These last three months, we have started a major new project in association with a local Shipibo organization called IDEARA (Instituto de Desarrollo Altérnativo Raíces Amázonicas - in English, the Institute for the Alternative Development of Amazonian Roots) to join them in their task of helping revitalize Shipibo culture with young indigenous people living in the city of Pucallpa. They have a site with great potential of over four hectares on the edge of the indigenous area of Pucallpa.
With time, we will be helping them create a cultural center and residential accommodation on this site, based on the principles of permaculture design, which will offer workshops on key areas of traditional Shipibo culture such as arts and crafts and medicinal plants, as well as alternative models of development such as natural building methods and permaculture.
One of our volunteers has already helped them build a clay oven, which will be used to make rocket stoves, which are a more economic and environmentally friendly alternative to the traditional cooking methods of cooking on an open fire, which works fine in rural communities but is more problematic in urban areas due to the enclosed spaces and difficulty in finding firewood.
Meanwhile, our work in Santa Clara continues with the setting up of a library in the school there, which includes another beautiful mural created by our talented muralist working with the children from the school. Do look at the accompanying photos of the wall before and after this mural was painted.
Many thanks for your support which makes this work possible.
The last three months have been busy for us in the Shipibo community of Santa Clara.
At the beginning of April, the children returned to school after their long summer holidays. Also our volunteer, Lucy, returned to live in the community after a short break back home in the USA.
We began once again to offer weekly lunches helping the organization of mothers in the community supplement the food they receive from the Peruvian Govenrnment with more nutritious food and also financially supporting the community by buying food such as fish and chicken from members of the community. We currently cook one meal a week for all the children and young people in the comunity. A new volunteer has recently joined us who has more specialized knowledge in nutrition and she will also be helping in this project by offering weekly classes in nutrition linked to the food the women are cooking.
Additionally, we have been making good progress on developing the permaculture site attached to the primary and kindergarten school in the community. Our Shipibo permaculture technician has been involving the children from the school in the preparation and planting of the site and at the same teaching them about sustainable agriculture. The site is now producing basic food such as yucca, bananas and sweet peppers for use in the weekly meals. Over time more healthy food will be harvested that can be used in the weekly meals.
One other important event occurred in the last three months. Our of our nine University scholarhip students, who we wrote about in the previous report, had his graduation ceremony. For indigenous students to overcome the financial and other barriers to complete a university education is a huge achievement and we would like to congratulate this student and his family for finishing his five year course of studies to be a primary intercultural education teacher, without one single failed class!
All the nine Shipibo students receiving scholarships to study at university to become professionals in the areas of teaching, law, agriculture and accountancy from Alianza Arkana completed their year at university for 2014. They are all at different stages of their degree programs.
We offer particular congratulations to one of our students, Percy, who successfully finished his five-year degree program in Primary Intercultural Education at the National Intercultural University of the Amazon in Pucallpa. He will be graduating in April 2016.
The last three months in education have been relatively quiet. This is because they are the long school summer holidays in Peru and the schools and universities are closed from mid-December until the beginning of March. During this time many Shipibo families temporarily migrate to other parts of Peru to work in poorly paid agricultural activities such as harvesting grapes and other crops.
Although the children have not been at school, we have continued to work on the agricultural project in the community of Santa Clara, which is attached to the school. The food produced in this project will be used in the weekly cooking and nutrition classes we are organizing with a group of mothers in the community, which will restart in March 2015.
In October this year, we took our intercultural education program another step forward by starting to work with the Shipibo community of Santa Clara. This community is geographically close to other communities in which we have been working and enables us to connect together permaculture projects in all these communities, which is part of our overall vision of landscape regeneration in this area.
Activities have been initiated in Santa Clara that we have successfully pioneered in other communities:
The work in Santa Clara has been greatly helped by Lucy, one of our long-term volunteers living in the community. That has enabled her and us to better understand the needs of the community and gain their trust. Through the relationships that she developed with the local children, and the involvement of an artist friend of hers, she was able to facilitate the painting of two beautiful murals on the outside walls of the local primary and kindergarten schools.
We are very excited for the coming months, as the rainy season arrives and the kids will be getting their hands dirty planting lots of trees in the Permaculture Living Classroom.
Dear Friend of the Amazon,
I would like to invite you to participate a unique opportunity to have a huge impact in the lives of indigenous youth in the Amazon: all new & recurring donations made to our project before midnight on Wednesday, September 10th will be matched!
Indigenous youth in the Shipibo communities we work with have a constant need for support to continue their educations. Our program combines the best of traditional wisdom with modern knowledge to help these young people strengthen their cultural identities while increasing their access to education and sustainable livelihoods in the future.
Double your impact today by supporting culturally-relevant edication initiatives for indigenous youth in the Amazon!
With your help we will:
You can make this, and much more, possible by becoming a recurring collaborator with this project today and making your impact count two-fold! Make sure you select "monthly recurring" when you make your donation, as only these will be doubled by a generous supporter.
Why wait?! Share this opportunity with your networks now!
Paul & the Alianza Arkana team
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