Roldan Tumi is the first Matses Anthropologist
Dear Friends and Supporters
Still about four months delayed because of the COVID pandemic, the 2022 academic year at the public university (UNAP) of our region began in June and will end next month. The young indigenous students of OEPIAP enthusiastically started their classes this semester. Many have made it quite far already in this difficult process to graduate from higher education. These are good news, because the further along indigenous students make it in their studies, the smaller becomes their dropout rate.
We are happy to tell you that over the last months, two young indigenous graduates have presented and approved their final theses. One of them is Roldan Tumi, who became the first anthropologist of the Matsés people. The other, Edgar Peas, of the Achuar people, graduated last week with a degree in Tropical Forest Ecology. Both were part of OEPIAP´s Board of Directors in the period 2017-2019, as secretary and president respectively, and as such collaborated closely with our program. We know both well and are very proud on their behalf. They are future leaders of their people, of the Amazon, and role models for the younger Amazonian generation to follow.
One of the priorities of our Intercultural Education program is to assist the indigenous students to get scholarships. 03 additional students graduated this year, and just as Roldan and Edgar, they managed to obtain a scholarship to write and complete their thesis. Thanks to our guidance and support, 11 new students also obtained scholarships from the Peruvian state, bringing the total to 22 OPEIAP students who are currently on scholarships. Over the last months we also continued to offer specialized tutoring classes, providing 24 sessions of Basic Mathematics and 5 sessions of Analytical Chemistry, crucial for some of the students to pass their courses. In addition, we held two workshops on interculturality.
Another gratifying accomplishment is that our Institute signed an agreement with the Faculty of Forestry of the UNAP. From here onwards, practices, internships, and thesis work of individual students, which are carried out at our Permaculture Center, will be formally recognized by the UNAP. We moreover expect that this agreement can be extended to more faculties in the future. As a start, last month, Lorena, an indigenous awajún Tropical Forest Ecology student did her first pre-professional internship with us.
Finally, we have started a new monthly series of articles on the personal stories of some of the indigenous students of the OEPIAP, demonstrating the potential, resilience, and creativity of many of these young students. First up is the inspiring story of Felicino, an Awajún student, who found a way to overcome economic difficulties by creating his own small handicraft business “YAAS”, partially with the support of Chaikuni. Read more about Felicino here.
Thank you so much for your much needed continuous support to the indigenous students of the OEPIAP.
With much appreciation and gratitude.
The Chaikuni Team
Traditional Awajun handicrafts to pay for studies