SUCCESS CENTERED AROUND PEOPLE

The Amazon Library’s story and the EKOAMAZON Sustainability and Education Center’s future success is best understood through knowing the PEOPLE who have built it into what it is today. While there are many, we will start by introducing these amazing three:

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DR. NANCY DUNN | Vision

Founder, Amazon Library

“I am extremely grateful to the people of the Amazon for their welcoming and open spirit;  to CONAPAC, Explorama Tours and Heliconia Lodge for the logistical assistance they offered;  to the local Peruvian library staff with whom I worked, and to the many donors and volunteers who have supported the library through the years.  Infused with new energy under the leadership of EKOAMAZON the Amazon Library will continue to be a positive influence in the lives of communities and schools along the River.  Go Team!” (Dr. Nancy Dunn, 1/6/2019)

- First visited the Amazon rainforest as a tourist interested in ecology in 1996
- Appreciated the Peruvian’s closeness to nature and their shared sense of community
- Moved to the jungle in 1998 and established the Centro de Conocimiento Compartido (Center of Shared Knowledge), a community jungle library, to enrich the lives of area residents
- Expanded the original concept into a vigorous after-school center, offering daily reading activities and educational games, as well as field trips and workshops in arts, sciences, and technology
- Serviced more than a dozen villages in the surrounding area through annual educational programs with local schools
- Opened a second branch of the Library in 2009 in Sapo Playa
- Established the first library-funded scholarships for high school graduates
- After 13 dedicated years, living and working full time in the jungle, Dr. Dunn retired from the Library in 2011 and gave the building, books and all other assets to CONAPAC
- From 3 students on the first day to more than 155 registered students today, programs are rooted in relevance to the community and a vision for sustainable, vibrant community

FERNANDO SAAVEDRA | Dedication

Administrator, EKOAMAZON Sustainability & Education Center (Amazon Library)

“I feel a deep gratitude to you and your friends in EKOAMAZON. We will keep trying our best to offer valuable library services for our students. Many thanks for allowing us doing so.  Kind regards and hugs.” (Fernando Saavedra, 9/2/2018)

- Started working at the Library in 2007, first with Nancy Dunn, then CONAPAC and now EKOAMAZON
- Local Peruvian teacher and consultant who oversees day-to-day operations
- Selflessly manages the human and educational resources
- Dedicated to helping youth expand their opportunities through development of life-affirming skills and knowledge
- Pursues and manages grants, being recently awarded one through the Peruvian Ministerio de Cultura to significantly expand the music program
- Has been - and will remain - imperative to the Center’s success
- Diligently shares the happenings of the Center on his blog, click here

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ANDREA ASIPALI | Success

Beneficiary and Volunteer

“The Library is so important to me because it was the door to a lot of opportunities in my life. I explored the world reading books, I learned how to speak English there and the most important fact over all was the opportunity to go on exchange to Michigan. That experience changed my life and I'm so grateful to the donors that made my dream come true.” (Andrea Asipali, 1/7/2019)

- As a young girl, she learned to read (in her native language of Spanish), as well as English, at the library
- Was the first US exchange student scholarship recipient, spent a year of high school in Michigan
- Currently in her third year of studying Education at University in Lima, Peru
- Volunteering at the Center to lead English workshops during her summer vacation (January-March, 2019)
- Familiar with the jungle and working for the benefit of the people of her forest