HOPE OF THE AMAZON
The Hope of the Amazon program was founded and designed by Dr. Mónica Velarde Lazarte of TConsult, Socioanalytic Practice and the Tavistock Institute of Human Relation in London, 2010.
The program was initially design as a Corporative Social Responsibility intervention for Talisman Energy. Since it's beginning it counted with the collaboration of international organisations such as the London Multimedia Lab of the Institute of Social Psychology of the London School of Economics and Political Sciences , the Grubb Institute, Oezpa, Bureau Kensington and Worklab. The work was focus on Social Inclusion, Reflective Citizenship, Corporate Social Responsibility and the understanding of the Psychodynamics of Sustainability.
We initiated our work as a social responsibility program in a multicultural community formed by representatives of eleven ethnic groups of the Peruvian Amazon in the city of Iquitos.
The purpose of the program was to study the process of social inclusion of native amazonians in the peruvian modern society in order to promote psychological resilience and prevent mental health problems and social conflicts.
Inside the program we worked with socioanalysis and action research methods incorporating experiential and practical learning methodologies in turbulent environments.
Over the years, we offered a chance to contribute to new ways of understanding the roles of native community leaders in the Amazon, exploring how those roles and our relationships and relatedness with and to them could have a powerful impact not just locally but also internationally.
After three years of in-depth action research we tried to evolve into a civil association with a centre in Iquitos lead by Beatriz Rodriguez Macuyama, Ronal Cuje (Quichua) and Ronal Huaje (Awajun). The Association bylaws where designed through drawings by the Iquitos members. Later this drawings where co-designed by native indigenous translated into bylaws by T-Consult with the support of Peruvian Law Firm Pizarro, Botto, Escobar who helped in this process. Finally, the association was founded (in paper) in 2013 by Dr. Monica Velarde Lazarte from T-Consult, Peru; Beatriz Rodríguez Macuyama, representing the Iquitos Centre; Dr. Jim Krantz from Worklab, US and Dr. Barbara Williams from Bureau Kensington, Canada who became all members of our International Board. The effort to migrate into a Civil Association with an international board proof itself complicated and the program closed in 2017 after running a last conference in the Estrecho Putumayo in the border of Peru and Colombia.
This last conference was sponsored by the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations and the Programa Pais of the Peruvian Ministry of Development and Social Inclusion. The intervention offered multiple opportunities to study the difficulties of local implementation of public policy (Programa Tambos for living borders) in rural areas.
The learnings derived from the program, its benefits and difficulties were published in a doctoral dissertation name Hope of the Amazon at the Tavistock and Portman NHS and the University of East London.
Visit this site from January 2022 to follow my "Lessons of the Amazons" short writing series. In this series I will report briefly the findings of the research in English and Spanish.
“Everything that is done in the world is done by hope”