Fishing Awajun Kayants

Forest Faena

When you’re organising a school fundraiser, what springs to mind? A bake sale? In the Awajún, an army of dads comes together and it’s all about fish.

Faena are a long-held tradition in Awajún culture.

They are public work days where the community leader gathers everyone together to work on a task that will benefit the village. Recently, all the dads in a village in the Urakuza community were called to spend a day working on restoring the local school’s fish pond.

two men work in dense green vegetation with rainforest in the background

Fish Farming

You might think it’s a bit of an odd thing for a school to be farming fish but in fact, it’s one of the cleverest things that this community have chosen to invest Cool Earth funds in. Profits from the sale of fish locally will help to provide much-needed equipment.

Built over a year ago, the pond was springing leaks, it was time to call a faena and take action. With everyone pulling together, progress was quick. Despite having only one wheelbarrow between them, the dads got stuck in, carrying rocks and mud to build up the banks. Grasses were planted to keep the banks sturdy for the future.

Many men working together to dig out and restore a pond, there are wheel barrows and spades.

Proud fathers holding shovels stand high on the bank of the school pond they have been restoring.

Now the fish pond is restored, there’ll be more fish to sell, meaning more cash and plans to plunge the money back into the school. Cool Earth is excited to see a community coming together to provide for the future with such a smart idea.

And that’s down to the dads of Urakuza giving up their time. We think they deserve a well-earned rest.