Traditional Medicine and Amazon Spirituality Project for the Huachipayri
Nation of Peru
During the month of May 2001, Living Bridges funded a project offered
by CECUWA, Cultural Center Wanamey, directed by the son of Don Alejandro
Darikiking Jahuranchi, Joel Jahuranchi.
The project was centered on training a group of youth aged 15 to
thirty years from the Huachipaeri community of Qeros in the theoretical
and traditional practical knowledge of the ethnomedicine of this
The need to train youth in the use of traditional plant and spiritual
"medicine" has been well established. During the last five decades
cultural exchange with the outside world in the form of religion
and commerce has greatly impacted both the interest in and possibilities
Both the work of AMETRA (Application of Traditional Medicine) in
1986 and FENAMAD (Native Federation of the River Mother and Flowing)
in 1991 had previously developed activites in this region with the
objective of "revaluation" of traditional medicine and in the case
of the latter, with the publication of a small manual on medicinal
plants and their uses.
Most recently the Shamans Encounters sponsored by Pro-Naturaleza
and Tropical Rainforest Coalition have increased the interest and
involvement of the remaining elder teachers from the Huachpaeri
tribe and other tribal ethnic members from the extended bio-region
in the training of the Youth.
Activities and Methods
The thirty youth participating in the training workshop were divided
into two groups each facilitated by an elder male Maestros. The
Shamans of the Shamans Confederation refer to themselves as Maestros
The workshops held in the actual forest areas focused on identifying
and teaching about the healing properties of various plants and
actually practicing the application of "cures".
The workshop was well appreciated by all those youth in attendance.
It is hoped that other trainings with the youth will continue to
inspire them to uphold the original values of their cultures and
to foster the revived use of medicinal plants and "cures" for everyday