SUCCESS CENTERED AROUND PEOPLE
The Amazon Library’s story and EKOAMAZON Sustainability & Education Center’s future success are best understood through knowing the PEOPLE who have built it into what it is today. While there are many contributors, we will start by introducing these amazing three:
DR. NANCY DUNN
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
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
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
SUCCESS CENTERED AROUND PROGRAMS
Through EKOAMAZON Sustainability & Education Center, local staff provide PROGRAMS which engage students in learning skills and developing talents to expand the opportunities in their life. With many effective programs to highlight, we begin with these three, hoping to convey the value in keeping them funded:
READING - SPANISH & ENGLISH
The original mission and our foundational focus
The only lending library in the area, all children are invited to borrow books for studying or reading enjoyment
Programs reinforce the themes of environmental sustainability, leadership, civics and ecology among others
Music Education boosts the artistic, musical and cultural development of rural Amazon communities
In just seven months, 37 students have learned how to read music and play recorder
13 teens have moved on to play clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, flute and trombone
An advanced group makes up the performance ensemble SAMRYA, also known as "Amazon's Youth Band"
This project received an official acknowledgment by the Peruvian Government as an Art Project for Social Transformation, and has obtained support from the Peruvian Ministry of Culture
Focused on stimulating cognitive and emotional intelligence through critical thinking and strategy
This program culminates in annual local tournaments
Chess teams from 3 schools travel to Iquitos, the capital city of the region, to participate in the National School Chess Tournament - Sapo Playa School received a bronze medal
The program has been made possible thanks to the International Fund for Economic Development
SUCCESS CENTERED AROUND PARTNERS
EKOAMAZON Sustainability & Education Center is a natural progression in our collaboration with the people of the Loreto Region of Peru and several organizations dedicated to preserving the region's vibrancy. Our ongoing partnership with the local residents is made possible through collaboration with our PARTNER organizations. We are honored and humbled to work alongside their transformational and devoted leadership and staff. We look forward to engaging in new partnerships with organizations and individuals who have been instrumental in EKOAMAZON Sustainability & Education Center's success.
Made an immediate impression on Ron with their warm smiles, generosity and welcoming spirit.
Compelled Ron to return year after year to interact with and gain new perspective.
Worked side by side with our trip participants in service projects designed to build partnerships.
Shared their dreams, desires and needs as we conducted interviews during the summers of 2015 and 2016 to inform our future engagement in the region.
Inspired us with their commitment to education and sustainability resulting in our commitment to programming through the EKOAMAZON Sustainability & Center.
AMAZON RAINFOREST WORKSHOPS
Ron’s first life-changing exposure to the wonders of the Amazon, as a participant of their Educator’s workshop in 1995.
Founded by Frances Gatz to educate educators who then ignite a sense of environmental responsibility in their students.
Our initial network of innovative educators, who continually inspire us to pursue our commitment and offer life-changing immersion experiences for everyone.
Provide visionary support for the region under the leadership of Christa Dillabaugh.
Support a variety of educational activities for the students at EKOAMAZON Sustainability & Education Center.
Click here to learn more.
Local tour company provides lodging, food, transportation, local guides, experiences, and site visits.
Founded by Peter Jensen to preserve and sustainably share the value of the rainforest environment through conscious education.
Connect us with people, plants, animals, and other wonders of the rainforest.
Provides visionary support for the region through the leadership of Pam Bucur.
Supplies logistics and accommodations for EKOAMAZON Sustainability & Education Center administrator and volunteers.
Click here to learn more.
CONAPAC & DETROIT ZOO ADOPT-A-SCHOOL PROGRAMS
Committed to promoting the conservation of primary rainforest, as well as social development through education.
Source educational materials from Iquitos thus supporting the local economy, reducing purchasing costs and minimizing the environmental impact.
Connect us to service opportunities in which we work together with Amazon villagers to inspire self-reliance in their ever-changing environment.
Serve as our on the ground partners to ensure a smooth transition and rigorous programming for EKOAMAZON Sustainability and Education Center.