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1980 to 2002

1992 to 2004

Since 1997

Development of the cooperation with the Chachi, Province Esmeraldas, Ecuador


1980: Meeting the Chachi

Uli Pohl and Mascha Pohl-Kauka meet some Chachi during a holiday trip on the Rio Cayapas. The chieftain family informs them about the Chachi’s desperate situation and asks the travelers for help.


1981: Donations for school materials

The Pohl family supports three Chachi students in the town of Esmeraldas with money for books and tuition fees. The tribe receives money to buy medication.


1982: Foundation of the charitable organization of INDIO-HILFE e.V. (“help for indigenous peoples”)

June 27: Foundation of the charitable organization of INDIO-HILFE e.V. (“help for indigenous peoples”) in Pullach, Germany (in the vicinity of Munich).


• More student aids for Chachi children

• 5 orphans receive support

• Purchase of medication worth approx. 5,500 US$


1983: Further support of students

Considerable purchase of artifacts to be sold in Germany.


1984: Opening of a middle school in Zapallo Grande, the main settlement in the Chachi area


• Student aids for 15 married or especially needy students in the middle school

• School lunch for 50 students

• Further purchases of artifacts (continuing until after project end)

• Supply of seeds and tools for agriculture for a training plantation next to the school

• Equipment for 2 training workshops for carpenters and mechanics


1985: Student aids and school lunches continue until the end of the cooperation


• Purchase of a power cable, to connect the training workshops with a generator

• Creation of a fund to finance school uniforms, tuition fees and study materials at the beginning of the school term, for families with many children

• Construction of the first community house in Zapallo Grande

• Training of first female teachers in the traditional Chachi art of weaving which had almost died out


1986: All school projects continue


• Tools and seeds for training plantations in 4 more centers

• Start of general weaving courses: from each village 2 women are trained in Zapallo Grande, who later teach in their own villages

• Purchase of the first motor-powered canoe for the workshops and schools

• For the first time the INDIO-HILFE projects are supported by the BMZ (German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development)



1987: The workshops get a teacher

A teacher is employed, who teaches mechanics and carpentry; the equipment is increased


• The weaving courses continue until 1991

• Setting up of a model plantation for 20 families in the center of Tsejpi (coffee, cacao)

• Support of further agricultural projects

• 3 motor-powered canoes for other centers

• Construction of community houses in four more villages



1988: INDIO-HILFE finances the drinking water project


• All villages get drinking water tanks with the necessary equipment to collect rain water

• In Esmeraldas 3 Chachi women start training as nurses: monthly financial support by INDIO-HILFE for two years


1989: INDIO-HILFE finances a land survey

INDIO-HILFE finances a land survey by the Ecuadorian state institute I.E.R.A.C. The survey is a prerequisite for the Chachi to get the property title on their territory. Work starts in the center of Hoja Blanca.


• Further 7 community houses are built


1990: The nurses successfully complete their training in January


• With the help of INDIO-HILFE, the nurses are being employed by the government of Ecuador to work on Chachi territory

• Purchase of land surveying equipment; the Ecuadorian state institute commits to surveying the land as quickly as possible


1991: The center of Hoja Blanca receives its land title


• All interested women have completed the weaving courses

• Construction of 5 further community houses

• 6 Chachi communities interested in agriculture unite in farming cooperatives; INDIO-HILFE supports them with seeds and tools.

• Negotiations with the Ministry of Health of Ecuador  about the construction of a hospital in Zapallo Grande are started


1992: The construction of the hospital begins


• INDIO-HILFE, the Chachi and the Ecuadorian Ministry of Health work together on building the first large rainforest hospital in the province; the hospital features an operating room, a laboratory, a well-sorted pharmacy as well as a residential building for the staff

• In order to preserve and spread the Chachi culture, the school starts teaching traditional music (instrument construction and usage)

• Two of the agricultural cooperatives start pig husbandry

• In the centre of Tsejpi, the first women-only cooperative is formed and attempts to cultivate rice

• Four more Chachi-centres receive their land titles


1993: Rice is becoming staple food


• Based on the success of the pilot project “rice cultivation”, many centers start growing rice

• INDIO-HILFE supports 16 new agricultural projects

• In order to realize better prices on the market, rice and coffee need to be peeled

• In order to realize better prices on the market, rice and coffee need to be peeled

• The center of Rampidal gets a carpentry workshop

• Freddy Pianchiche from the Tsejpi center is the first Chachi to study law in Quito; several members of the association support him privately


1994: The hospital is put into operation


• 9 new projects in agriculture and pig husbandry

• Further women organizations found agricultural cooperatives

• An Ecuadorian agricultural engineer is hired for 3 years, to teach improved agricultural methods, garden pest control, organic fertilization and care of the crops for the sale


1995: Agriculture and livestock breeding

The agricultural engineer living with the Chachi supports 24 villages at the same time.


