Regenerate the Amazon!

by Camino Verde
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Regenerate the Amazon!
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Project Report | Jun 21, 2024
The Amazonian Pharmacy of Don Ignacio Duri ... is here!

By Robin Van Loon | Executive Director

Dear friends and caminantes verdes,

The book is here! 

I am beside myself with joy to share that The Amazonian Pharmacy of Don Ignacio Duri is a reality – available to the world as of right now. The first book to ever carry a Camino Verde logo, this beautifully illustrated volume shares the life stories and deep knowledge of medicinal plants of Don Ignacio Duri, one of the Madre de Dios region’s most respected herbalists. Compiled from years of interviews between this traditional healer and myself, the book is a unique immersion into Amazonian plants and people. 

Don Igncio touched the lives of hundreds of people over his decades-long vocation of service, including, I know, many of you reading this now. It’s an honor to be able to help preserve his legacy, and now to finally share his words with non-Spanish speakers.  

The book was an idea Ignacio proposed to me back in 2007, a way for him to leave something behind of his singular life and knowledge. Co-author Camila Villalobos and I created the text by transcribing and stitching together years of recorded interviews conducted on his front porch in the Native Community of Infierno. After publication of two previous Spanish editions (the first of which Don Ignacio saw launched in 2019, not long before his death in 2020), this is the first time that his words are available to English readers.  

The translation process was lengthy – given the idiosyncrasies of Ignacio’s unique Amazonian Spanish – and performed in close collaboration with translator Elise van der Heijden (who, of course, as luck would have it, also spent time with Don Ignacio many years back). 

I can't wait for the book to reach you. It's absolutely beautiful (if I do say so myself), thanks to the stunning botanical illustrations and plant portraits of two masterful artists with links to Camino Verde: Maisie McNeice and Blair Butterfield (who, you may remember, is CV’s treasurer and once communications director). Blair and Maisie were both artists in residence at Camino Verde’s reforestation centers (and Maisie organized our 2022 artists’ residency, which you may recall reading about in a previous missive). The final product is so much the better for their exquisite depictions of the plants that Ignacio describes in the text.  

The book is now live! Meaning you can buy your copy at Amazon (that other Amazon) as of right now. The paperback edition is a great place to start, or the handsome hardcover makes an excellent collector’s volume, a great addition to any library with herbalism or shamanism titles. I’d love for you to tell me how you liked it. 

June 18th marks the 4th anniversary of Don Ignacio's death, and I can think of no better way to honor his memory than to share his words (and plants) with the world. To the many of you who contributed to the effort to bring this book to life, thank you once again, from the bottom of my heart, for helping make Don Ignacio's dream come true. 

And if this is the first you’ve heard of the book, well, come take the plunge into the mysteries of the Amazon, via the words of one of the rainforest’s great, beloved representatives. 

Read on to hear more of the latest from Camino Verde. At the very end of this missive, you can check out the book’s full description. Share the news of this special book with anyone you think would be interested. 

In gratitude and joy,

Robin Van Loon

Executive Director

Camino Verde


The Amazonian Pharmacy of Don Ignacio Duri

HardcoverPaperback on Amazon

by Robin Van Loon and Camila Villalobos

Published by Camino Verde 2024 


- - 2024 Updates & Recent Camino Verde News - -

Training nurserywomen in the Peruvian Amazon 

Part of Camino Verde’s mission has always been to help increase the availability of Amazonian seeds and tree seedlings for Amazonian reforestation. This year, we are taking great strides towards this aim by building technical capacity in forestry nursery management in the regions where we operate in Peru. In order to generate the greatest impact, we have focused on training women, and specifically indigenous women, via paid internships in basic nursery activities. 6 internships have been completed to date! With many more to come 

Nursery work not only increases local access to a diversity of tree seedlings, it also makes for a great household business. And so, for enterprising women and men alike, this week we are presenting our first training open to the general public at Camino Verde La Joya. With over 70 participants, this public workshop is to be the first of many, carried out thanks to the partnership and financial support of UK-based Open University and the Old Dart Foundation. 

