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Our proposal intends to avoid the grave of virgin forest and instead use the stubble (land used before) to establish the traditional chagra of the families but without burning. The living classroom seeks to replace burning with sustainable practices that fertilize the soil and protect it, such as the planting of native species, the use of organic fertilizers and the natural control of insects, in addition to the use of mulch as fertilizer. These are two key elements.

This proposal allows families to cultivate for several years on the same land and the seeds that have been lost over time are recovered. When we started in 2009, each family cultivated an average of 4 or 5 species in their fields. Currently we find that these families have between 60 and 120 different species or varieties of plants. This on the banks of the Amazon River (Peru, Brazil and Colombia). Another important element is the inclusion of timber trees in the chagra, which results in the fact that after five or more years, bread harvesting ceases to be grown and there is a very valuable forest for the future of the family.

Our Allies

During the 12 years that the work process carried out by Fucai has been carried out on the banks of the Amazon River on the border between Colombia, Peru and Brazil, we have developed alliances that have allowed us to better adapt to the cross-border context, take advantage of the knowledge of talent locally and advocate for organizations that work for the preservation of the Amazon and the survival of indigenous peoples.

Among our most important alliances are SJPAM, Chagra Selva (Colombia-Peru), ACAAM (Brazil) and Las Hermanas Cordimarianas (Brazil).

Our Methodology

At Fucai, we have developed a proposal that generates quick results in families and communities, which is based on the stories of origin of cultivated plants from indigenous peoples of the Amazon such as the Moniyamena of the Uitoto, the Wone of the Tikuna and the Kaliawirinae of the Sikuani. and the Piapoco. The tree of abundance, the center of these stories, is a mythical story that is part of the cultural heritage of indigenous peoples. These stories take place in scenarios of scarcity and abundance and suggest that families and communities were created to live in abundance and not in scarcity.

At Comunidades Indígenas de Abundancia we seek to systematize the first 6 years of the work proposal that we have built hand in hand with the indigenous peoples of the banks of the Amazon River on the borders of Colombia with Peru and Brazil. This book tells how we have advanced with the indigenous communities of this region and their way of inhabiting the world, to move from scarcity to abundance, achieving sustainable food sovereignty, improving land use and benefiting other species through of agriculture as an activity through which conservation of Amazonian forests is promoted.

The objective of this book is to show the lessons learned during our work process to make it easier for other organizations to work with indigenous communities and to highlight some issues that as a team we consider important when approaching community work with these peoples.

Download the PDF in Spanish

Download or PDF in Portuguese

Aula Viva on Agroforestry Agriculture: a Church that crosses borders

DNA Celam. A Church that transcends borders is one of the achievements of the Synod for the Amazon , something that has been taking shape at a general level and in small actions and projects that give meaning to the work of reflection and organization at a general level.

Little things that show the work of the Church

We could say that the Ecclesial Conference of the Amazon (CEAMA), which was recently erected canonically by Pope Francis, is one of those great expressions at a general level. There are also small initiatives, which are not always known, but which give flavor to the work that the Church has been doing in so many places in the Amazon , in the peripheries, on the borders, which are not always understood by the original inhabitants of these places. .

A clear example of this can be found in the Triple Frontier between Brazil, Colombia and Peru, where the Ticunas lived historically, one of the most numerous peoples in the Amazon. Currently there are more than 50,000 Ticuna, 36,000 in Brazil, 8,000 in Colombia and 7,000 in Peru. For them, the borders between the three countries is something that they do not always understand and often do not take into account in their day-to-day lives .

A network job

In an expression of that Church that walks in a network, that overcomes borders and generates common paths between different ecclesial and civil institutions, a Living Classroom on Agroforestry Agriculture was held from October 21 to 23 in the Ticuna Indigenous Community of Umariaçu I, located in the Brazilian municipality of Tabatinga, in the State of Amazonas.

The classroom is part of the Life Project , which the Cordimarian sisters carry out from São Paulo de Olivença, with the advice of the Colombian foundation Caminos de Identidad (FUCAI). Also present at the event were the Pan-Amazonian Jesuit Service, which is based in the Colombian city of Leticia, and Caritas from the Brazilian diocese of Alto Solimões .

Work with indigenous families

Throughout the three days, as reported by Verónica Rubí, an Argentine lay missionary who articulates Caritas in the diocese of Alto Solimões, 20 farming families from the Umariaçu Indigenous Community , where the missionary resides, participated.

The living classrooms, according to Rubí, are formative instances in which the needs are worked on to make it possible to go from a reality of scarcity to abundance , from monoculture, many times they only plant cassava, to diversified cultivation in which the burning of Jungle. For this, seeds and fruit and timber trees were delivered to each of the families.

Theoretical and practical course

Everything explained on the first day was put into practice on the second, something that was lived as a good experience by the participants, who have committed to undertaking these diversified crops , without burning, teaching their children to assume these agroforestry practices.

The course ended with a day of native cooking , working on the importance of a varied diet, rich in protein, vitamins and carbohydrates, says the coordinator of Caritas Alto Solimões. Distributed in four groups, 25 different dishes were prepared, with local meats, fruits and vegetables, showing the many possibilities that exist in this regard.

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Amazonas youth living classrooms- Nazareth

The living classrooms that are developed in the Amazon region have become a proven method of conservation, multiplication of species, soil recovery, reforestation, resumption of traditional crops and preservation of traditional cuisine. The living classroom is a practical exercise, which is worked with indigenous communities and where agroforestry systems and food sovereignty are put into practice.