Of course the first project was the purchase of the 19 hectares for the creation of Tierravida Healing Center. The purchase of the land went hand-in-hand with the intention of raising the world’s level of consciousness to the need for healing of the earth.
The eco-reserve project sprouted from some of the most important research in this area of the Peruvian Rainforest. In the village of Monte Salved in Rio Las Peidras, Ni Bero conducted a 3-month re-forestry and education project and researched the effect that illegal logging has on voluntary isolated tribes to determine the sustainability of forestry with the indigenous Yines of the village.
The volunteers and board members have planted many trees in conjunction with the NGO Seed Tree that is based in the United States. Trees have been planted over the 19 hectares, and in nearby villages, which included working with teachers in the local schools to create environmental education projects for the students. A few of the villages served were Poyong, Ugarte, Bauanesho, Preferida and Nuevo Yarina. Existing forestry groups and the nearby villagers were included in planting useful species of fruits as well as endangered tree species.
The board members of Tierravida Healing Center are researching the possibilities of implementing sustainable forestry among indigenous peoples of the adjacent lands of the newly extended Alto Purrs Reserve in the fine village of Monte Salvado in Rio Las Peidras. Environmental education, tree planting and seed collecting is currently being taught at the village of Monte Salvado. The team’s research also includes studies on the negative influences of deforestation and illegal logging on the land of voluntary isolated tribes of the Peruvian reserves. The board members are hoping to cultivate influential alternatives to the negative impact of logging in the areas that surround those reserves and the indigenous communities that live there.
The founders also want to connect and reconnect as many as possible to the earth. One of the main reasons for this project was to empower the natives with the ability to continue their herbal healing culture of using shamanism and their earth centered spirituality. Tierravida Healing Center has succeeded in doing just that! The center now provides jobs for many people in the lower income areas that include farm work, construction, Shamanism, Herbalism, massage therapy and art. The hearts and minds of many, that may not have otherwise been opened, are now on their personal journeys using the medicine of the region.
500 Hectares of Eco-reserve Land Purchased
The board members of Ni Bero purchased 500 hectares of eco-reserve land for many reasons. The land has already been reforested by Ni Bero with tree species such as Cedro. The property is also a perfect place for shade grown Cacao projects, as well as other medicinal plants such as Ayahuasca. Large mother seed trees are being protected by working with the local loggers on reforestation and sustainable forestry. Such effort empowers the indigenous people and generates solidarity against oil contamination. This project also provides defense for the voluntary isolated tribes and their medicinal plants and art. Part of the vision for this land includes Eco-tourism, shade grown crops such as Cacao, medicinal super foods, and medicinal plants. Board members are building an amazing rapport by working with the local loggers on sustainable forestry and reforestation. Not only do such relationships keep the forests from being turned into fields, the land is being enriched quickly in the areas that border the huge reserves of the Manu and Alto Purus. Such positive influences are vital in these endangered areas, especially since these are the communities that have the most impact on some of the larger reserves in Peru.
Cacao at Tierravida
Cocao was planted almost 7 years ago and is now bearing fruit. Research is underway on the possibility of implementing organic management practices for Cacao cultivation, which would include a training program for locals. A solar dryer is under construction that will help to create a high a quality product for export. This project will provide many empowering jobs in the area and will encourage the positive growth that organic agriculture can bring.
Medicinal plants give a value to the understory of the rainforest and to the canopy as well. Such agriculture makes for a more valuable living rainforest versus a less sustainable alternative such as livestock or corn production. This reforestation projects includes planting of the species of trees used for building at Tierravida Healing Center. Capirona, quinilla and vegetables are planted and Ni Bero donates organic seeds to improve vegetable production. A very important element is the creation of and education on the value compost piles. Numerous compost piles have been created from waste, which produces a great soil not only for growing medicinal plants, but also tomatoes and many other nutritious plants.
Implementing Humanure and Biochar
Ni Bero is researching and has implemented humanure composting methods that turn potential waste into a resource. These raised composting outhouses for the lowland rainforest keeps the waste out of the water. Biochar methods are also being studied and considered for out-houses to sterilize and create a new form of fertilizer from human waste. This method provides a living grey water system that would turn grey water waste, which would otherwise be very dangerous, into a resource that can water the bananas and make them produce more.
Ni Bero now has starters with sustainable forestry for wood harvests. Wood is bought from local native Shipibo villages and is harvested ecologically without skidders by local villagers; not by big companies. A sawmill was donated to the healing center by the NGO in order to help ensure sustainable forestry in their buildings. Sustainable forestry also provides another economic boost for the villagers. By working with native villages, volunteers know that the locals are thinking of their grandchildren and their grandchildren’s grandchildren. The land stays in the hands of the natives, it’s their territory, and not a temporary concession where huge skidders would otherwise be used to move as much wood as fast as possible. These native villages work together as a family, using no large skidders and working only for subsistence. Using this method, many mother seed trees are left untouched when the trees for harvest are being cut in order to reforest the area with the required tree species.
The promotion and movement of native art is a way to preserve their culture’s connection to art and nature. Tierravida Healing Center now has an in-house Shipibo visionary artist, Dennis Cayruna, who is helping the NGO Art Cooperative Project. Dennis not only creates art, he is also a visionary who paints art envisioned during Ayahuacha rituals. Each of his visionary pieces tells a story and explains many things about the traditional Shipibo and Shamanism cultures in general. Dennis will be teaching art at the Tierravida Healing Center.
The creation of the legal NGO in Peru, Tierravida Ni Bero, was very important and affected all of the projects. The NGO was just recently created, even though the projects have been underway for quite some time. The NGO also has a license for exporting shade grown crops such as Cacao, medicinal plants such as Una de Gato, etc., all of which will generate employment and increase value to the rainforest canopy.
Herbal Health Clinics
Herbal health clinics in the villages are more examples of the wonderful projects created by Ni Bero. Board members are planning much growth overtime within the clinics and hope to increase the number of clinics in the region as well. In the village of Libertadora, a nurse was present during many visits to donate medications and essential oils. Essential oils have a lot of potential for saving newly contacted tribes from all the modern flus and colds. A hand crank juicer is used make juice from traditional plants to treat parasites such as Pyco. Ni Bero trains staff members using Wilderness EMT and Wilderness First Responder education. Hopes for future growth includes training programs to educated staff and locals on the potential problems of mixing modern medicine with herbal medicine.