The mission of the Amazon Pueblo project is to help the indigenous community of La Libertad, Amazonas, Colombia, living on the banks of the Amazon River to enhance their dignity and quality of life by following sustainable practices with food, water, energy, and economics.
The village was founded about twenty years ago with the indigenous Yagua tribe relocating from Peru. Although the villagers all identify themselves as Colombian their indigenous heritage is still evident today.
La Libertad is a village where the majority of people live in extreme poverty. The destruction and contamination of the ecosystem is all around them and constantly encroaching. Much of this is directly caused by their uninformed actions. With guidance, education, and help, their quality of life can be greatly improved by following the practices of sustainability. However, the goals of the project cannot be accomplished without the understanding, partnership, and desire of the villagers to be actively involved. We cannot do thing to the villagers, we must do things with them. This may be one of the greatest challenges facing the project.
Currently the majority of the projects are being funded by the project coordinator, Ben Angulo, including small donations from his friends and family. Ben also gives presentations in the Rockland Maine area to interested groups. Currently the project is deemed not a tax-exempt organization, and the project is funded entirely by the volunteers. We find people who have an expertise in certain areas and are willing to take on a specific project or projects. These may range from being able to patiently and creatively teach English to setting up solar powered electrical systems and drilling wells.
We are partners or registered with the following organizations:
· Explorers Connect
· Bristol Explorers
The volunteers who have spent time in La Libertad to date include:
· Ben Angulo various times in 2010 - 2011 and July - August 2012
· Sara Justino January 2012
· Howard and Sarah Risby February 2012
· Daniel and Diana in April - May 2012
· Eve and Jennifer plan to volunteer in July 2012.
Volunteers are currently recruited through the Amazon Pueblo website, word of mouth, and by volunteer opportunity sites. There are no fees to volunteer with Amazon Pueblo, but volunteers must pay for their own transportation, food, and any special supplies that they will use. The village provides housing and some logistical support to volunteers.