The Chipaota Community
About the Chipaota
The indigenous community of Chipaota live in the upper Amazon basin adjoining the borders of Cordillera Azul National Park and the Regional Conservation Area Cordillera Escalera in Northern Peru, under the district of Chazuta in the San Martín Province. The local population is predominantly Lamista, a Quechuan ethnic group that represents a unique portion of Peru’s indigenous population.
Overuse of natural resources has had a negative impact on the rainforest in the region. The piassaba palm species (Aphandra natalia), in particular, has suffered from overexploitation. Palm fiber extraction provided a source of income for the community, but the method of cutting down entire trees to access the fibers meant that it would take approximately 30 years for the forest to be restored. This unsustainable practice threatens the biodiversity of the rainforest ecosystem.
Our Work With the Chipaota People
In 2009, the community requested Rainforest Partnership’s assistance for the development and implementation of a project to promote sustainable rainforest products and market them beyond neighboring communities in larger population centers, including Tarapoto. We helped establish the Piassaba Palm Program – Ecomusa, a group of men producing brooms, and the Allima Waska artisan group of women who produce and market traditional baskets and bags.
The Mushuck Llacta Native Community of Chipaota is located within the buffer zone (extreme northwest) of the Cordillera Azul National Park. The only way to reach the community is by river transport, crossing the Huallaga River from the town of Chazuta to the port of the community.
The Mushuk Llacta of Chipaota belong to a Quechuan ethnic group known as Lamista, who represent a unique portion of Peru’s indigenous population. The community consists of 130 families and about 1,200 people.
Overuse of natural resources has had a negative impact on the forest.
We developed and implemented a business model for the community where women produce and market traditional handicrafts and men make brooms from natural, sustainable forest resources. The women created a business group called Allima Waska, while the men created a legal association called Ecomusa.
- Hold meetings and conduct workshops to strengthen Allima Waska group and Ecomusa to develop a business plan for promoting the sale of the handicrafts in bigger city centres.
- Introduction of ecotourism and related activities as an added source of income.