Dear Friends & Supporters,
Last time we wrote you, we were busy completing construction of the office-computer building on the indigenous students’ land on the outskirts of Iquitos. We are so thankful that your donation has made this possible, and for your continued support to the indigenous youth! The completion of this office-computer building marks a historic achievement for indigenous organization OEPIAP: it represents the first bricks being laid on the land granted to OEPIAP after years of struggle to secure a space upon which to build a permanent student centre for all the indigenous youth arriving to Iquitos in pursuit of higher education and becoming professionals.
Over the past months, we’ve been helping the students to put the finishing touches to the infrastructure of the building, which has required painting inside and outside the building. We’re now busy helping to plan a collaboration between the students and different local art collectives for a mural painting session in September, in order to translate OEPIAP’s visual identity and creativity into the building.
The eagerly awaited construction and implementation of the housing facilities promised by the regional government is still pending, and we are continuing to accompany the students in this process to make the authorities comply with their commitments, while at the same time exploring other options to make this center a reality. Once housing is implemented and the site inhabited by the students, the full implementation of the office-computer building will be realized. Your donations will greatly help towards equipping the site with Internet, computers, a printer and photocopier, seats, and tables.
Our busy team is also continuing its vital work supporting the youth’s professional and personal development by attending to their self-reported needs and interests. We have been organizing a series of information technology workshops which will be offered on a bi-weekly basis over the next few months. Following their previous experiences with our Permaculture team, students have also been inspired to explore and build their skills in this area. Over the last weeks, we organized two visits and workshops on honey beekeeping for a group of sixteen students, with a view of establishing a permanent work group meeting up twice a month. Native bees are fundamental to the Amazonian ecosystem, and beekeeping represents an important activity with positive environmental, economic and social value in both rural and urban settings.
Our first visit took place outside of Iquitos in Zungaracocha on the grounds of our ally FORMABIAP, the bilingual intercultural education program of national indigenous organization AIDESEP. The students received a live demonstration into stingless honey beekeeping techniques and nests on site. We then organized a special visit to Chaikuni’s Permaculture site, including a workshop led by our Permaculture team explaining and demonstrating best practices in honey beekeeping. “We hope to have our own beehives on the land of OEPIAP one day soon”, says Ronal, an Awajun student from the Amazonas region. With your continued support to this campaign, it’s an idea which we will be very excited to help support, as honey beekeeping has the potential to be a complementary source of income for the students and their communities of origin.
We'll keep you updated with the latest news as we continue to run our campaign for the full goal of $24,000.
We thank you for everything you continue to do to support indigenous youth, who are the future of the Amazon.
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With Gratitude & Love,
The Chaikuni Institute Team & Indigenous Students of OEPIAP