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The Shipibo Meken Collective Needs Help

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Dear friends,

All of our lives have been upended by the global pandemic and shelter in place orders.  Indigenous communities in the Amazon are suffering intensely with poor access to healthcare and medical supplies and an already broken health system.

Our Shipibo family in Pucallpa is overwhelmed as many elders are dying, the hospitals are closed, and oxygen tanks are selling for over 1,000 USD - a cost that is especially prohibitive for people already living in poverty who have been without work for several months now (due to quarantine). The artisans of the Shipibo Meken Collective have lost their matriarch, Tita Virginia, to the pandemic, along with her brother and another aunt.

The family is caring for many sick people in their community still, and are in need of medical supplies - these include medicines, protective gear (gloves and masks), sanitizer, and medicinal plants for traditional vapor bath treatments. This is an emergency fundraiser to try to get them these needed supplies in this time of crisis. This fundraiser will also go toward providing basic essentials and food for community members in need at the discretion of the artisans.

Laura has been working with this family since 2014 when she started her doctoral fieldwork in Peru. Since that time, she has been adopted as a member of the family, helped them form an artisans collective, and along with Rae River, has been working to develop a market for their beautiful traditional embroidery work on Etsy. Hawkins has also been taken in by the family since he started fieldwork in 2018 and, like Laura and Rae, maintains close ties.

We recognize that this is a difficult time for many of us, but your generosity is very appreciated.

Thank you! Irake!


  • David Wiss
    • $200 
    • 3 yrs
  • Chris Azpeitia
    • $10 
    • 3 yrs
  • Frederick Hundt
    • $50 
    • 4 yrs
  • Louise Fortmann
    • $500 
    • 4 yrs
  • Scott Hanichen
    • $40 
    • 4 yrs

Fundraising team: Piri Piri Threadworks (3)

Laura Dev
Berkeley, CA
Clayton Hawkins Lewis
Team member
Rae River
Team member

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