Reflections from the Amazon
June 17, 2021
Greetings from Amazon Ecology. This is our first newsletter with the new public name and logo of the Center for Amazon Community Ecology. Please visit Amazon Ecology to learn about our group and shop for crafts made by our partners in one site.

This past five months has been a roller coaster. In January, the pandemic had receded in Loreto (largest part of the Peruvian Amazon) enough for us to begin visiting our partner communities again. We scheduled a full workshop for February but had to suspend it when another wave of COVID came through the region.

Conditions improved as spring progressed, and we led a social media workshop for a group of Bora native artisans, helped several artisan groups formalize their associations, and hosted a long-postponed Alternatives to Violence Project workshop for communities in the Marañon region.
We and our partners coped with a heavy rainy season in May which flooded our house in Brillo Nuevo even though it was built on stilts. We increasingly accept unpredictability and are planning a full round of workshops focused on craft-making, digital literacy, natural resource management, and communication skills.

Don Manuel has been the curaca (traditional leader/healer) of the Bora native community of Brillo Nuevo for over fifty years. He recently told our Communications Coordinator Tulio Davila, “Early last year we heard about a disease that was killing people in other countries. We were not very concerned at first because we thought it would be very difficult to reach us. When it got to Peru, though, we knew it was only a matter of time before it spread to native communities. I did not want anyone in my village to die.”

In one recent Alternatives to Violence Project workshop, one Bora native woman asked, “What does it mean to be indigenous?” One of her fellow participants looked intently at the group sitting in the circle and responded, “That is a question I would like to ask people who make fun of us who are indigenous. To me, being indigenous means being strong. My mother hardly speaks Spanish, and my father didn't even go to school, but they are the strongest people I know. They are indigenous and as their daughter I am too”.
Spring special on North American birds

Our artisan partners have now mastered weaving three kinds of birds that are well-known to people in the U.S. - the goldfinch, cardinal, and bluebird. These colorful handmade decorations will be great companions anywhere in your home or hanging from a holiday tree. Buy any three of these on Amazon Ecology by June 30 and get 20% off your order by entering the code 3BirdSpecial at checkout.
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Baltimore, MD

We envision an Amazonia where people create sustainable livelihoods, empower communities, and regenerate the Amazon rainforest.