• Beginning of the test phase for the cultivation of new fruits and vegetables

• Introduction of cooking classes in several Chachi centers to explain to the women the preparation of the new foods


1996: Agriculture and livestock projects continue


• Land surveying is resumed after a change of government. Six Chachi centers receive their land titles


1997: Purchase of 8,000 mandarin orange crops to be crossbred with other citrus species


• Increased cultivation of sugar-cane. Five communities are equipped with sugar-cane mills to produce and sell different types of sugar products: sugar-cane juice, syrup, molasses and cane sugar.

• Women’s cooperatives start chicken husbandry

• Socioeconomic classes are offered by an Ecuadorian sociologist to inform the Chachi about rights and duties linked to their land titles


1998: The agricultural engineer leaves

Members of the Chachi trained by the engineer are put in charge of the project management.


• Beginning of another substantial health project in cooperation with the Ecuadorian Ministry of Health. Three physicians are hired for the Chachi region to instruct ten paramedics.


1999: Reforestation with Tagua palm trees


2000: Renovation of the hospital built in 1993

Construction of nine more wards.


2001: Medical training of adults in the centers and setting up of health committees


• First-aid classes for school teachers (24 elementary schools and one middle school)

• Schools are equipped with basic first-aid sets

• Launch of specific funds for emergencies, severe diseases and operations as well as for the prevention of tuberculosis and malaria

• Classes for family planning and contraception


2002: Conclusion of the health project

By mutual agreement, the cooperation of Indio-Hilfe with the Chachi is successfully completed after 20 years.


2004: Publication of the most thoroughly researched book about the life and culture of the Chachi tribe

For the first time, a book about the Chachi is written by one of their people. The book is written in two languages, Spanish and Cha’palaachi, and is published and financed by INDIO-HILFE.


Developing a cooperation with the Pilahuines in the province of Tungurahua, Ecuador


1992: The sister organisation of INDIO-HILFE in Ecuador


• The sister organisation of INDIO-HILFE is registered as “Fundación”= nonprofit associaton in Ecuador based in Quito. Name: FACISA: Fundación Alemana de Cooperación Indígena Sudamericana. Its management and members are Ecuadorian.

• The Ecuadorian Ministry of Health asks INDIO-HILFE to attend to the situation in a slum of the capital Quito. Here, thousands of Kichwa that have come from the mountains in the South are eking out a miserable existence under unimaginable conditions. After visits and talks in the slum quarter, INDIO-HILFE is not willing to take away the care for this slum quarter from the city of Quito but agrees to go to the roots of this problem: if the Kichwa would be interested, INDIO-HILFE would analyse  the situation in their native region to solve the problem of rural exodus. Subsequently, we were invited by the Kichwa to come to their mountain villages at the foot of the Carihuayrazo.


1993: The project with the Pilahuines is supported financially by INDIO-HILFE


• FACISA supervises the project in Ecuador

• Purchase of farming equipment and seeds; professional training through an agricultural engineer

• Construction of a large community house


1994: The agricultural engineer explains ecological fertilization and pest contro


• First attempt to cultivate new types of vegetables and cereals

• Community center is completed


1995: The agricultural production runs at full scale


• A large market hall with adjacent slaughterhouse is set up next to the community center and an area for an outdoor market to sell agricultural goods from own production is levelled.


1996: Opening of the market, which is a big success from day one


1997: Purchase of 5 agricultural machines

to level and plow fields on terraces along the steep hills.


• Purchase of six sewing machines and opening of tailor classes for the farmers’ wives

• Student aid for 4 young Pilahuines (one woman, three men) to study business, agriculture and veterinary medicine


1998: Product range extended to 28 field crops, berries and herbs


• Products are sold on the local market and on the largest native market in the capital of Quito

• Purchase of an old building in Quito next to the native market that will accommodate the farmers’ families on market days

• Start of the drinking water project: two natural springs are made accessible by laying ten kilometers of water supply pipes belowground and by building tanks. Over 500 farmers living in the community of Misapamba benefit from the project. From now on, the springs will supply thousands of indigenous people with drinking water.


