During our last visit to the Shipibo community of Paohyan we held workshops with children and young people and learned together the importance of pursuing our dreams without forgetting our roots.
Approximately 30 young people between 12 and 18 years old attended. Due to the great interest generated, 15 children between 3 and 5 years old joined. We started our workshops with a little movement and dance so that they could express themselves and then each child elaborated, with their own hands, a dream catcher while they imagined all the dreams they would like to achieve. At the end of the day we saw a movie, "Moana", which is about an indigenous girl who leaves to save her community. This film discussed a relevant topic in a child-friendly format, which consisted of having dreams and expectations for oneself, all the while maintaining the connection and commitment with one's community. This brings us to the other important factor in our workshop, which was to preserve the knowledge patrimony of the community. For this reason, we sang songs in Shipibo.
We also presented to the young people our community project, "Farmacia Viva", which is being developed together with a committee of community members of Paohyan. This project seeks to conserve a territory full of medicinal and functional plants, which have an important role in the identity of indigenous people. This project not only provides the community with a source of economic revenue through ecotourism, but also helps children appreciate and revalue ancestral knowledge.
Through seemingly simple activities, such as expressing oneself through dance or creating items (such as dreamcatchers), the children learned something very valuable - the idea of developing an independent identity in cohesion with their heritage. All this was presented in a fun and interactive way.
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