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The Toucan Green Skills Initiative

Posted on April 17, 2024 0

The Toucan Green Skills Initiative

As we unfold the pages of our latest chapter with the Toucan Green Skills Initiative, we are eager to share with you an overall summary and the feedback we've gathered. This update not only reflects our progress but also underscores the invaluable partnership we've fostered with NAHA, whose support has been integral to the initiative's inception and success. 

The Toucan Green Skills Initiative, a collaborative effort supported by NAHA, Shipibo-Conibo Adler Pacaya Paredes, and Airmid Institute, was a three-month course deeply rooted in the principles and practical aspects of Indigenous permaculture as an answer to ecological and societal challenges. It concentrated on imparting knowledge to individuals, particularly those from Indigenous communities, with the goal of fostering sustainable and resilient living spaces for current and future generations. 

Participants were educated on how to interpret the land, create and understand maps, recognize natural formations, and preserve soil and water. Additional competencies such as composting, horticulture, the use of renewable energy sources, and bioconstruction were also covered. The course structured its curriculum to encourage active engagement and skill-building, consisting of 60% hands-on experience, 20% theoretical instruction, and 20% on individual projects, all facilitated through dynamic, participatory methods that nurtured collaborative learning.

The course was structured to empower Indigenous Shipibo sustainability agents in their quest to engage a diverse audience that included permaculture enthusiasts, suburban and rural landowners, urban inhabitants, students, educators, professionals, and activists who are committed to fostering a sustainable lifestyle. Furthermore, the program was designed to honor and sustain the legacy of Shipibo traditions, focusing on the instruction and reinforcement of their language and time-honored practices, all of which are vital to maintaining the vibrancy of their cultural heritage.

The allocated $5,000 USD budget catered to a wide array of needs, encompassing kitchen essentials and food supplies, health and safety necessities, fieldwork tools, heavy machinery, and educational materials. The provision included everything from basic cooking utensils and groceries to specialized equipment like wheelbarrows, shovels, machetes, as well as a boat and rakes for field operations. Machinery such as chainsaws, engines, and water pumps were also accounted for. For the educational aspect, resources like notebooks, writing implements, and measuring tools were supplied, ensuring that participants were fully equipped for both theoretical learning and practical execution.

Eight Indigenous Shipibo participants and 20 volunteers were carefully chosen from three Shipibo-Conibo communities. The participants included Joel Nunta Valera and Grimaldo Lomas Romaina from Santa Marta; Reyner Maldonaldo Cervantes, Antonio Muños Florenciano, and Anderson Cervantes Murayari from Pueblo Nuevo; and Zarka Hellen Yui Horneta, Fresy Rojas Nicasio, and Reynaldo Lomas Tangoa from Belen.

Additionally, the effort was supported by volunteers such as Mariano Garcia Matios, Marcos Sanchez Garcia, Arber Lomas Valeria, Benjamin Yui Chaves, and Eugenio Panduro Algulo. Miguel Lopes Mahua, Segundo Yui Sanchez, Alberto Sandobal Mori, Orlando Saavedra Pacaya, and Félix Pacaya Isamaua also generously contributed their time. The group was further enriched by the involvement of Samuel Bárbaran Inuma, Américo Zumaeta Roimana, Gladis Inuma Vásquez, Glendi Faquín Inuma, and Melida Inuma Vásquez. Maria Zumaeta Ríos, Priscila Ahuanari Teco, Inés Zumaeta Ríos, Elena Yui Sánhes, and Bernantina Sánchez García round out the list of those who dedicated their efforts to the course’s success. 

The course concluded this April, marking a significant milestone for Peru's first group of Shipibo sustainability agents. Their feedback below was overwhelmingly positive, reflecting a deep appreciation for the knowledge gained and a strong commitment to applying sustainable practices both inside their communities and beyond. These pioneering sustainability agents are now equipped to help lead the way in environmental stewardship, blending traditional wisdom with modern techniques to protect and preserve their natural heritage. And they thank NAHA for this incredible opportunity.