1999: Expansion of the drinking water project


• Restoration and re-opening of the hostel “Tambo Huasi” for indigenous people featuring a large cafeteria

• Focus on garlic production, which is the largest in Ecuador; distribution of garlic oil and powder


2000: Pilahuines tribe becomes part of the health project


• Construction of toilets for the elementary school


2002: Completion of health project.


2004: The hostel in Quito is donated to the local hill farmers


• A total of 12 villages own the hostel

• By mutual agreement, the cooperation between INDIO-HILFE and the Pilahuines is successfully completed.


Development of the cooperation with the Záparos, Achuar, Shuar and Kichwa in the provinces Pastaza and Morona Santiago, in the Amazon region of Ecuador


1997: Beginning of the development cooperation in the Amazon region


• After the border dispute of Ecuador and Perú in 1995 the military exclusion zones in the Amazon region were abolished. The peoples of the rainforest natives that were living there had not received any help so far. They were especially short of medical supply. At the same time the Ecuadorian Ministry of Health und the leaders of the Zápara ask INDIO-HILFE for the organization of a medical infrastructure. First expedition in the province of Pastaza on the rivers Pinducayu and Conambo to the Peruvian border.


1998: Start of the Health project at the Zápara


• INDIO-HILFE, the Ecuadorian Health Ministry and the leaders of the Zápara sign a contract for a project

• More visits, five villages located at three rivers are selected for future paramedic wards


1999: The Zápara and other peoples of the Amazon region


• Five Zápara are trained as paramedics at the hospital of Puyo, the capital of the province

• The news about the work of INDIO-HILFE is getting around. Mascha Kauka is invited by the neighboring Achuar, Shuar and Kichwa. Their leaders are worried about their peoples’ future in the rainforest. Due to the isolation under the military administration there is a lack of education and jobs, but as well of such basic things such as pure drinking water, medicine and sufficient food. On the other hand, the pressure from outside is dramatically increasing.  Civilization with all its negative and destructive consequences is entering the rainforest. “We have to train our families in the wood”, states the leader of the Achuar, Domingo Peas, “otherwise we will be deleted together with our rainforest within one to two generations.” Even though  the Ecuadorian Amazon region is legally owned by the  located indigenous peoples by land title!


2000: Construction of 5 medical stations at the Zápara


• Drinking water equipment is supplied to the medical station, as well as toilets, furniture, medicine and solar-powered walkie-talkies

• The cooperation with the Shuar, Achuar and Kichwa is a done deal. INDIO-HILFE now works with four Amazon peoples in the provinces of Pastaza and Morona Santiago at the Peruvian border. Side by side with that the projects with the mountain farmers in the province of Tungurahua and with the Chachi in the rainforest continue

• In Yuwints the Shuar receive a large, comfortable medical station with rooms also for visitors

• The paramedic gets advanced training

• Purchase of wire netting for chicken farming, which contributes to the school lunch program


2001: Setting up and inauguration of the medical station in Yuwints


• Reforestation with different types of palm trees in order to have the material for the traditional house roofs at hand

• Setting up of two workshops for carpenters and mechanics

• The Achuar in Sharamentsa at the Río Pastaza receive a strong outboard engine

• Financial contribution from INDIO-HILFE for the construction of a drinking water and electrical plant with photovoltaic conversion: every house in Sharamentsa has running water and electricity.

• Computer course for 3 Achuar, purchase of laptops with printers which run on solar energy

• The Kichwa in Nina Amarun get a medical station with two trained paramedics from the village

• Battle against Malaria in both provinces for more than one and a half years


2002: Conclusion of the national health project shore-highland-Amazonia


• “First Alternative Talks” about renewable energies in Puyo, Province Pastaza, for 150 native MP/CONFENIAE and the Ecuadorian government; cooperation with the agricultural university of Weihenstephan/Germany

• Start of the pilot project AMAZONICA for the preservation of the tropical rainforest by supporting its native inhabitants; construction work at the three model communities Yuwints, Sharamentsa and Nina Amarun

• A Malaria epidemic with the pathogen Malaria Vivax erupts; INDIO-HILFE starts a Malaria campaign in the hardest hit communities

