Dear Friends and Supporters of Angels of the Amazon,
It is exciting to update you on the new and old projects that we have been working on in recent months in the Tahuayo area. The challenges, hard work and adventures never end when we try to achieve our goals, nevertheless we continue with optimism and the results have been great!
Angels of the Amazon (AoA) has been working for many years with the women artisans of El Chino Village. With our initiative we created a group named Asociacion de Artesanos Manos Amazonicas. This initiative started in 1996 to empower women and help them support their families with cash income
as well as preserve traditional artistic weaving techniques. In the process a sustainable use of natural resources is created.
The group has also become a social and political voice in their community to support issues important to the women and their children. Many of our tourists have bought artisanias, and have seen that the only structure the group had was
a poor construction, which annually suffered from the seasonal flood. Nearly four years ago the women asked AoA to find a solution. We drew up plans, came up with a budget and in February broke ground for a beautiful structure, built on concrete buttresses so that it will be high above even the deepest flood.
I was more than impressed and pleased to get the collaboration of every member of the group helping in the construction, carrying sand and other materials from the cargo boat, making meals for the construction crew and assisting wherever required. Once the building is completed it will be used for many functions: as a center for the production of arts and crafts, for social meetings of the women of the community, as a shelter for women and children in
special need, as a school for women and girls who wish to learn traditional weaving techniques and as a market place to sell arts and crafts to our tourists.
Education continues to be a priority of AoA. Educational opportunities are the key to giving the children choices in life and escaping the vicious cycle of agrarian poverty. At the end of the school year (December 2015) we had more students graduate from high school than ever before. Most have chosen to continue with their education to eventually have a post high school technical degree and career. We thank our AoA sponsors who are key in making their dreams a reality.
In March and April we distributed basic packets of school supplies for the children of the Tahuayo to start their academic year. More than just giving supplies, I try to personally know every child and help to inspire them to work hard in school and aspire to a better life. I was very satisfied to see the high attendance rates of children in school this past year; this is so different from when I first came to the Tahuayo River.
This summer work will continue with our partners Be The Change Volunteers (BTCV) in building the high school for El Chino Village. By the end of the year we will be almost half way toward the completion of a fine high school. BTCV has also been providing books for the school library.
Healthcare is our other big priority, especially support of the clinic in Esperanza Village. Last month we hired a new nurse and a laboratory professional to work with diagnostics. We also continue funding the treatment of many patients sent to the hospital of lquitos for advanced surgeries or medical treatment.
Special thanks to the many Amazonia travelers and to all our donors and volunteers who contribute to AoA’s mission. Only with your help these projects are possible. Thank you on behalf of the many people who have been helped by your generosity. AoA has been a bridge and I the instrument that connects
you with them. The courage, strength and resilience that many people have showed me only keeps me motivated to continue creating, being and collaborating; together we can make a world of difference!
One heart, two worlds!
Angels of the Amazon