Our Neighbor Don Alberto and His Shihuahuaco Trees
Don Alberto Arroyo has lived his life by managing his Brazil nut concession in the Peruvian Amazon. He has never asked for permission to cut any trees in the 40 years he has operated there. It is standard practice for Brazil nut concessionaires to harvest some wood, so it is unique that Don Alberto has not. He believes an intact forest is better for his Brazil nuts, anyways. We are neighbors with Don Alberto, and have always been inspired by his truly ecological ethos. He knows a lot about the forest. This year we found he had been struggling to make ends meet to take care of his aging family, especially with an illness in the family, and the support he gives as primary caregiver to his grandson who has cerebral palsy. This year Don Alberto has asked permission from the government to cut some of his towering ancient Shihuahuacos (Dipteryx micrantha). Shihuahuacos are known for their slow growing, iron hard wood, and most larger sized ones are over 600 years old, going on to 1000. They are habitat for the harpy eagle nests, as well as many other animals. They are some of the tallest and most majestic trees in the forest here. Shihuahuaco is not currently protected by law in Peru, although there is a ground-swell to do so, as the species is believed to be endangered, and is considered ecological patrimony by many ecologists. We have offered to help Don Alberto avoid cutting some of the identified trees by buying them outright, and uncut. Please help us preserve these giants, and support our neighbor: a true ecologist and man of the forest. (Thank you to amara.org for subtitling technology.)
In the native community Puerto Arturo, grandparents and their grandson talk about how they see their native language 'Kichwa' and the jungle where they live. Don Angel and Doña Aurora are the elders of the community that subsist largely on small-scale organic farming, we consider them our family.
La Castañera - The Brazil Nut Gatherer
Marie Luz lives in the Boca Parimanu native community and goes each year to harvest Brazil nuts with her sons. This short documentary talks about her life as a brazil nut gatherer. Brazil nuts are native to a small region of Brazil, Peru and Bolivia. They are trees that tower in the jungle canopy, rising over 40m. They survive and produce well only in intact rainforest. Forming an important part of the economy and jungle ecosystem, the protection of Brazil nut trees has become Peruvian law. Now gatherers work in Brazil nut concessions where management of the forest falls on the concessionaires. In this system people live in close connection with the jungle, hopefully maintaining forest cover in favor of promoting a good harvest. Now new opportunities are arising as producers find ways to make secondary products like oils and chocolates, or by joining together to process the nuts locally and secure a good sale price. The purchase of quality Brazil nuts is one of several good "small-scale" consumer actions any single person can do to help support intact rainforests and sustainable economic activities. While there are still several obstacles to overcome in order to make this a sustainable alternative, awareness is growing that Brazil nuts are a viable way to feed the future, and keep the jungle culture and jungle ecosystem thriving. This documentary was filmed by Cassandra Caroline & Juan Zuniga. It was produced, edited and subtitled by Cassandra Caroline.
Memoria Ancestral - Kichwa - Ancestral Memory
In the Amazon, behind every artistic creation exists ancestral memory. Don Ángel is the last remaining basket maker in the Kiwcha indigenous community of Puerto Arturo, located on the Madre de Dios river in the Peruvian south east Amazon. We shared the weekend with Don Angel, documenting the process of making the basket with the intention for this ancestral tradition to be passed down to the younger relatives who were also present in watching and learning from the elder. Thank you to Novalis (an investigative platform for science, art, and ecology) for providing the location and being partners in the project. Through the Xapiri gallery in Cusco, we offer a platform for where the arts of the Amazon can be displayed and sold, providing an opportunity for indigenous communities to earn a sustainable income on their own while preserving their ancestral traditions. With special thanks to Rodrigo Gallardo for providing the soundtrack with ‘Detras Del Arbol De La Razon’. — — — En la Amazonia, detrás de cada creación artística hay memoria ancestral. Puerto Arturo es una comunidad indígena Kichwa que se ubica en las riveras del rio Madre de Dios al sur este de la Amazonía peruana. Don Ángel es el último fabricante de canastas que existe en esta; compartimos un fin de semana con él, registrando la totalidad del proceso que implica la elaboración de una canasta, estuvo acompañado de parientes jóvenes quienes estuvieron presentes observando y aprendiendo lo que el anciano podía ofrecerles. Gracias a Novalis, una plataforma para la investigación y el desarrollo de investigaciones científicas, artísticas y ecológicas, por proporcionar la ubicación y ser socios en el proyecto. En Cusco, a través de la galería Xapiri ofrecemos una plataforma para difundir y comercializar el arte de la Amazonía, brindando una oportunidad para que las comunidades indígenas sean capaces de generar un ingreso sostenible por su cuenta y al mismo tiempo preservar sus tradiciones ancestrales. Muchas gracias a Rodrigo Gallardo por nos conceder la música ‘Detras Del Arbol De La Razon’.
Jane Quio is a third generation cacao farmer and medicine woman in the Peruvian Amazon. Our cooperative relationship is a long standing one as we continue to support her and her family in developing their business creatively and sustainably. She is the mother of five children and we honor her for her tenacity, knowledge, and deep spirit.
Shipibo Storytelling | Loyver Yui
There once was a pueblo deep inside the jungle called Kuman Knuya translated to 'the spirit of the woman'. In this place there was a tree, a very magical and astonishing one. Because just when the seeds of this tree would fall into the water the fish would eat them, transforming them into swans. And henceforth came this reality, calling all the shipibos and shipibas to experiment with this magical tree...
Toys From Nature
The communities that play together, stay together... Learning how to construct from nature we stretch the limits of our imagination. This was an exploration on forest found materials and the playful imagination of our community youth ages 5-14 to create toys. Using tree seeds and fallen branches, castaña shells and rope... was an inspiring two days with the children of Santa Teresa and Puerto Arturo. Thanks to Animawuu, Carolina Ugarte/Fotografía @melaniedizon