2022 was another important year of growth for us. We were privileged to deepen our partnership with our local allies, continuing our work through our three tematic programs: Permaculture, Intercultural Education and Human & Nature Rights. We invite you to read our annual report 2022 and learn about the main events and achievements from last year.
Letter from the Director
This past year we were privileged to deepen our partnership with our indigenous allies in many ways. In September, for example, we organized our second diálogo de saberes gathering (knowledge dialogue), in which indigenous students, leaders, and wisdom keepers shared reflections on their cultures, knowledge systems, and the changes that have taken place in their societies. One participant was Gerardo Del Águila Mibeco, an intercultural bilingual teacher from the Bora people. Casually chatting to him during the event he shared that he liked what we do, and that he felt good at the Chaikuni Permaculture Center because he had slept peacefully. He explained that sometimes in other places it feels like there is something hidden, negative energy, which he perceives in his dreams. For many indigenous peoples, dreams hold both spiritual and prophetic significance, the latter meaning that dreams often have very practical repercussions on their daily life. Dreams are perceived as one part of reality.
Later in October, after a five-day meeting with representatives from 22 indigenous organizations from Peru and Brazil, the participants were sharing their impressions. Among others, we listened attentively to Francisco Piyãko, a charismatic Ashaninka leader from the state of Acre in Brazil. He was pleased with the place the meeting was held – our Center – and particularly emphasized that these kinds of meetings should be held in such places like ours… or theirs.
The Piyãko family has been running, for almost two decades now, an extremely important and successful training and knowledge exchange center for traditional natural resource management in the State of Acre in Brazil, with a particular focus on indigenous agroforestry methods. They've also been reforesting hundreds of hectares with productive agroforestry systems. In short, they are an important reference for the Amazonian region and beyond. Hearing Francisco expressing gratitude for our Center – as well as hearing Gerardo say he felt good or comfortable - was humbling, satisfying, and motivating at the same time. Next year we will be visiting the Piyãko family center with a delegation of our indigenous agroforestry allies!
We've also been seeing more and more indigenous students graduating and obtaining their professional degree. It is very gratifying to see these young people, whom we have accompanied for many years, achieving their goals of becoming young professionals and leaders. Many of them have had active roles on the board of the indigenous student organization OEPIAP and collaborated closely with our Intercultural Education Program Sui Sui. Among a handful of very resilient individuals who obtained their degree in 2022, including both man and women, it is impossible not to mention Roldán Tumi, who sat on OEPIAP's board in 2018-19. Roldán not only became the first anthropologist of the Matsés people, but also went on to publish a book based on his thesis work about a traditional Matsés ritual.
While the socio-political context in Peru continued to be extremely tense and worrying, we kept on advocating and working for practical, positive, and real solutions for the Amazon and its people through our three thematic programs, driven by the results and positive feedback we receive from our partners. In this report you will find the highlights and some of our achievements from 2022, along with photos of our work.
Finally, in June, the Chaikuni Institute celebrated its 10th anniversary. We took a moment to reflect on and reminisce over the numerous challenges we have faced over the years, and to celebrate our successes. In close collaboration with our indigenous and local allies, and with your support, we will continue our mission to support local communities for a flourishing life and a thriving Amazon.