Permaculture and Local Community Projects
Through our focus working with plant spirits at the Temple, it was clear that we needed to expand our healing work into a truly all-encompassing focus on how we relate to the world around us.
Permaculture is exactly this; a holistic approach to regenerative living that highlights individual and community responsibilities for sustainability and focuses on choices, values, ethics and the way in which human beings interact with the natural world. Sustainable living is a lifestyle choice that considers a person’s relationship within the community and the natural environment and seeks harmony with both.
Understanding that Permaculture is much more than just sustainable agriculture; it is an integral view that incorporates the environment, energy, resources, housing, community, technology, education, the arts, spirituality, healthcare and more. It is a positive, solution-based way of thinking and an integrated design system that provides a realistic alternative for future sustainability, creating resource-efficient and productive human environments, which reduce our footprint on the Earth.
Permaculture provides a framework for consciously designed landscapes that mimic the patterns and relationships found in nature that provide diversity, stability, and resilience. These systems yield an abundance of shelter, water, energy, and food for the provision of local requirements.
Since 2013 we have been implementing a permaculture master-plan design around 200 hectares of Temple grounds, along with plans to offer permaculture education to local people in the 5 neighboring villages and support the implementation of sustainable development projects throughout the villages as an alternative to city jobs or income from industrial development projects in the Amazon.
Located around 1 hour by boat from Iquitos, the local communities nearby have been left behind by the rapid development of the city, and unfortunately damage has been done to the local forest ecosystems by slash-and-burn agriculture. We are committed to working with locals from our nearby villages to build both systems and capabilities for regeneration of the eco-system, sustainable land management, access to both conventional and traditional medicine, education, and other key capacities.
We have implemented a recycling program in our local village, employ a local waste recycling manager, are training a team of 15 locals and 5 Shipibo people in permaculture principles as well as sponsor an additional indigenous teacher for the local school to restimulate local culture and traditions.
A Living Example – Future
The Temple is a bustling place where novel experiences and experimentation are commonplace. People come here to see and learn from the examples we implement onsite. Our site exemplifies construction techniques, food production systems, and energy and water systems necessary for comfortable tropical living. New technologies and methods are tested before broad application to the entire complex.
We aim to ensure that educational activities are commonplace. Part of our vision is to hold classes and workshops to share the information learned onsite. In addition, the site itself has “transparent educational design” components that people are able to learn from just by interacting.
For instance, a water system has been designed in such a way that people learn something about spring and rainwater collection and filtration every time they fill their water bottles. Our integrated waste management system is also another example of a highly successful ‘recycling’ project. This type of education will feature everywhere throughout the site and will be accompanied with signage to help people understand the processes that make the Temple a great example of integrated permaculture design.