Cusco. The Organization Ashaninka Machiguenga of the Apurímac River (OARA) carried out its Ordinary Annual Congress corresponding to the year 2018, which was held between May 30 and June 1 of this year, within the framework of the Project “Restoration of the Landscape and the Food Sovereignty of the CCNN Ashaninkas and Machiguenga of the VRA ”, or also called REPASA, which runs the Center for the Development of the Amazonian Indigenous (CEDIA) until the end of October of this year. The Congress took place in the communal premises of the Sampantuari Native Community in the district of Kimbiri, Province of La Convencion, department of Cusco.
Representatives of 26 OARA base native communities participated, representatives of different state entities - such as the Native Communities Management of the Kimbiri and Pichari Municipalities, the Pichari and Kimbiri Health Network, SUNARP, the National Forest Conservation Program (PNCB) and SERNANP- specialists and local promoters of CEDIA, among others. CEDIA supported the holding of the Congress, which was carried out within the framework of the line of action of the Organizational Strengthening Project of OARA. It should be noted that the Project executes five lines of action; the other four are physical and legal sanitation, community forest management, food security and consolidation of experiences from the Project.
Many of the state entities presented the work carried out in the area, also collected the demands of the communities based on their social, cultural and economic reality; for example, one of the requests of the communities is to participate with projects in the Participatory Budget of the Municipalities. CEDIA also presented the progress of the project "Restoration of the Landscape and Food Sovereignty of the CCNN Ashaninkas and Machiguenga of the VRA" and the lines of action that it executes. Faced with this, the community members indicated their needs and demanded, for example, leadership training for young people.
Among the main agreements, we have that the native communities will request the installation of SUNARP and Ombudsman Offices in the Apurímac Valley with preferential attention to native communities; likewise, they will request training from said entities. In addition, it will ask the PNCB for greater incorporation of communities and the extension of the agreement. Regarding the Municipalities, it was indicated that they should consider the communities as caretakers of the water sources and that they should be consulted for their use. Another agreement is to commit CEDIA and OARA to the continuity of the REPASA Project in the native communities, executing activities related to the lines of action of food sovereignty, community forest management and community organizational strengthening.
Once the Congress was over, OARA held an extraordinary assembly in order to renew its Board of Directors for the 2018-2022 period, with Mr. Virgilio Pizarro Curi being reelected as President for that period.
From CEDIA we consider that supporting the realization of this event is extremely important because, in addition to contributing to organizational strengthening, it encourages the encounter between native communities and institutions whose activities have or should have interference in their areas, which in the end will be important to achieve their development and acquire respect for their rights as citizens. These types of spaces allow entities to know more about the needs and reality of the communities and are an opportunity to agree on their work, to be carried out in the future.