| Jun 15, 2023
A coming medicinal forest for students
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.
REFLECTION ABOUT AREAS OF SUPPORT
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:
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: t.ly/R2kS)
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: t.ly/0Omz)
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: t.ly/Xizv, Website: onixobo.org)
A MEDICINAL FOREST FOR THE BILINGUAL INSTITUTE OF YARINACOCHA
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.
IN SHORT, WE NEED YOUR SOLIDARITY TO:
- Funding for two trips to collect additional medicinal plant species.
- 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.
- Improvement of the 06 current medicinal gardens.
- 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
Bilingual Institute Forest (left up corner)
Bilingual students cooking
Bilingual students build modules for a fair