A grey day in Huaracaya, Awajun

Schools taking action for rainforest protection

The Awajún communities of Urakuza and Huaracayo steward over 18,000 hectares of Peruvian Amazon rainforest.

The schools of both communities actively engage in rainforest protection activities, strengthening the knowledge of children of all ages so that they can lead the change.

Hisely Torres, a Cool Earth technician speaks passionately about this project. She’s very proud to see teachers, parents and students coming together to discuss some of the biggest challenges of our times.

“In the course, we address topics such as how to prevent deforestation, recycling, and regenerative agriculture. The students are very excited.”Hisely Torres, Technician

Karina Peña, Headmistress and teacher

Karina Peña, Headmistress and teacher

Concern to action

In 2020, the Peruvian Amazon lost 203,272 hectares due to deforestation[1]Official Newspaper of the state of Peru, 2023: Forest loss increases in Peru. Karina Peña, the headmistress of Huaracayo’s school, tells us that statistics like these really affect rainforest villages. People are becoming increasingly concerned and want to take action for rainforest protection.

“Taking action is necessary. Currently, there are many issues with illegal logging and waste disposal. We believe that, together with the students, we can make a difference.”Karina Peña, Headmistress

Gairy Paukai, a teacher from the same community, is also concerned by the expansion of illegal logging, responsible for the disappearance of local tree species.

“Today, there are many species that we no longer have, such as Cedro tree (Cedrela odorata) and Tornillo tree (Cedrelinga catenaeformis). We want to increase and promote reforestation. We want students to learn about and look after the larger trees. To involve the entire community with the support of parents and the APU (local indigenous leader) is our goal for the coming months.”Gairy Paukai, Teacher

Gairy Paukai, Teacher of the Awajún community of Huaracayo.

Looking to the future

Today, 300 teenagers in Cool Earth’s Awajún partnership are being equipped with the tools and knowledge to adapt their cacao farms and fish ponds, as they navigate a dryer and warmer landscape. For most families, these projects are vital for income and food security.

Thanks to your support and the unwavering commitment of people on the ground, regenerative agriculture and conservation modules have been added to the curriculum, allowing for future generations to work to protect rainforest.