The ecologically rich tropical rainforests of the Amazon encompass some of the world’s most remote and least explored areas. These areas are home to millions of indigenous highland people, including the Yanesha. The Yanesha are intent on preserving their culture and protecting the land reserved to them to protect important fauna that sustain their communities. The reserve is often under threat from oil companies, logging, mining, cattle farming, and other illegal activity. Historically, the Yanesha people relied on a natural economic system, depending upon a balanced environment for subsistence agriculture, hunting, and fishing. They thrived in these traditional systems without connections to global economic and environmental systems, but the impact of colonial culture over 150 years ago produced dramatic changes, including: the development and reliance on cash crops, such as coffee, and a new set of challenges along with them.
7e’s Home Base in Peru is located in Finca Santa Rosa, a small international award winning coffee farm 10 minutes outside of Villa Rica.7e partners with some of the indigenous tribes of Peru where we learn about traditions and practices closely intertwined with the natural environment.
In Peru, 7 Elements focuses our programs on the unique mixture of cultures, values, socio-economic identities and environmental conservation strategies. Together with our local leaders and partners, we show students the importance of eco-conscious strategies and the role that these play in the lives of the indigenous peoples of Peru.
Local Leadership in the Yanesha Community
Born in a small community, Ruth grew up learning about agriculture and conserving the natural environment. She was also taught the importance of preserving her culture and customs. Passionate about her education, she went on to study at National Intercultural University of the Amazon in agricultural engineering. She has since studied with different national and private institutions. A couple of years ago, Ruth began to collaborate with 7 Elements on our service learning programs in Peru where she assists with planning and implementation with our Country Manager.