The latest from Camino Verde Loreto

2024 is off to a running start for Camino Verde’s programs at the northernmost end of the Peruvian Amazon. With 3 new native communities added to our group of tree-planting farmers, this year we are once again putting endangered rosewood trees in the ground with the leadership and participation of Maijuna communities. The rosewood planting parcels contain over 30 other species of trees as well, fostering food security and regenerative economies in territories previously ravaged by exploitative natural resource extraction. 

And bees! Our melipona native beekeeping programs continue to grow, providing access to traditional medicine and an alternative revenue stream for indigenous families. Effusive thanks to our amazing strategic partners in the Loreto region: One Planet, Amazon Ecology, Conservational International, and La Restinga. 

The midyear lull

With our sights set on an ambitious second half of the year, we’re hoping you’ll consider making a donation to Camino Verde. 

Many small organizations like ours experience a lull in funding near the middle of the year, and we're no exception. Peru too is being affected by inflation, as in the US. That means your tax deductible donation will be especially well received, helping us weather a slim season and keep our Amazonian regeneration programs running strong. 

You can Donate here. No amount is too small. 


Thanks to all of our partners and funders!

Camino Verde is grateful for recent support from:

Pacha Soap

Conservation International

Global Landscapes Forum

Parque Nacional Yaguas

New England Biolabs Foundation 

The Open University

Regenerative Farms

Wyss Academy 


Tree Nation

Go Forest


…and donors like you!


The Amazonian Pharmacy of Don Ignacio Duri

{Full Description}

A firsthand account of the life and wisdom of renowned ayahuasquero and healer, Don Ignacio Duri Palomeque. This multifaceted narrative intertwines personal testimony, plant teachings, and unique anecdotes, as Don Ignacio shares some of his long and storied life, beginning in the early 20th century. From his arrival to Peru from the Bolivian Amazon, to his time as a tapper during the rubber era, this memoir delves into his transformative encounter with ayahuasca and his subsequent lifetime of exploration of medicinal plants.

The stories that make up The Amazonian Pharmacy of Don Ignacio Duri were compiled at Don Ignacio's request over the course of a decade through audio recordings of conversations with two of his longtime students. His accounts include tales of family life, recollections of ayahuasca ceremonies, and esoteric secrets, showing some of Don Ignacio's broad knowledge of endemic Amazonian medicinal plants and the cosmovision of Amazonian cultures. The narration is accompanied by unique, gorgeous illustrations of the plants invoked.

"This book, like a forest of plants and experiences, pays tribute to one of the most highly respected and well-known shamans from the Madre de Dios region: Don Ignacio Duri Palomeque (1930-2020). This homage to his life and his departure impresses with its complexity and beauty and allows us to get to know the shaman's learning process, his ways of self-knowledge, and brings us closer to some of his secrets. With all this, the book is a must-read for the appreciation of the emotional and geographical space that is our Amazon."

–Andrea Cabel, literary critic, researcher, and professor of literature at Universidad de Lima and Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas

This book was produced with the collaboration and support of Camino Verde, a non-profit organization dedicated to the regeneration of the Peruvian Amazon.

Photo thanks to caminante verde Nicholas Hardy
Photo thanks to caminante verde Nicholas Hardy
Flyer published for CV La Joya's nursery workshop
Flyer published for CV La Joya's nursery workshop
The flowers of the lupuna tree, Ceiba pentandra
The flowers of the lupuna tree, Ceiba pentandra
One of the many inhabitants of CV Baltimori
One of the many inhabitants of CV Baltimori
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Mar 4, 2024
2024 with Camino Verde

By Clemencia Pinasco | Communications Manager

Jan 2, 2024
A year of Amazonian regeneration with Camino Verde

By Robin Van Loon | Executive Director

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Organization Information

Camino Verde

Location: Concord, MA - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Blair Butterfield
Concord , MA United States

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