Located in the lush jungle mountains of the central Peruvian Amazon, the Yanesha people were given land by the government in 1988, causing this previously nomadic, hunter-gatherer people group to settle in over 40 rural communities. This settlement meant learning to farm and create sustainable food sources within these lands, something previously unknown to them. Their lands are rich and fertile, giving life to many crops including cocoa, bananas, papaya, and corn. Fish farming has also become a sustainable meat source in many communities. But the Yanesha people face many challenges. Their communities are connected to the rest of Peru by miles of curvy, often poorly maintained dirt roads leaving them isolated from consumer markets. Many crops are consumed and traded among their communities with little opportunity for income. And they are still learning what it means to live off the land in one area.
In addition to agricultural needs, the spiritual needs of this people are great. Reached by Wycliff missionaries in the 60s, the spiritual awakening experienced by that generation has faded and the Yanesha churches are small and elderly. It has little to offer or attract the next generation. Our prayer is that the church would not die with its founders. This placement is full of adventure and ample opportunities to start something new!
Goers will be able to put their skills and knowledge to use as they walk alongside local farmers in assessing problem areas, brainstorming solutions, empowering them to make sustainable changes utilizing local resources, and get their products to market all while developing relationships and discipling the Yanesha in their walk with Christ. Use your love of agriculture to serve the local church, empower and equip local farmers, and sow seed for the sake of the Gospel!
Education in an agricultural field and experience desired
Desire to come alongside and learn from the Yanesha, adapting best practices to the environment and to their needs.
Enjoys travel and adventure - lots of dirt roads.
Physical endurance to work in tropical regions and a positive attitude in hot and sometimes uncomfortable surroundings.
Some Spanish skills and a willingness to study further if needed
Mature and flexible Christian with a servant heart who works well under authority and on a team.