MARIANO GARCIA MATIOS (Puerto Belen Native Community)

"The TOUCAN GREEN SKILLS INITIATIVE school for me is my soul, a kind of rehabilitative source where the knowledge of people and nature were aligned and respected in an abundant circle of love and company. I had not felt so many forces, so many souls empowering themselves to find a way to heal our mother earth. Before understanding this, my desire was failing since most of my environment does not value or rather does not dream of this life's work. Today I am stronger than ever because these people confirmed to me that I will never be alone again, that together with permaculture and the love of nature we will be able to restore materialize, restore large forests of our medicinal and aromatic plants, our end as beings. humans. Thank you, Doctor KELLY YA AIRMID INSTITUTE YA NAHA, our brother Adler Pacaya, that our dream remains intact, full of joy and hope, demonstrating that there is nothing like nature itself and that by observing its simplicity and calm we will have all the answers. He opened the doors to a paradise restored by his own hands, to learn about permaculture that despite its lands there is nothing but the deforested forest, I cannot count on endless sensations and beliefs, but Adler gave me great advice. And I will continue doing it without looking back. I will take care of my energy and only give it to those who vibrate with their sustainable soul. Grateful for my brothers and Mother Earth, who with their love and smile filled me with happiness. Thank you, infinite thanks. my land, and Dr. Kelly, and NAHA. You give me wisdom and put in front of me those who will be my greatest gratitude, here now and always. Thank you for the course, we like it, it heals us, it gives us happiness."

JOEL NUNTA VALERA (Santa Marta Native Community)

"Thank you to the TOUCAN GREEN SKILLS INITIATIVE school, the course for me is wonderful, learning is very important where everything is contamination of what living in a paradise, we have not discovered it where nature is part of our life where what are we going to take from this school a knowledge, where the world is so chaotic where nature is disappearing, where nature is calling us to work with it not only our own healthy food but also everything that will regenerate the planet the city the sea our ecosystem our communities our family and that is why it is very important that this school continues to function that there are more courses like this for more young people, this is the door to regeneration to health, to the restoration of nature, to our healthy food, to build also our houses in a friendly way always in relation to the earth, I invite you who have lived a wonderful experience, where the earth needs us and a space like this school."

MARCOS SANCHEZ GARCIA (Puerto Belen Native Community)

"For me, the course is a practical course with active projects through permaculture, where we have been able to find a complete set of tools to create more sustainable life models, therefore I am very grateful for the Professor Adler, Shipibo permaculturist, caretaker of our planet, for his teachings that have changed our conviction with this course and we would like to thank Dr. Kelly in particular and the entire AIRMID INSTITUTE AND NAHA team for supporting us and continuing to support us because there is still Many young people and communities that need this type of change, thank you, we are very grateful for the school."

REYNER MALDONADO CERVANTES (Pueblo Nuevo Native Community)

"For me the permaculture course is very important beyond sustainability in all areas of human life, to live a healthier life in connection with nature, thanks Professor Adler permaculturist to the doctor Kelly and AIRMID INSTITUTE AND NAHA want you to continue supporting us, because this is just a beginning, we have much more to do, to live a balanced life in connection with nature, thank you very much."

GRIMALDO LOMAS ROMAYNA (Santa Marta Native Community)

"I want to thank in a special way the school for the new knowledge it has given us and those who are supporting us. For me, the sustainability course is a way from which a new, more just society and a real and sustainable alternative could be designed so that we must establish our healthy settlements. Thank you."

ANTONIO MUÑOS FLORENCIANO (Pueblo Nuevo Native Community)

"Firstly, to thank Dr. Kelly NAHA AND PERMACULTURAL Our Professor Adler, for me, leadership has been fundamental to balance a more balanced world and we have just learned that permaculture is a fundamental framework to guide decision-making, decisions and actions, care of the earth, care of people and fair distribution of surpluses. Leadership in sustains validity and permaculture, it is very important to take these principles into account to guarantee that our actions are not only sustainable, but also fair for all those involved, these involve us considering the needs of the land, the people and communities and ensure that they are met fairly and equitably over the long term. Because this is a positive change in the world and in our Indigenous peoples."

FRESI ROJAS NICASIO (Puerto Belen Native Community)

"Thank you very much, to Doctor Kelly and the NAHA association who have supported us a lot with the course, I am very proud of you for helping us save my family and the future of our planet, My community, our culture, we are very excited about what we are going to do with this new knowledge of what we have learned, thank you."


Lastly, it's important to highlight the profound impact this initiative has had on the main instructor, Adler Pacaya Paredes, and his family. The experience has been so transformative that he has resolved to commit himself to the Toucan Green Skills Initiative on a full-time basis, pledging his dedication through the end of 2024. This decision underscores the initiative’s significance not only to the participants but also to those who lead it, reinforcing the notion that when we protect our planet, we also enrich our own lives. 

We hope you take as much joy in perusing the attached photos as we do in sharing them, each image a testament to the journey we’ve embarked upon together. Again, we express our heartfelt gratitude to NAHA for your unwavering support. It is our sincere wish to foster this collaborative spirit well into the future, continuing to unite our efforts in nurturing the Earth and empowering its Indigenous stewards.

"We are like the forest: when we stand together, we grow strong." Indigenous proverb

Sending love,

Kelly and Adler



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