Students from the ninth cycle of the Communication for Development specialty of the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú - PUCP visited the area of intervention of the Project “Landscape Restoration and Food Sovereignty in the Ashaninka and Machiguenga Native Communities of the River Valley Apurímac ”, executed by the Center for the Development of the Amazonian Indigenous (CEDIA) with the financial support of Nouvelle Planete-Switzerland.
This project is developed in native communities located in the districts of Pichari and Kimbiri, in the department of Cusco, and has four components: physical and legal sanitation of native communities, strengthening of the Organization Ashaninka Machiguenga del Río Apurímac - OARA, community forest management and food security.
With the aim of knowing closely the execution of the aforementioned project, between May 30 and June 2 of this year, the students Yasmin Díaz Rojas, Andrés Moreno Torres, Jefferson Espinoza Ventura, Anggelo Consiglieri Cerdán and Claudia Acosta Abad visited the native communities Sampantuari, Tsegontini (Ashaninka) and Cashiruvine (Machiguenga). They held two workshops, one in Tsegontini and the other in Cashiruvine, in which they spoke with the community members about their current situation and their life expectations, based on the Life Plan prepared by the communities with the technical support of CEDIA. Likewise, they visited the agroforestry plantations, fish farms and integral farms established in the Sampantuari native community. Later, they actively participated in the first day of the OARA Ordinary Congress in the Gran Shinongari native community, located in the Pichari district, La Convencion province, Cusco region. The visit of the students was carried out within the framework of the Project Evaluation course of their specialty.
Jefferson stressed that one of the main lessons learned from this experience is “another way of seeing reality. Knowing practices different from those of the West, other logics of coexistence, of relationship with the territory, has caused me great admiration and will help me to have a broader vision of how people understand the world ”; For his part, Andrés affirmed “I learned the importance of group dynamics in native communities and to be in an original model of democracy in which they live and in which they reaffirm themselves”; Likewise, Yasmín commented on the importance of "putting yourself in the place of the other and understanding and respecting other realities and not pretending that your reality is the most relevant compared to the rest."
Andrés indicated “I think they have their own development model in which they want to function and in which they are getting involved”; Claudia said that Peruvians should “reflect on what a diverse country means, beyond the Peru Brand and the propaganda to attract tourists, and how to negotiate in a State that must, after all, answer everyone no in a homogeneous but differentiated way ”; Likewise, Jefferson added, “Native communities have a logic of shared space, of common good, which clashes with our Western logic. They work as a unit ”.
For several years, CEDIA has supported thesis students, interns, volunteers, as well as students from different universities, such as the National University of San Marcos - UNMSM in charge of organizing a Colloquium on Amazonian Studies that will take place in the next few months in his house of studies. From CEDIA we hope, in all cases, to have contributed, with our young Peruvian students, in reaching a greater knowledge of the Amazonian reality of our country, characterized by its remoteness and the still insufficient presence of the Peruvian State.