The Center for Shamanic Education & Exchange (CSEE) has been supporting the university-level education of young members of the Shipibo for the past seven years, mentoring the graduates as they develop businesses that enhance the sustainability, health, education of their community.
These 7 students are now on to the next phase of their lives: applying their studies to projects. Most have returned to their native community to work as school teachers. One of those is Henry Flores Agustin who carried out the traditional cacao ceremony that we supported this year and is overseeing the finances and administration of the Shipibo shamanic apprenticeship training project.
Your contribution helps to support this yearly traditional Cacao Ceremony for the children of the community. Donate here!
Who are the Shipibo?
The Shipibo are one of 14 indigenous tribes living in the Amazon Basin in Peru. They are a shamanically based people, deeply influenced by the power of the plants, animals and natural elements. A unique aspect of the Shipibo culture is their woven song tradition. The Shipibo hear and see the healing messages of nature and reproduce them as healing songs called icaros. They also weave these messages as patterns on textiles. The elaborate geometrical designs function like a musical score and correlate and interact with the natural world. The patterns and icaros have many different purposes, among them: protection, healing, abundance, and harmony.
Educational Scholarship Project:
Roel Flores Agustin
Roel (Vichy) is the youngest child of Enrique Flores and Herlinda Agustin. He is currently the youngest CSEE scholarship recipient. We are excited to announce that Roel has now completed his degree in Business Administration and Finance, and graduated with exceptional grades! Budgeting and financial planning are not part of the ancestral culture of the Shipibo. The business education and skills Vichy is learning will contribute to empowering the financial management and development of sustainable businesses in his home village. Funding Vichy’s education is part of our initiative to help empower leaders with a shamanic foundation to control their future and have the financial security to protect their heritage. Our goal was met and we were able to raise a monthly scholarship of $600 per month to cover his educational and living expenses.
Susy Flores Agustin
Susy has completed the most competitive University Tourism degree program in Lima. Susy’s goal is to build a viable and sustainable shamanic tourism business for the Shipibo. Shamanic tourism is a rapidly growing business sector in the Peruvian Amazon basin. She studied English, Mandarin, French, Italian and German.
Walter Flores Agustin
Walter studied botany and environmental sustainability. He studied living things, including medicinal plants in the rainforest and the principles of reforestation. His aspirations are to develop a world class, sustainable botanical garden on family land in his home village on the Amazon. He plans to teach reforestation and sustainability practices to the villagers to help stem the tide of environmental degradation from development. In addition to supporting his studies with a monthly gift to see him through his six years of study, CSEE also raised funds in 2013 to fund a project in his village that served as the basis for his masters thesis. Preserving the wisdom of the medicinal plants of the Amazon is crucial to the preservation of the Shipibo culture. Walter has completed a six-year program of study at the University in Pucallpa, resulting in a masters degree.
Katty Lisett Murayari Flores
Katty is the eldest grandchild of Enrique Flores and Herlinda Agustin. She is a law student, has four years left in her program and will spend the last two years in Lima at an advanced level of study. She is a Highest Honors Student – in the top 1% of her class, a single mother and has taken on a more difficult course load that will help her attain a doctorate degree. When she completes this curriculum, she will be certified to practice international law. Her aspirations are to practice indigenous rights law, defending and securing rights for indigenous people and women’s civil rights law. Katty is a shining example of the type of leader we are supporting to maintain and preserve the indigenous culture and traditions. Our goal is to support Katty at $900 per month to cover her tuition, travel for internships, conferences, field trips and housing.
Juan had to retake many classes but was able to complete his final thesis which was on the Preservation of Shipibo Culture and receive his teaching certificate. Juan had to take his first teaching job a two day boat ride away from his village, his wife and his 6 children. In March 2011, Juan was able to secure a teaching job in his own village, located across the street from his house! With Juan’s arrival at the village school, they were able to celebrate having teachers that were 100% bilingual because all the teachers are native Shipibo. The students speak Spanish and Shipibo, learn traditional Shipibo design and learn the value of preserving their culture. Check out our pictures of our visit to Juan’s classroom in October 2011.
Henry Flores Agustin
Henry got his degree in Lima in Physical ed, Nutrition and Sports with the help of CSEE and One Heart Many Rhythms. Henry currently has a job in a very remote village a day boat ride away. He hopes to join Juan at the school in his home village next year. Because of Henry’s experience living in Lima as well as his education, he has helped the other villagers open bank accounts, manage finances, organize business ventures and has become a positive influence and leader in his community.
Pasquel Flores Agustin
Pasquel was funded by CSEE to study for several years with the famous artist, Pablo Amaringo at the Pablo Amaringo School of Art in Pucallpa, Peru before Pablo’s death. He has 2 years left of a curriculum that will give him a certificate to be an official teacher of art. CSEE currently supports his weekly classes and related expenses of $200 per month. Meanwhile he has been teaching several of the village children who have shown an interest and talent in studying art. CSEE plans to make his role more official, supporting him in keeping the knowledge and practice of Shipibo art alive in his home village. Our goal is to raise an additional amount of$150 per month to support Pasquel’s role as art teacher in his village, paying for his time, art supplies, easels and other related expenses. Currently Pasquel is the only art teacher in the village.