and generosity. Together, we can make a significant difference in the lives of indigenous communities and contribute to their overall well-being.

New medicinal plants from a collecting trip
New medicinal plants from a collecting trip
Bilingual Institute Forest (left up corner)
Bilingual Institute Forest (left up corner)
Bilingual students cooking
Bilingual students cooking
Bilingual students build modules for a fair
Bilingual students build modules for a fair
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Children learning transplantation
Children learning transplantation


In our last report we said that we had started to produce medicinal seedlings. Now we are in the rainy season and they are all being planted.

In the nursery that we manage, the entire production has been planted. The plants have been distributed mainly to Shipibo families in the district of Yarinacocha, so that they can plant them in their backyards and have a living pharmacy.

As our nursery is for an urban area, where people can water all year round, we don't depend too much on the rainy season. So we are starting to plant again and have decided to produce continuously all year round.

The other nurseries, promoted by us and managed by their owners are located in rural areas, in Shipibo territories (Shipibo Community of Santa Clara, and Shipibo Jakon Rate Project), they are also planting medicinal plants. They should start production in June approximately.



So far we have promoted 06 institutional medicinal gardens, 03 of them in the city and 03 in rural areas.

The last of them was installed in the Bilingual Kindergarten of Yarinacocha, it still needs more implementation and resources for its productive and pedagogical management. The students are Shipibo children, this garden is not only a medicinal garden, it is an educational resource that seeks the conservation of traditional medicinal knowledge of the Amazonian indigenous people as a living practice, so we ask for your support.



With the young children of the mothers of the Shipibas Maroti Xobo Craftswomen's Association we are working on the promotion of reading. Now they are also interested in working in bio-gardens and family medicinal gardens together with the children, both to promote self-management of health and to improve nutrition. In order to meet this demand we need your solidarity.

Neighbor carrying his plants
Neighbor carrying his plants
Children who want organic and medicinal gardens
Children who want organic and medicinal gardens
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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.



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.


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.


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).



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.



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.



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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Organization Information

Alianza Arkana

Location: Yarinacocha, Ucayali - Peru
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Project Leader:
Development Team
Yarinacocha , Ucayali Peru
$20,445 raised of $24,526 goal
283 donations
$4,081 to go
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