AREAS OF WORK
We are involved in several lines of work through projects in the Morona Santiago Province of the Ecuadorian Amazon, bordered by the Tiwintsa district near Peru. This district is made up of 64 Shuar communities.
Within this area we have developed the “Solidarity Travel” concept: An experience of coexistence and solidarity among young volunteers from Spain and the Shuar communities in Ecuador.
Through this initiative we have developed priority projects for the Shuar community of San Miguel, Yapapas, Tsapa and more. Projects such as building a medical clinic, a chicken hatchery and a hog farm, along with other community projects. These projects have always been complemented with the delivery of medicines, educational materials and desks for schools.
The community actively contributes back: As a counterpart they provide the necessary manpower for the construction and materials from the area. The volunteers provide some of the funds for building materials and manpower.
ASAMA is in charge of the organization, providing funds, and the necessary technical staff to carry out the projects. The scope of the projects broadens with each Solidarity Travel event that occurs.
The program “Solidarity Travel in the Amazon”, gives the opportunity to experience the Amazon region and to work in a social development project for a Shuar community. Solidarity travels are open to anyone who wishes to contribute and help those who need them.
For some years now we are working on developing a project to make an evaluative Expedition to the Amazon in order to study the ecological, social and environmental condition of the “Kutukú Shaimi Forest Preserve”, regarded as the last reserve in the Shuar territory. It is a largely unexplored area that contains an immense diversity of flora, fauna and micro-climates with high concentrations of endemic species. This area concentrates wealth in its subsoil and has become a coveted territory for transnational corporations from the mining and petroleum industry. Also for its natural wealth, the forest is in the sight of timber and pharmaceutical companies. This territory is under heavy political, social and economical pressure.
Our expedition will serve as the basis for the creation of an Ethno-Biological Center dedicated to rescue the cultural values of the Shuar people and the promote the study of nature and conservation.
Through ASAMA Ecuador, a Pilot Plan for Fair Trade is being conducted with the participation of Shuar Craftswomen who make jewelry using sustainably harvested forest products. This type of jewelry design requires a long process that begins with the collection of seeds, their drying, selection, design and development. The time and the work of several people is needed for the completion of each piece.
The Association is committed to helping Shuar women market any products they make, buying them at a fair price. We offer these items at exhibitions held in several cities of Spain and in the United States through our sister organization, Friend of Nunkui.
In the future we aim to provide the women artisans with a crafts center which would be equipped with tools to facilitate their work and where they would be able to train others.