• Campaigns for literacy and the preservation of traditional culture in the model communities start

• Support of 9 students at the community Yuwints to become teachers, agriculturists, environmental managers, community administrators, marketing experts


2003: Tailoring courses for women in Yuwints und Sharamentsa


• Volunteers at the community Yuwints test fish-farming in newly built ponds

• The support of students is expanded to 2 more students to study Environmental Management and Marketing

• At the school in Yuwints medical equipment is installed

• The community of Yuwints builds its community house (for assemblies, the school lunch program) and 1 house in traditional style for the teacher’s family

• In Sharamentsa 2 Achuar get trained to become carpenters; from now on they are responsible for the construction of planned buildings

• In Sharamentsa every house gets a washing place. For the first time INDIO-HILFE introduces the construction of dry-separated waste toilets (compost toilets). The building material is found everywhere. These toilets are hygienic and odorless, a cheap and healthy alternative to the ordinary stinking, dirty latrines in corrugated iron huts. The compost is used for fertilization of the palm plantations.

• The community of Sharamentsa sets up workshops for the carpenter, mechanic and tailor in traditional architectural style

• Nina Amarun: computer course for 1 Kichwa, purchase of 1 laptop with printer, battery charger and battery

• In cooperation with Spanish ornithologists INDIO-HILFE works out the scientific proof of the Harpy as a bio-indicator in the Achuar region. As a result of this work the Harpy becomes the symbol of the Ecuadorian natural inheritance, and the Achuar are able to have an area of 7.500 square kilometers declared as nature reserve.


2004: INDIO-HILFE builds the first bio gas plant


• in the jungle of Ecuador in the community of Yuwints. The plant is run with the sanitary battery at the elementary school and composted waste from the school kitchen. This generates enough gas to run an oven in the school kitchen or a refrigerator at the medical station. An added benefit of the gas production is that in order to keep the plant supplied, all waste must be separated. This solves the garbage problem in the community: the remaining garbage that is not used for bio gas production is burned or buried in the ground. In Yuwints, the separation of garbage started in the jungle – other villages followed.

• In Yuwints the students for Community Administration, Environmental Management Agriculture and Forestry finish their studies and start working for their communities

• Yuwints gets decentralized electricity by photovoltaic conversion; a Shuar gets training as an electrician, to be able to install and take care of the plant

• In the model community Yuwints a large tailoring workshop is constructed. The men from the village build it in traditional architectural style. The workshop has a wooden floor, solar electricity and furniture made by the local carpenter. INDIO-HILFE donates 4 sewing machines and the first equipment with working material and cloth.

• In Sharamentsa the Achuar women want a common washing place for the whole village. Now their men have to work for it, and carry stones and gravel from afar in canoes. A spring is fitted; a basin and washing places are cemented. The spring water is additionally used for a shower.

• With troublesome manual labor the families of Nina Amarun finish the construction of an airplane landing strip; now this model community can be reached by plane and can faster and more efficiently profit from the pilot project.

• Nina Amarun receives drinking water equipment and supplies, washing places and compost toilets for every house. For the water supply a small creek is partially dammed. A pump which runs on solar energy, pumps the water into a water tower. From here the village people build belowground water pipes over a distance of more than 1 km.

• Nina Amarun, the model community at the Kichwa invites representatives of the Shuar and Achuar. INDIO-HILFE finances the trip and a three-day workshop, where the indigenous people themselves define the topics and host the meetings. The pilot project, visions and problems are discussed from the perspective of those three tribes.

• Clean water, not only for drinking, is an important subject of the natives in all forest villages. Now the three model communities have cemented basins with running water at each house.

• Training of further paramedics at the model communities

• Courses in craftwork, especially pottery for the preservation of the culture and the production of merchandise

• The tailoring courses prove to be so successful, that the communities get further courses for advanced tailoring. Some especially gifted women receive individual instruction from the tailoring teacher.


2005: For the first time in the rainforest wire netting is produced.


• In Yuwints, the Shuar start the production of wire netting, soon the Achuar in Sharamentsa follow their example. Wire netting is mainly used for small animal husbandry. However, the voluminous rolls of wire cannot be flown into the rainforest with Cessnas. This problem is solved by machines run with a hand crank, which plait the wire into wire netting. For its producers wire netting has become a profitable commodity. The rolls are sold or bartered for chickens.

