| Apr 17, 2017
The Indigenous Economy
Daniel with community elders in Nueva Saposoa
We are aware that, as well as doing campaigning and capacity-building work with our indigenous partners in the area of eco-social justice, it is important to work with them to create alternative forms of economy - what is known in Spanish as ‘la economia solidaria’ (the economy of solidarity) or ‘la economia indígena’ (the indigenous economy) - that are based on harmonious, sustainable relationships with their natural resources and with one another as community members.
We have already begun this work in the community of Santa Clara where our permaculture project is being extended to cultivate medicinal plants and trees that can, in the future, be sold to local, national and international markets.
With this in mind, we have in the last three months begun a project on the indigenous economy.
This is with a view to developing new and potentially innovative forms of economic activity within communities that will help to construct a new paradigm of an indigenous economy that can coexist with but offer an alternative to community members needing to see employment away from their families and/or in extractive industries
The first part of this project is to research the indigenous economy, including its foundations in the Shipibo cosmovision, and to investigate and promote examples in the two Shipibo communities of Calleria and Nueva Saposoa where this is already happening:
- Nueva Saposoa has established a fish farm project, based on cultivating paiche, the huge Amazonian river fish. Due to its location bordering and acting as a gateway to the recently created National Park of the Sierra del Divisor, there is also potential for the development of eco-tourism in this community. Daniel Matthews, our Director of Eco-Social Justice, after a recent initial visit to the community, (when it was heavily flooded), has arranged to spend two months in this community from May onwards, as part of the research work on this project
- Calleria is one of the few indigenous communities that is actively and sustainably managing its own forests and has achieved international recognition for this work. Our Shipibo apprentice, Jane Shirley Mori Cairuna, will be spending a month later this year in Calleria doing work for her thesis to complete her agro-forestry degree and also investigating how Calleria has become one of the few communities to achieved success in managing its own forest. You can read about a visit made by Alianza Arkana to this community here.
We will keep you informed about the progress of this important project in future updates.
Floods in the community of Nueva Saposoa
AA team with community members in Calleria