The Chaikuni Institute
Catalyzing a Regenerative Movement in the Amazon
The Chaikuni Institute is a grassroots collective which investigates, promotes and protects equitable, inclusive, interrelated, and abundant living systems. By honouring indigenous wisdom and enacting the principles of permaculture, we support a form of life known in Spanish as buen vivir, and in Quechua as sumak kawsay. It is a mindful approach of good living which emphasizes community focus, harmony, and social responsibility to the Earth and her people.
We believe that as humans, it is our responsibility to reorient ourselves away from the exploitative and self-destructive ideas and behaviours which now dominate our planet. We strive to reform our relationship to the earth and to each other in such a way that honours the sacred interrelation of all life, and which contributes to the health and happiness of all beings.
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We explore synergetic solutions by cross-pollinating indigenous wisdom with rights-based solutions and progressive eco-technologies. Through this sort of integrated approach, we are working towards an alternative, sustainable future for all beings.
Working hand in hand with indigenous people and like-minded organizations, we pursue our holistic vision of health and happiness in the Amazon along three distinct paths: Intercultural Education, Permaculture, and Human and Nature Rights. These three distinct operational branches of the Chaikuni Institute function together, in different arenas, for interwoven solutions to the pervasive and complex challenges at hand.
We investigate and promote sustainable access to plant medicine, healthy food, and economic opportunities for local communities by creating an integral agriculture model within our Amazon permaculture center. Situated outside Iquitos, on a 200-hectare parcel of secondary tropical rainforest, our permaculture center has grown since its inception in January 2013.
We are cultivating a high-functioning permaculture base and micro-business model for the sustainable development of Amazonian rural areas, which also serves as an educational hub combining indigenous wisdom and modern knowledge. Our model continuously evolves to offer alternatives designed to help local communities confront day-to-day challenges.
Human and Nature Rights
We are dedicated to the protection and defense of Mother Earth within the Amazon. We aim to transcend the anthropocentric limitations of our current legal system in order to recognize and respect the sanctity of all life in the Amazon. We oppose shortsighted systems that allow humans to desecrate and pollute our jungle home, the lungs of the world. The extraction of natural resources in this region is causing irreversible harm to the Amazon, its people, and by extension, to the rest of the world. We stand with indigenous organizations across Peru to resist systems which privilege profit over people.
We are presently working with the indigenous Kichwa organization FECONAT to ensure fulfillment of the commitments made by the Peruvian Government as part of the emblematic prior-consent process of Peru’s biggest oil lot, as well as the agreements signed following the historic protest in Saramurillo in 2016 uniting Amazonian indigenous peoples of five river basins.
We believe in intercultural education as a means for creating an inclusive, diverse, and equitable society which honours and celebrates its constituent cultures and identities. We support the academic careers of indigenous students across Peru, as couriers of the mutually advantageous cultural exchange we believe in. Academic opportunities allow for indigenous students to return home with knowledge and skills which their communities can learn and integrate.
Through our educational program “Sui Sui”, we are presently supporting the local indigenous student organization OEPIAP, which represents over 120 indigenous university students from 15 Amazonian peoples.