Saturday, June 26, 2021

Return to the Jungle: Our Amazon quest continues

In late July we are returning to the Amazon.  During the pandemic our future was uncertain.  Now we are committed to going enthusiastically forward in our quest for education in the river communities!


Scholarships

We have added eight new scholarships for 2021, bringing our total to 35!  Thank you to all of our patrons for believing in the future of the village children.

Students of La Libertad getting ready for school.

Health Care Center

We have raised funds to start building a small health care center in La Libertad.  While we are short of the total funding we need for the center, we are off to a good start.  The building will be made of concrete and blocks.  This will provide a more permanent structure than the wooden construction that is usually used.

The health care center of Macedonia, five kilometers upriver
from La Libertad.  We would like to build ours in this style.

Projects

Other projects on the slate for this year include:

  • Installing a 600-watt solar power system
  • 24-hour refrigeration for food and medicine
  • Replace our small wooden boat with a slightly larger rot-resistant fiberglass boat
  • Restart our volunteer-led tutoring program
  • Increase our cultivation of cacao and fruit trees


Website

And last, we have a NEW WEBSITE!  It is now fully encrypted with SSL security.  This site focuses directly on our mission.  It uses many pictures to visually describe what we are doing.  Thank you to our many volunteers who contributed the beautiful photos which were used in the creation of the site.


Thank you and please read our blog or Facebook page for the latest news!


Thursday, February 11, 2021

Goodbye to our cargo boat...

 And thank you for all the journeys for which you carried us safely!


Sadly, our 12-meter cargo boat rotted after three and a half years of use on the river.  Wooden boats, even when painted, almost never last past three years.  It had made over 100 trips up and down the river carrying our students, villagers, and supplies for our work in La Libertad.  We also loaned it to other people for cargo work to help the people of Zaragosa and our neighbors across the river in Peru.


The boat was
The boat was made by Israel in the village of Puerto Alegia.  It took about
two weeks to construct.  The boat was first painted with a polyurethane-based 
paint to slow the rot.


We installed a roof on the boat to offer protection against the sun
and rain.  This was a welcome addition but did add a significant amount of
weight and wind resistance to the boat.


Trips in the boat were very comfortable.  We had plastic sheets
that were lowered on the sides during heavy storms.  This protected
our passengers and cargo.  Because of the boat's size and weight, 
it was very stable in the water, even during storms and high waves.


This is the back entrance to La Libertad.  Sometimes, when the
water was high, it was difficult to navigate the smaller jungle
tributaries.  We would often get stuck on underwater wood or 
on overhanging branches.


After two years we resealed and painted the boat.  Six months
before this a tree fell and destroyed the roof on a trip through a
tributary.  Luckily, the roof protected the passengers but was destroyed.


Our last big school shopping trip to Leticia.


The final resting place of our boat, in the back of the village
in the river tributary.

The Future
We have not decided if we will build another cargo boat of wood, upgrade to one of fiberglass, or rent larger boats when we need them for transport.  We still have our smaller, seven-meter wooden boat for transport and light duty.  

Please enjoy this video of one of the trips upriver from the fall of 2019.










Saturday, January 2, 2021

Happy New Year from Amazon Pueblo! On to our work in 2021...

Thank you to our friends for believing in our project during 2020 and beyond!


Thank you to everyone who donated on Facebook, Chuffed, or directly to us by check or cash.  Facebook is less than transparent on the information of people who donate to us, especially by the "donate" button on our Amazon Pueblo page.  We would like to take this opportunity to recognize everyone who helped the indigenous youth of La Libertad, Leticia, Tabatinga, and Caballococha.  

Thank you, Olivia L(very much), Dianne and Dana, Debbie and Eric, Steven, David, Nancy, Marion, Maryann, Chuck, Hakki, Starsha, Barbara, Julie and Craig, Mark, Johanna, Trice, Randy, Hanna, Alina, Sandra, Barbie,  Gina, Stella, Mike, Janice, Santina, Patrick, Diane and Ian, Josh and Crystal (also very much), Rudy and Joan, Rose, Steven, Irene and Joe, Mia, Jessica and Rand, Janet, Corrine, Diane, and JoAnna!

Tax Information

Everyone should have received a receipt from either platform for tax purposes.  This year, the IRS offers a special deduction of up to $300 for people who do not itemize and take the standard deduction.  This is unchanged for people who itemize.  If you do not have a receipt and would like one, please contact us.


Our plans for 2021

  • Overall, during 2020 we have had a little under $14,000 in donations.  This was fantastic!  We now have over $10,000 in the bank and accounts receivable for January for our work in 2021.
  • We have a total of 29 scholarships for this year.  We hope to fill one more before returning to the Amazon this spring
  • We have added SSL security to the Amazon Pueblo website.  This will stop the "this site is not secure" warning when people visit us.  It is also one of the first steps to having an e-commerce page on our site.
  • This January we are planning to update the website to make it easier to understand the project, navigate, and to interface a bit better with Google AdWords.  We are also working on getting out our financial reports, which will be posted on the website.
  • During the past two years, we have received a little over $360 from Amazon Smile donations!  This represents over $52,000 of purchases on Amazon.  Please follow this link to support us with your purchases at Amazon.com.  Thank you to everyone who has signed up to help us through this program!

Our budget for 2021

  • Student scholarships 3200
  • Health care center 2500
  • Solar panels and electrical system 1000 (very important, as this will allow us to store anti-venom in 24-hour refrigeration for snake bites)
  • Building repairs and construction 1000
  • Education support program 500
  • Travel and transportation costs 500
  • Administrative costs 300
  • Emergency/Reserve fund 1000



Our recipe book fundraiser

  • We will publish a cookbook with the favorite recipes from our students' families, former volunteers, and the directors.
  • Each recipe will include a story about why they picked it.  We will also have pictures of the authors, the food, and the Amazon.
  • We will publish it on Amazon.com, in an electronic form, or by print-on-demand.
  • Our print price will probably be around $15 each, and we will sell them for $25.
  • We will be contacting people, gathering recipes, and putting everything together over the next one to two years.
  • So please be on the lookout for an email from us requesting a recipe!

Happy New Year!