Amazon Pueblo pictures: New boat, new guest house/classroom, new community gardens, and new volunteer

Amazon Pueblo pictures: New boat, new guest house/classroom, new community gardens, and new volunteer

The project has been very busy during the past two months. We received a generous donation which allowed us to purchase a 39-foot cargo boat and motor We are nearing completion of a new 2-floor multipurpose guesthouse and classroom The work on the community gardens is progressing well with the help of an instructor from the Colombian training institute El SENA We are continuing our work to build the yuca processing plant We are very happy to announce that we have the first three cacao clones planted in the village! Please enjoy the pictures of the work done with the help of our volunteers, donors, other organizations, and the people of the village. The Boat During the early part of this year we had many problems with finding safe, adequate transportation.  This is also a problem faced by many in the community.  It is difficult to bring agricultural products to the market in Leticia.  It is also difficult to bring food items and building materials to the village...
Read More
Amazon Pueblo’s first major news article! (Courier Gazette -Rockland, Maine)

Amazon Pueblo’s first major news article! (Courier Gazette -Rockland, Maine)

  Local teacher happiest helping in Amazon Nonprofit Amazon Pueblo promotes sustainable village life By Daniel Dunkle | May 03, 2017 Ben Angulo of Thomaston works with his nonprofit in the Colombian Amazon. On the right is Rosalba, who is a member of the host family that provides housing for volunteers and on the left is Marcelo, a neighbor. One of the kids is Humberto, the other was visiting from Peru, Angulo said. THOMASTON — Ben Angulo of Thomaston does not do a good job of selling life in a tiny impoverished village along the Amazon River in Colombia. "Six weeks ago I surgically removed worm eggs from my big toe," he said via email. "The eggs were injected under my skin by a fly that was infected with the worm-causing parasites. I had to remove the eggs before they hatched into worms. At home in Thomaston, if this ever happened, I would have been mortified, gone to the doctor, obsessed about it and had them...
Read More
The Amazon Pueblo- Gaining Clarity

The Amazon Pueblo- Gaining Clarity

As some of you know, I am on the Board of Directors for “The Amazon Pueblo”, which is an organization that was started by my brother seven years ago in the village of La Libertad, Amazonas, Colombia, which has about 350 residents.  The Decision to Visit the Village I visited the village 2 years ago, after going through a tough year following my divorce. My brother was at my parents house visiting (while I was living there) and saw me ‘struggling’ through putting together a new budget to move into solo life, with line items such as “going out money” and “eyebrows/nails”. While, I still believe this is responsible and real budgeting while living in North America, my brother said something along the lines of me needing a reality check and that I should come down and volunteer in the village with the project which he had started. Well, he was right. Shortly thereafter, I moved into my apartment and booked my trip down to La Libertad, Amazonas for that same November. It was...
Read More
Simply Explained- Amazon Pueblo´s Mission & Vision of Sustainability

Simply Explained- Amazon Pueblo´s Mission & Vision of Sustainability

I used to be a bit confused about what exactly ‘Amazon Pueblo’ does. Its´goal has always been to help the village of La Libertad to live sustainability, but the means in which Amazon Pueblo helps the village achieve that mission has morphed many times and has often caused me, a board member, confusion.  The reason for these changes is because it is hard to get a village of 350 people who have never had  central leadership to buy into an idea (of a foreigner), look toward their future, and then actually start implementing these ideas- after 20 years of having the mindset of day-to-day survival. Ben and Gustavo discussing next steps for the Yucca Press After years of my brother, Ben Angulo, Executive Director, researching, speaking with the villagers, hearing contradicting stories of needs, building their trust and having multiple meetings with the villagers and local business contacts, the Amazon Pueblo project has been able to create a more clear vision to achieve their mission. Mission The Mission of the...
Read More
Students gearing-up for school!

Students gearing-up for school!

Eight students from La Libertad are being sponsored by friends of the project.   In January they did their back-to-school shopping.  We prepared a trip downriver for Tuesday, the usual day that members of the community travel to the city.  But first, for the boys, back-to-school haircuts. Everyone love a haricut! Waiting for the other kids The trip from La Libertad to the city of Leticia takes about four hours.  Four parents went with the students to help with the trip.  The group left the village at four in the morning, an early morning for the kids and adults.  At 8am I greeted everyone at the dock at the port of Leticia.  Note the life vests which were also supplied by friends of the project.  Safety first! While we required the kids to wear life vest, the parents did not want to.  Something else to work on. After the long trip we went to a local restaurant to have breakfast.  We had huevos peticose (scrambled eggs with onion and tomato), two pieces of bread, and hot chocolate.  The...
Read More
Christmas Dinner in the Village

Christmas Dinner in the Village

In 2013 we noticed that more than three-fourths of the children of the village ate only a small meal on Christmas. As the average wage in La Libertad is under 2 dollars a day, the Christmas dinners that our volunteers are accustom to do not happen. Starting in 2014 and every year since, Amazon Pueblo has provided a chicken and rice dinner to all 150 village kids and to an increasingly growing number of the adults. Here are some pictures from this year’s feast! Gustavo, his wife Rosalba and sister Betty are doing the cooking. This cook-pot is full of cooked rice.  It weighs over 60 pounds! Betty with arroz con pollo. The dinner is BYOP, bring your own plate! Rosalba serving the crowd. Waiting in line. A tasty meal.  For some, the only thing they will eat today. Arroz con pollo (chicken with rice and vegetables) is a traditional Colombian dish. Waiting for siblings after dinner. Even small children are responsible for washing their own dishes.  They do so...
Read More
Possible new long-term volunteer guest house and office

Possible new long-term volunteer guest house and office

Need for Space As we are having more volunteers over peak times (Christmas and summer vacation) we need more space.  It is also nice to have a room for our volunteers who stay for multiple weeks or months.  This room can include an office with a WiFi signal amplifier which will connect to the school's Internet.  We should be able to build this two story guest house and office for less than $1,000. Here is one possible design: 1st floor 2nd floor ...
Read More
Accounting at Amazon Pueblo! -It’s accrual world out there.

Accounting at Amazon Pueblo! -It’s accrual world out there.

Our New Accountants The project now has professional accounting services!  We are working with Ballou & Associates based in Camden, Maine.  They are helping us to migrate our accounts to QuickBooks Premier, the nonprofit edition. The director of Amazon Pueblo first met Tammy Ballou in the late 1990's when he was the interim director of the Teen Center in Camden, Maine, and she was our accountant.  The next time he spoke with her was when she taught him an introductory QuickBooks class in 2011,  Welcome to the accounting department, where everybody counts. The office of Ballou and Associates Why are accountants always so calm, composed, and methodical? They have strong internal controls. Lori and our director hard at work We have many challenges to our record keeping and accounting with the project.  We operate in two countries, so we must be aware of the exchange rate differences.  We must also find inexpensive ways to transfer money and to make purchases while maintaining good financial controls.  Additionally, time is...
Read More
Where is our main office?  In Maine?  Bogota?  In the Amazon jungle?  Take a guess…

Where is our main office? In Maine? Bogota? In the Amazon jungle? Take a guess…

Where is our main office located?  It is currently "located" in Maine, but it is actually located in the cloud!  All of our documents and the information needed to run our nonprofit organization may be accessed on a computer anywhere in the world where there is a reliable Internet connection.  We are agile and lean.  Now you know! The current "location" of Amazon Pueblo in Rockland, Maine The main workstation and two of our laptops.  They are ready for work! Another view of the office Our office when in Leticia, Colombia Our jungle office In cyberspace ...
Read More