Day gathering of indigenous youth
Dear Friends and Supporters,
Last week, on August 9th, the world celebrated the international day of the world´s indigenous
peoples. While we at the Chaikuni Institute celebrate, learn from, honour and promote
indigenous peoples – their cultures, knowledge systems, cosmovisions, environmental
stewardship, etc. – every day in our work, we joined in the global celebration last week.
Our Loreto region of Peru is home to 31 indigenous peoples speaking 29 different indigenous
languages. For this year´s occasion, as last year, we teamed up with the local branch of the
Ministry of Culture and several other like-minded local organizations, to organize the second
encounter of indigenous Amazonian knowledge and wisdom and celebrate this incredible
Rather than being a simple showcase of “exotic” chants and dances, the event aimed at raising
awareness among the local population and exhibit a glimpse of the extremely rich cultural
indigenous heritage of our region. From birth to childhood, to adulthood, to death, and the
afterlife: 7 different indigenous peoples shared their traditions on how their culture perceives
the different stages in life with the audience in a large public park in Iquitos, through stories,
icaros (chants), dances, and rituals. Paradoxically enough, the local population in the largest
city of the region is often entirely unfamiliar with these ancestral knowledge systems.
Earlier in this week of celebrations, the Chaikuni Institute organized a full-day gathering of
indigenous youth. About 50 indigenous youth studying at different institutions of higher
education in Iquitos participated in the event, discussing their priorities on key topics such as
territory, development, health and sanitation, and their political organization. We furthermore
reviewed a preliminary version of our documentary about the indigenous students directly
with the protagonists and gathered important inputs for the finalization of the documentary.
Besides this week of festivities, we continued our advocacy to promote the project of the
student residency, exploring different concrete alternatives. However, the regional
government is very slow in presenting an alternative piece of land for the student residency
[after they announced that the land leased to the students had been designated for other
purposes (see the previous report)].
Nonetheless, we continue to accompany and support the
students in finding a new piece of land, and are exploring and defining new strategies to find
financial and technical support for the design, planning and construction of a sustainable and
ecofriendly housing project for the students.
We'll keep you updated with the latest news as we continue to run our campaign for the full
funding goal, and for the student residency to become a reality. Any donation will help to keep
We thank you for everything you continue to do to support indigenous youth in the Peruvian
The Indigenous Students of OEPIAP and The Chaikuni Institute Team