We’re starting again!
It appears that the world’s travel restrictions are waning, and we’ve been learning how to better protect ourselves and others. The COVID-19 vaccinations have certainly helped to make things safer in many areas, too. So, Volunteer Voyages LLC has determined that it is now time to resume some of our projects.
Our first project will be the Bora Agriculture Training Project, July 8-17, 2022.
Background: When the pandemic struck Peru in early 2020, one of the first regions to be affected was the rural area along the Amazon River. No one knows exactly how the virus arrived there, but it moved quickly to infect a large segment of the population. Unfortunately, the tribal communities near the city were disproportionately affected. The Bora Tribe, with whom we have worked for many years, lost several members of their community – and their livelihoods.
Historically, the Bora Community has relied on their skill in entertaining tourists with their singing, dancing, and handicraft production for their income. When tourism was halted during the pandemic, their income stopped, too. In August of 2021 the tribe decided to branch out to attempt raising vegetables that they could sell for a profit. Because they did not have any agricultural experience – only having worked as entertainers – they realized they needed some help. They contacted Volunteer Voyages and we were able to arrange some small donations and to provide a little instruction to get them started. They had some moderate success, which kept them going, and this month they contacted us again to tell us that they are now adding some chickens to their farming repertoire. We are so excited for them! And we want to help more.
Our plan: We will take a take a group of vaccinated and boosted volunteers to visit the tribe and help with some new information for them regarding raising vegetables and chickens. We plan to leave the USA June first, spending the first night in Lima, Peru and continuing to Iquitos the following morning. Our time in Iquitos will be spent working with the community directly, helping with their daily tasks, answering questions, and teaching. Of course, they will always make time to take us to see the local sights, such as Monkey Island and the Butterfly Garden, traveling to and from each place by boat while watching for pink dolphins. We will also check out the cocoa crops that are grown in the region to see the initial ingredients of our favorite chocolate bars.
After 6 nights in our comfortable hotel in Iquitos, we’ll return to Lima for a couple nights to enjoy some of the sights there, and then return to our homes on June 10th.
- US$2,000.00 per person (plus airfare)
- DocumentedCOVID-19 vaccination and booster
- Documented Yellow Fever Vaccination
- Travel Insurance (cancellation and evacuation)
- Compliance with all international travel requirements
- Special skills needed:
- None, however some experience in gardening is certainly a plus, and experience or training about raising chickens would be a real bonus!
Iquitos is a city on the banks of the mighty Amazon River. It’s approximately 4,000 miles from the mouth of the river where it empties into the Atlantic Ocean. The Amazon carries one fifth of the world’s fresh water from the Andes Mountains to the Atlantic and is so massive that ocean-going freighters and oil tankers can easily make the journey to the ports within the city and back to destinations all around the world.
Despite its size and modern conveniences, Iquitos is, in many senses, a frontier town, serving as a hub of activity and bridging the divide between modern urbanization and the pristine wilderness of the vast Amazon Rainforest. Literally, the jungle stretches as far as the eye can see – even from 30,000 feet when we’re flying in or out. The jungle is inhabited by many tribal cultures. A few have never been contacted by modern society and still others prefer to avoid further interactions, once contacted. Many, however, interact freely with locals and foreigners. The tribes that reside close to Iquitos have come to depend on those interactions for a variety of rewards.
Although the jungle and rivers provide food and other necessities for them (less now than in previous centuries), people living near the city have also come to appreciate some of the modern conveniences that cities can provide. Those conveniences come with a price tag, though, so the tribes have developed strategies – like entertaining – to earn some income to cover their expenses.