An Alternative Vision for the Peruvian Amazon

Photo: A traditional Shipibo song to open the Symposium of Village Leaders. Village Earth was asked by the Regional Institute for Development of Native Communities (IRDECON for its Spanish acronym), a program of the regional government, to facilitate a strategic planning session for indigenous leaders in the Ucayali Region. They asked Village Earth to facilitate this meeting because they like Village Earth’s methodology that has been used in previous workshops and gatherings of indigenous leaders in the region. Photo: The President of ORAU speaking at the Symposium of Village Leaders. Photo: The planning began with a participatory discussion about Shipibo values, which included: love, friendliness, to live united, solidarity, reciprocity, honesty, humility, respect, sincerity, cultural identity, songs and dances, shamanism. The Symposium of Leaders of Native Communities was an event hosted by IRDECON to really listen to the representatives of indigenous communities. As they said, many times development decisions are made in the government offices with no regard for the needs or priorities of the communities. Based on the outcomes of the Village Earth strategic planning session, IRDECON will use these development priorities to develop their 2010 organizational plan and budget. Village Earth was honored to be invited to this event. Above Photos: Kristina and Jamie of Village Earth facilitated a “visioning” workshop for community leaders to determine the future of their communities and the region. Richard Soria, President of IRDECON, helped with the Shipibo translations. Photo: The vision for the region included ideas about reforestation projects, cultural revival, creating small business within communities, creating communal forest reserves, fish farms, and more. Photo: Discussion between indigenous leaders about the priorities of the region. Photo: Limber Gomez, event organizer and past Village Earth-trainee, facilitates a discussion on prioritizing the different themes of the indigenous leaders’ visions, so that IRDECON can best facilitate a bottom-up approach to sustainable development