Vision & Mission

Who Are We?

Our name invokes the Amazonian legend that tells of invisible protector spirits of the forest, called the Chaikuni by the indigenous Shipibo-Conibo people.

The name Chaikuni Institute has its origin in the oral tradition of the Shipibo-Conibo indigenous people. Shipibo mythology tells of the Chaikuni or Chaikoni, beings who commit themselves to the protection of the rainforest and to life itself as they transition into the spirit realms. According to ancient knowledge, these rainforest guardians live in invisible communities and can appear and disappear at will. Modern-day Shipibo still see the Chaikuni, feel their presence, and hear them passing by at certain times of the day.

For indigenous people, their territory is their world and their way of life is intimately connected with other beings in the forest. Through mythology, ancestral teachings and knowledge are transmitted. We believe the cosmovision of indigenous people, or their particular way of seeing the world and their connection with other beings, is key to understanding our present time and formulating a common future.

Our Institute honors indigenous traditions and promotes mechanisms to protect cultures, worldviews, and indigenous territories in the Peruvian Amazon.

Portrait of Matthew Watherston

“It is with deep respect for the Shipibo people that we have named our organization Chaikuni Institute. The Chaikuni, ancestors of the indigenous Shipibo people and spiritual guardians of the Peruvian Amazon, actively serve the well-being of this great rainforest on energetic and spiritual levels that are not recognized by the modern world. In community with the spirits of the plants, trees, and animals, they provide a priceless repository of spiritual, medicinal, and ecological services, not only for local tribes, but for the rest of the world. We are honored to be aligned with and guided by the Chaikuni in our service to the source of creation.”

Matthew Watherston
Founder of the Chaikuni Institute

Vision & Mission

By 2030, the indigenous understanding of “buen vivir” (good living) is recognized as a guiding principle for well-being and is widely adopted by institutions, organizations, businesses, and individuals alike.

Regenerative ways of living and production systems based on permaculture ethics and ancestral wisdom are widely embraced throughout the Amazon and beyond. Soils are restored and ecosystems regenerated, producing abundance for everyone.

A society which values cultural diversity and honors indigenous wisdom, generates equitable, reciprocal, and thriving living systems.

Governments legally recognize and uphold Indigenous Nation’s Rights with integrity, in particular the autonomy over their territories and the rights to their culture and identity.

Indigenous Peoples, stewards of their territories, are powerfully connected to their ancestral traditions, celebrating their language, knowledge, and identity, giving rise to the realization of an inclusive, intercultural, and equitable world.

People are (re)connected with themselves, their communities, and all other beings, forming a healthy and harmonious coexistence between all beings.

Life Is Flourishing!