Amazon Tri-Border Region
Sitting on the Amazon River on the Peruvian side, Santa Rosa is a small island inhabited by about ~1000 people.
This area has a tropical climate, with significant rainfall throughout the year. The general period of the annual rainy season is from November to April, July being the driest month. The average annual rainfall is 2,780 mm(~9 feet). The extreme differences between wet & dry seasons is a cause for much instability for the community.
Peru's Coca Production
The United Nations announced in 2013 that Peru has overtaken Colombia as the world's top producer of coca, the raw plant material used to manufacture cocaine.
Production found in Peru and Colombia is the work of small, often family-based groups living a subsistence lifestyle from coca paste production. The production and flow of drugs through this Tri-Border Region causes a number of problems for the communities in this region.
Challenges in the Amazon Tri-Border Region
- High rates of unemployment & poverty
- High rates of alcohol, tobacco and drug abuse
- Diseases related to sexual and reproductive health
- Gang activity and crime due to drug trade
- Lack of access to vocational training, high-quality education
- Lack of access to proper sanitation and hygiene
- High rates of malnutrition in young children
- High rates of anemia for adolescents
Our partners at Buenos Amigos, under the leadership of David Hong & his family, have been serving the community of Santa Rosa Island since October 2010 through a number of various programs and services:
- Children's after school programs
- Mentorship for at-risk youth
- Discipleship & Counseling
- Community infrastructure support (building homes, setting bridges, etc.)
We are currently in communication with Buenos Amigos to assess and plan for sustainable community development through utilizing the LifeArk system. We plan to deploy our first pilot community in this area with Buenos Amigos, creating a new community model centered around the well-being and empowerment of children & youth.
SANTA ROSA STUDY ROOM
(CHILDREN'S AFTER SCHOOL)
As formal school hours are so short for the children of Santa Rosa, Buenos Amigos has been providing supplemental educational support since 2012. Currently, with two full-time teachers, Santa Rosa Study Room continues to be a place for children to come and learn throughout the week.
The number of children ranges from day to day and can reach up to 30 students. Children receive homework assistance and additional support in basic reading, writing and math.
HOUSE OF FRIENDS - LETICIA
(YOUTH SUPPORT HOME)
March 2017, Buenos Amigos opened the doors to “House of Friends." With a live-in mentor/teacher, they provide holistic support and a nurturing, supportive environment for the youth in this region.
“Although it is just small dormitory rooms, in faith we named it ‘House of Friends’ and opened it with great dreams. The name ‘House of Friends’ may make it sound like it is well-prepared, but the reality is just two small rooms with a bathroom. It is an old house with leaking water and bats, but it has become a place of hope." (David Hong, Director)
Currently, they are supporting 3 youth boys, providing housing, spiritual mentorship and sending them to night school.
"Sometimes I have nothing to eat all day and life is full of danger, temptations and conflicts. I thank God for taking me out of that environment and giving me such a cozy home." (Alejandro, House of Friends Member)
In addition to the students living in the dormitories, about 10-15 other students come to the House of Friends for supplemental education.
Countless children & youth in this region are forgotten, living on the fringes of society with no hope for tomorrow. Buenos Amigos hopes to reach more of the younger generation, bringing them into a safe space where they can receive proper support and begin to dream of a brighter tomorrow.
In partnership with Buenos Amigos, we seek to create a community that will shelter and support the children and youth in Santa Rosa—empowering them to excel and break free from the cycle of poverty that has gripped families in this region for generations. With great hope, we are in the process of creating a team of like-minded groups and individuals that can create spaces for upward mobility in Santa Rosa through LifeArk.
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK
LifeArk Community will strive to build resilience in the Santa Rosa community, centered around the well-being and empowerment of women, children and youth by providing:
- Safe, sustainable housing for families
- Safe zones for children (i.e. libraries, community playground)
- Dorms for at-risk youth
- New economic spaces (i.e. floating platforms for year-round farming)
LifeArk Community and Buenos Amigos will work to create appropriate partners to facilitate various programs on the LifeArk units:
- Quality education for children and youth (i.e. supplementary classes)
- Vocational training for adults (i.e. aquaponics)
- Community-wide training for health, sanitation, etc.
Through the Pilot phase, LifeArk’s applications and localization process will be evaluated. This includes (but not limited to): local manufacturing and delivery, incorporation of local materials and labor, cultural contextualization, partnership channels and sustainable impact and revenue models.
Due to the extreme weather conditions, lack of resources and under-staffed schools, many of the children in Santa Rosa do not receive proper education. Schools are closed for months at a time and children have only a few hours of formal school each day. Without proper education, these children are further locked into a perpetuating cycle of poverty and need.
We believe this must change.
A key area of focus for LifeArk Community Santa Rosa will be to provide consistent, quality education for children. With better training and resources, we are working to improve and expand the existing education programs of Buenos Amigos.
Many in these marginalized communities feel forgotten and powerless; we hope to change this through education. Utilizing a “service-learning” model of education, we will work with leaders and teachers to promote civic engagement and encourage greater leadership in the classroom. We believe the young generation of Santa Rosa must take ownership over their communities, working together towards the change they hope to see.
We believe community economic development is essential to the sustained well-being of children. Due to the powerful force of the drug market in this area, families are left with no choice but to become growers in order to make ends meet. Children are often scouted and bribed at a young age. These complex factors underpinning hardships of communities like Santa Rosa in the Amazons bring light to the need for sustainable economic development as a means to breaking the cycle of poverty. LifeArk seeks to catalyze economic well-being and stability for families by providing a platform to engage in micro-enterprises and revitalize economic development in their community.
LifeArk units can serve as year-round operational spaces for increased agricultural productivity (i.e. hydroponics/aquaponics/livestock units), micro-enterprises, centers for vocational training, community marketplaces, tourism stops, and countless more capacity building activities and programs.
Stronger and diverse livelihoods build resilience in households, in the community and in the nation. LifeArk Community works to incorporate and strengthen community economic development initiatives as part of its integrated programming approach.
Poor living conditions, inadequate access to safe water and sanitation creates a number of health hazards for residents in Santa Rosa. In addition, many people do not have access to basic health care services. As a result, the overall quality of health in this community is very low and in need of support.
The LifeArk system will completely revitalize sanitation and hygiene by securing basic necessities for families like access to clean water and waste management.
In recent years, Peru’s government has been making wide reforms in the area of healthcare; however, there has been little to no impact for the most vulnerable communities. We hope to work with capable groups to increase access to health care services (health education, immunizations, prenatal care, etc.) for Santa Rosa.
We believe the LifeArk system can provide an environment that will holistically support the health of individuals on multiple levels (physical, emotional, spiritual).