Relief for the Living Shipibo Pharmacy of Paoyhan

The Shipibo community of Paoyhan is at the beginning stages of the COVID outbreak, with several new cases in the last week. As a remote Shipibo community on the Ucayali River, Paoyhan has little access to health services and supplies, and the small health clinic is overwhelmed. As is the case for many indigenous communities in the region, COVID not only threatens the health of community members, but also their livelihoods, incomes, and access to transportation and supplies. With the cessation of river transportation, state services, and markets, residents of Paoyhan are now struggling to access basic food supplies and other essential needs. Additionally, many Paoyhan residents have been stuck in the city of Pucallpa, where the outbreak has been brutal—there have already been 65 Shipibo deaths as of May 21 and countless others are sick with COVID as well as a concurrent outbreak of Dengue fever. 

As the clinic has little access to western medicines, healing with medicinal plants is essential for community health - most suspected COVID cases are being treated with medicinal plants by nurses trained in both western and traditional medicine. The Sanken Yaka Living Shipibo Pharmacy in Paoyhan (Farmacia Viva Shipibo Sanken Yaka de Paoyhan) is a community-based medicinal plant conservation project with a focus on community health using local medicinal plants for healing.

We are raising funds for the local health clinic in Paoyhan and the Farmacia Viva committee who are uniquely poised to offer support to their community during this difficult time. Funds will go toward medical supplies for the health post, and to the Living Shipibo Pharmacy committee to distribute essentials to families in need and to make their own medicines from the medicinal forest garden site. This money will be allocated for them to spend at their discretion as the situation in their community demands.

We are a team of researchers who have been helping accompany and facilitate the project and build capacity with the committee since its inception in 2017. We are trying to do all we can to support the community in this time of collective hardship.

We know that this time is difficult for many of us, but your donations are greatly appreciated! Ichabires irake!!

We also wish to direct you this fundraiser providing care packages and medical supplies to Paoyhan .

For more information about the impacts of COVID on Amazonian communities and ways to help, Society of the Anthropology of Lowland South America has compiled information and resources.

More information on the health crisis in Pucallpa and Peru in an article from The Guardian



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  • Folk Medicine 
    • $1,500 
    • 3 mos
  • Omar Alvarez 
    • $25 
    • 7 mos
  • Blanca Begert 
    • $25 
    • 7 mos
  • Dafne D'Amico 
    • $25 
    • 7 mos
  • Samantha Doerge 
    • $25 
    • 7 mos
See all

Fundraising team: Farmacia Viva Research Team (5)

Laura Dev 
Raised $1,580 from 24 donations
Berkeley, CA
Clayton Hawkins Lewis 
Team member
Raised $825 from 8 donations
Melaina Dyck 
Team member
Raised $540 from 11 donations
Michael Coe 
Team member
Rebecca Buell 
Team member
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