Karen Purcell, ornithologist, Cornell University Ithaca, NY
Nelly Paredes, educator, ANIA Org Lima
Pedro Paucarcaja, agronomist ANIA Org Lima
Elsa Rengifo, plant medicine expert, IIAP Iquitos
New Water Filtration Tower Under Construction
A concrete water filtration tower is being built in the community of Canal Pinto. The 34 children living there will benefit by avoiding water contaminated by parasites and E. Coli during their formative years. Healthy stomachs mean effective nutrient absorption, creating strong, sharp-minded kids. For pictures, please click here.
August Community Leaders Workshop
This year we will focus on teaching communities to build structures, like fish farms, that will provide food year round. Everything we teach will be about projects that are naturally renewing. This process of ensuring that food is plentiful and always regenerating is known as sustainable food security. It is especially important because of the rivers rising each season, which reduces crop farming possibilities, and the declining fish population. We want to make sure our partner communities’ citizens are able to maintain good nutrition. To do this we need your help to raise an additional $5000 to make this workshop as successful as the educators’ workshop. If you would like to support this program, please click here: Support Food Security.
Explorama Inspires Kids to Keep River Clean
Amazon Explorama Lodges, under the direction of Pam Bucur de Arévalo, transported 15 students to the sixth annual water festival held on the Itaya River in Iquitos. Boats were converted into water parade floats and presentations on the importance of keeping the river clean were given. For more click here.
Chess Workshop at CONAPAC Amazon Library
A four-day chess workshop taught professional chess strategies to 50 students at the CONAPAC Amazon Library. Learning strategic thinking gets kids ready to make careful decisions in life.
They prepared for this workshop by learning all the basic moves and then playing daily for six months. Movies focused on chess motivated them further. The workshop ended with a tournament yielding two winners who went home with prizes. Three more workshops will follow.
|250 Teachers Attend CONAPAC's Environmental Science Workshop
This year CONAPAC’s annual educator workshop was attended by 250 teachers from over 50 schools. From May 15-19, presenters equipped teachers with environmental science lesson plans. Conservation of the environment rides on awareness of nature, particularly by those living in the Amazon rainforest.
Workshop sessions provided in-depth information on the topics of birds and their interaction with the forest, medicinal plants, and the use of gardens and forest space as sanctuaries for children to study the interconnections of nature. These sessions included the very activities that the teachers would later use with their students.
Karen Purcell’s classes offered bird watching activities, myth busting games, and a simulation that required the group to act out the different micro environments in which birds live.
Nelly’s and Pedro’s class focused on how to install ANIA’s signature programs: TiNi and BoNi. TiNi is a garden space that is designed, built, and managed by kids, and it is integrated into an active study spot where plants and animals can be observed regularly. BoNi is a plot of rainforest dedicated to kids’ play and study. They identify and plant trees and medicinal plants, learn what animals live in the area, and create obstacle courses to play on from available materials.
Both spaces become sanctuaries for kids based in nature. They soon feel pride in their spaces, learn to speak in depth about the plants and trees, and have a sense of protectiveness for these areas. This protectiveness is key to being a proper steward of their natural environment.
Elsa’s class focused on the myriad ways of becoming familiar with medicinal plants. She taught the way to understand plants through the five senses, the value of medicinal plants, and identification techniques. And she lectured on common medicinal plants found in every community. To reinforce the lesson and prepare them for working with their students, Elsa led the teachers in craft-based activities that reinforce the new knowledge about these plants. Select teachers received prizes for their creations at the end of the workshop.
The opening and closing speeches framed the event in the perspective of conservation and offered inspiration to the teachers. The local mayor attended to give the closing speech. The students who learn these concepts will become a new generation of citizens who feel that they are stewards of their environment. To read Brian’s speech to the teachers, click here.
Music Program a Success
Our music program at the CONAPAC Amazon Library has gotten off to a good start. We thank all of our donors who put money toward this endeavor. With the $2500 raised, we have been able to afford transportation, the salary for a wonderful teacher, and the cost of printing music. We continue to seek additional donations to purchase instruments and to expand the music teacher's hours. Click here to read more.