Farmacia Viva Indigena

What is Farmacia Viva Indigena?

Farmacia Viva Indigena (The Living Indigenous Pharmacy) is a collaborative project led by members of the Shipibo-Konibo community of Paoyhan, located in the Amazon rainforest (Loreto, Perú). Like many other indigenous communities in the area, pharmaceutical medicine and healthcare is largely inaccessible for geographic, political and economic reasons. Farmacia Viva seeks to tackle this issue by creating an accessible medicinal plant sanctuary and treatment facility run by, and for, the community. Inspired by the concern of Paoyhan's committee on the lack of younger generation’s knowledge of medicinal plants, Farmacia Viva will also serve as a Shipibo youth education center.

Farmacia Viva is a long-term project geared towards providing sustainable and accessible traditional healthcare, conserving the forest, and a means of diversifying income for the community through responsible tourism. As per the community’s requests, Alianza Arkana will support the initiative by coordinating business administration courses and organizing sustainable tourism training (e.g. hospitality, English courses) for community members interested in participating.

Progress so far:

Since Farmacia Viva’s conception in June 2018, substantial progress has been made in the development of the project site and in its logistical coordination. Direct results include the successful demarcation of 5 hectares of the project site and a working inventory of approximately 300 medicinal plants. The project has already begun to generate economic revenue for the committee as a result of tourist visits (with 10+ visitors per group). Although humble, the profit generated helped to spark the community’s enthusiasm about the project and its potential for the future. By early 2019, our aim is to have finished the medicinal plant inventory and training of the committee members on sustainable tourism.