• Yuwints has the first positive experience with growing vegetables in raised beds: to grow kitchen herbs and vegetables in beds as high as tables, is an experience imported by INDIO-HILFE from the Chachi on the Pacific coast. The beds are protected against pest and flooding and can be selectively fertilized – with diluted urine and compost from the compost toilets.

• Sharamentsa: the central paramedic station at the Río Pastaza is inaugurated. It is a spacious wooden house in western style with a large covered porch, surgery, pharmacy and several rooms. This paramedic station takes care not only of Sharamentsa, but of all the Achuar up and down the river. It is a central base for physicians and paramedics of the health authorities arriving in the jungle on vaccination and other medical campaigns.

• Cooking courses in the jungle: since new kinds of vegetables are being grown the native women get trained in cooking courses to learn how to integrate those new products in their menus. New, delicious recipes are created, and everybody is very happy.

• For the first time: Harpy with transmitter. The Spanish ornithologist Ruth Muñiz is supported financially and logistically by INDIO-HILFE in her scientific work about the Harpy eagle in the deep primary forest, see 2003.  Now she manages to attach a transmitter onto a young eagle as a backpack – worldwide for the first time, so that Ruth Muñiz is awarded for her work.

• Start of the INDIO-HILFE campaign fighting the Malaria epidemic at the Shuar and Achuar. Infections with Malaria Vivax and Malaria Tropica have increased alarmingly, but neither the national health authorities nor international organizations have reacted. 112 villages on both sides of the Rio Pastaza were hit severely. INDIO-HILFE connects those villages by a medical network run by 12 paramedic stations. Since no help from outside comes into the forest, it is our goal to diagnose and treat Malaria on the spot. For this goal paramedics in all villages have to be trained in special courses as laboratory workers and Malaria assistants. Apart from the treatment, prevention is most important. INDIO-HILFE buys 5,500 mosquito nets impregnated with insecticide, under which 2 adults and several children can sleep. Additionally, in all villages hygienic measures are taught and installed.

• Quito: our second “Alternative Talk” about renewable energies takes place at the Polytechnic University in Ecuador’s capital. Participants are the KLIMA BÜNDNIS (Climate Alliance) und the German Development Service DED. The main speaker is Prof. Dr. Ernst Schrimpff of the  university of Weihenstephan/Germany. Among other guests there are also representatives of the Shuar and Achuar, who explain their experiences with renewable energies in the forest communities. The audience mainly consists of students from the different universities in Quito.


2006: Happy pigs in Yuwints


•  Pigs and other animals are kept in an environment appropriate to their species: the native people keep chickens, geese, caymans, wild pigs, fish and snails in large enclosures with creeks and natural ponds. That activity preserves wild animal populations and improves the daily menu of the village families. For the enclosures, locally produced wire netting is used.

• A Shuar from Yumints is successfully on his way to becoming an electrical engineer. He has finished his training as an electrician, and now wants to continue his studies at the university. INDIO-HILFE supports 52 students who will soon pass their high-school exam. All of them have chosen study subjects useful for their forest communities, so that the young people will find work in their home villages and are able to help their own people.

• For the first time in the rainforest, native paramedics are trained in the use of the microscope. In the past, everybody who wanted medical training, even only First Aid courses, had to take a plane and leave the forest to take training in a regional hospital. Courses for laboratory workers were only held by the Malaria authorities in the port city of Guayaquil. The course usually takes 6 months, an unreasonable situation for the forest natives and difficult to be financed by INDIO-HILFE. We made it possible that for the first time, physicians teach those courses in the forest. For that the paramedics of the future Malaria network are gathered at two places. Here, full-time intensive courses are held. After only 2 months the paramedics are perfectly trained. The Malaria authorities confirm that the results in the exams of the forest natives are better than of the students in the city.

• The first extensive program for hygienic and ecological waste disposal in the rainforest of Ecuador starts. To prevent Malaria and generally to promote healthy living INDIO-HILFE hires Ecuadorian engineer, Jenny Aragundy, an engineer for ecological sanitation. She holds monthly courses, works with the population of Yuwints and Sharamentsa, and from the health perspective analyses and corrects from house to house the living conditions and habits of the families. She installs a closed circle of ecological waste disposal, including the following measure: separation of garbage in every household, school community house and medical station – use of the toilets’ waste water and organic waste from the school kitchen to produce biological gas – use of the organic waste of households for the production of compost – treatment of composted feces from the compost toilets and use as fertilizer – setting up of cold frames, raised beds and vegetable gardens with diluted urine and compost as fertilizer – treatment of grey water in plant sewage works – elimination of all standing water, to prevent breeding of mosquito larva – fireplaces to burn garbage and digging of deep trenches to dispose of non-recyclable garbage.

