Now more then ever your purchases go further. Learn more about our Covid-19 relief efforts in the amazon.

Programs

Build artisan capacity

We host skill-sharing workshops where experienced artisan facilitators help their fellow artisans learn to make new types of handicrafts while gaining confidence and pride in their work.  We also work with artisans to develop new products and steadily improve craft quality. 

 

Artisan faciltator training workshop. Photo by Campbell Plowden/Amazon Ecology

Strengthen artisan organizations

We help artisans work together and form strong organizations. Our workshops help artisans develop leadership, planning, communication, natural resource management and marketing skills so they can sell more crafts to tourists in their villages and fill larger orders to wholesale buyers.

 

Artisans practice selling chambira hot pads to a tourist. Photo by Campbell Plowden/Amazon Ecology

 

Conserve forest resources

We host trainings and provide equipment so artisans can carefully harvest chambira palm leaves and plant thousands of new trees to produce more woven crafts in the future. We also encourage artisans to make crafts that provide the most income from the least amount of raw material.  

 

  Artisan from Chino harvesting chambira palm leaves. Photo by Campbell Plowden/Amazon Ecology

Support sustainable communities

Beyond creating better economic opportunities, we reinvest part of our craft sales to support local health, education and conservation initiatives.  in 2018, we started an Alternatives to Violence Project program to help our partners improve cooperation and communication skills to resolve conflicts in non-violent ways.

 

During the peak of the pandemic, we launched a special COVID Community Relief Campaign.  These efforts delivered medicines to community health centers and sent packages of food and basic supplies to almost 600 families in our partner villages.

 Cooperation activity in AVP workshop. Photo by Campbell Plowden/Amazon Ecology

Bora community members receiving donated food during COVID. Photo by Amazon Ecology

Develop novel essential oils

We studied the sustainable harvest of copal resin and its relationship to bark-boring weevils and produced essential oil from several species with very interesting aromas. We put the work on hold, however, since we never found enough trees to create a viable community enterprise.

In our second venture, we partnered with Camino Verde to plant several thousand rosewood trees with families in the Ampiyacu region.  Leaves and branches from these trees are now yielding high-quality essential oil and generating regular income for the growers. This effort will also help rebuild the population of this endangered species.  

  Campbell and Manuel distilling copal resin at Brillo Nuevo. Photo by Amazon Ecology.

 Weighing rosewood leaves from trees planted in Brillo Nuevo. Photo by Campbell Plowden/Amazon Ecology