Collaborative Work for Change
To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity
Although everyday life in the forest is full of laughter, a brittle history combined by an unforgiving present has giving Amazonian riverside communities little opportunity to develop. Most human services are limited to ecosystem services. Localized economies cannot exceed the minimum and mindsets in rural Amazonia are fixated on the day to day, rather then the progresive action for accumulating efforts for greater action. Being in the heart of the Peruvian Rainforest, we witness the daily effects of status quo: terrible education, health problems caused by water consumption from the river, absence of medical attention, undignified living conditions, and countless more. There is a need for global alliances to actively strengthen the frontline protectors of the global resource and to surpass superficial action with profound action. For this very reason, Muyuna Foundation presents the Collaborative Work for Change project where we seek to empower local work ethics, resources and skills with international technology and financing. We are first concentrating efforts in our neighbouring community, San Juan de Yanayacu, with a Muyuna Lodge financed venture, and as we develop a successful collaborative work model and legitimize our position as an NGO, we intend to execute more ventures in the future in the other Amazon protecting communities in the ACR Tamishyacu-Tahuayo.
Muyuna Foundation aims to allocate funds to confront Amazonian riverside community limitations to objectively assist them in developing dignified livelihoods within their cultural values. We believe collaborative work models overcome local financial and resource constraints because of Amazonian innate community-centred mentality, together with an international platform of allies can surge projects forward. Muyuna Foundation is starting by designing and managing a collaborative work model together with San Juan de Yanayacu to build a community house.
Short-term – Design a collaborative work model that can undertake a low-budget community house construction and other community development projects.
Middle-term – Obtain more funding to initiate more ventures and create auto-financing business schemes for interested local entrepreneurs
Long- term -Develop Muyuna Foundation’s collaborative work model and position the Collaborative Work for Change project into a bioregional scale.
The proposal to build a concrete 180 m2 Casa Communal was proposed by the members of a ACR Tamishyacu Tahuayo community because of the need to have a space where all can gather, discuss and celebrate in a dignified manner. Currently, we are working in finishing up a 5-month construction project in the riverside community SJdY. We are looking to wrap up this collaborative project up by June 24th, San Juan de Yanayacu’s anniversary, and initiate a new constructive project.
Amazonian value empowerment
Solidarity, Reciprocity, and Dignity
San Juan de Yanayacu has displayed an immense ability to organize themselves effectively to carry-out the shared interest of having this “casa communal,” in their community. In order to get this proposal moving forward, community members needed to commit to work voluntary in a rotative manner where a group of “moradores,” had the responsibility to show up at the work site ready to tackle daily constructive tasks. The reciprocity between all stakeholders works efficiently, showcasing Amazonian value system strength to bring a community together to tackle a shared goal.
- 33 construction “mingas” guided by qualified engineers
- 75 m3 of sand collected from an Amazon River sedimentary structure
- 23 “moradores” rotating to execute dailiy tasks
This first constriction project managed by Muyuna Foundation has been deemed as a financial challenge ever since the “casa communal,” design has been proposed by the community. Cement was the noble constructive material requested since it symbolizes long-term durability for the community members, making the donation by Muyuna Lodge an unfeasible amount for such task. By being transparent with the project’s benefactors, they have been able to chip in with wood and funds, as well as the “mingas,” mentioned above.
- $800 boat transportation fee for materials split between stakeholders
- 800 m2 of wood donated by San Juan de Yanayacu
- $10,000 donated by Muyuna Lodge
Prioritizing education rather than micro-financing
Since day 0 of project planning with the community, Muyuna Foundation has empathized the importance of learning throughout the various constructive stages of the “casa communal,” project. Most of the participants haven’t finished high school or much professional exposure, therefore we proposed the idea of awarding their efforts with an educative experience at the public carpentry educative institution CITE (Center of Technology and Innovation). San Juan de Yanayacu community members is currently attending carpentry lessons with them and learning from other professionals who work on-site or off-site with them to get project executed.
- 150 hours of carpentry lessons centered around wood drying techniques, unions, finishes, and an on-site roofing installation workshop
- 6 project management and design meetings with architects, engineers, and project planners
Either if it’s about attending a project planning meeting or going to carpentry workshop, all participants have had a chance to learn throughout this constructive venture. Not only have the benefactors has an educational experience, but donors and volunteers as well, the Amazonian will to develop and reach their shared goals have shined light on how collaborative work can move mountains. Muyuna Foundation’s Collaborative Work for Change project aims to prioritize education, yet will focus on micro-financing ventures if the community participants are interested and committed to participate.
Joining the “mingas,” are equivilient to global exchange oppotunities for all who are foreign to Amazonian culutre. When volunteers working in the field, the place where all locals excel in, and being open to learn, a wide amount of cultural exposure is shined. There is an open invitation for all who want to participate in this program and as customed, locals reciprocally show gratitude by inviting you closer to their world.
One day at a time
For right now, we’re finishing up the pilot venture for this project: San Juan de Yanayacu’s “casa communal.” We’re currently learning about local’s value system, idiosyncrasy on international funding, regional resources for optimization, and other details around a collaborative work model that can be applied in other ventures in communities in the ACR Tamishyacu-Tahuayo. The current construction has advanced smoothly even though the experienced the ups and downs due to the flexibility of all stakeholders and determination of completion.
- Carpentry workshops in work site to install the wooden roofing frame
- Laying concrete floor and surrounding sidewalk
- Starting long-term social projects around the “casa communal”
- Applying second coat of concrete for structural finishing
- Recollecting sand from Amazon River sedimentary structures
- Designing a micro-financing venture for artisanal workers of the community
- Cutting wooden planks for sliding windows
- Seeking extra funding