• Training workshops about health, environmental remediation and environmental education


2007: Conclusion of the Malaria campaign and founding of the AMAZONICA foundation


• After the training of the laboratory workers, all 112 villages are visited, mosquito nets are distributed, families are informed about Malaria prevention and local Malaria assistants are trained

• April 17 in 2007: AMAZONICA is founded by Mascha Kauka in Munich. The foundation shall direct public relations, raise funds for the projects in the Amazon region,  support the fieldwork of INDIO-HILFE and establish the AMAZONICA Academy. Its president is Markus Reppenhagen. Contacts with Bavarian universities and universities of applied sciences are made.

• End of May: the network consisting of medical stations, laboratory workers and Malaria assistants is ready – only a few more villages have to be visited. For the official conclusion of the campaign INDIO-HILFE invites the directors of the Malaria authorities and the president of the Achuar Foundation into the rainforest. At the Achuar village Pumpuentsa the last training session takes place. Afterwards INDIO-HILFE hands over the network for further preservation to the responsibility of the national health authorities and the Achuar leaders. The network includes almost in equal shares villages of the Achuar and the Shuar, and it is an influential base for the Ecuadorian Ministry of Health in the rainforest far away from the road network.

• In Sharamentsa the first school is built in traditional architectural style. The old wooden shed with the corrugated iron roof – an installation of the school authorities – is torn down. The typical Achuar building has 2 classrooms, 1 office for the teachers, floor, hand made furniture, light and running water. Now (apart from the medical station) Sharamentsa has only traditional Achuar houses.

• In June the management of INDIO-HILFE in Ecuador changes: for the first time a foreign organization transfers the management of a project to a native member of the project team. * The Achuar Uyunkar Domingo Peas Nampichkai from Sharamentsa is from now on responsible for all divisions and will primarily work in the forest communities. At our office in Puyo an assistant and an accountant will support him.

• End of September the pilot project AMAZONICA (started in 2002) with financial support by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development is concluded. Thus the most extensive Malaria campaign in the entire Amazon region comes to an end after two and a half years.


2008: Pilot project part II: The AMAZONICA Academy


• At the beginning of our work in the Amazon provinces we already knew that due to geographical and demographical dimensions in future several central training sites would have to be built in the rainforest.

• After a successful close of the first pilot project we had developed a mature “model for contemporary life und work in the rainforest”. All peoples were pushing us to spread it in the other villages.

• We started teaching and designing the constructional infrastructure for two training sites in the two exemplary model communities Sharamentsa and Yuwints. Not only should they serve for the inhabitants of the rainforest, but also be accessible to the youth of the world. We wanted to enable an access and responsible handling of the rainforest for international teaching and research, for students and lecturers.

• For a regionwide expansion of the model we needed confederates and sponsors. To create jobs and income for the local people, we looked for paying visitors. “C

• The AMAZONICA Academy that has been initiated at the second “Alternative Talk” with the Polytechnic University of Quito and the University of Applied Sciences of Weihenstephan in 2005 becomes our main project. INDIO-HILFE signs a cooperation treaty with the national University of Cuenca. It will send lecturers to the rainforest and also accept indigenous high-school graduates as students in Cuenca.

• May 1: The first one-year “seminar for indigenous executives” starts in Sharamentsa. Participants are selected high-school graduates from the Shuar and Achuar. The lecturers come from the University of Cuenca.

• Domingo Peas, who holds a diploma as a teacher, gives the introduction, a two-week course on the “cosmovision of the native people living in the rainforest “, as the population of the rainforest is in need of trained executives. Mascha Kauka also teaches “communication nowadays and in comparison with traditional forms of communication of the participating peoples”. For this she gets advice from the eldest of the villages.

• The contact with the University of Munich leads to a first visit of the university representatives in Sharamentsa in August. The dean and lecturers of the faculty of Tourism are interested in a cooperation.


2009: The model for the development of the community and the academy start growing


• The agricultural program including market gardening, chicken husbandry and fish farming is introduced in 12 neighboring villages. Selected families in the model villages start growing delicate vegetables in greenhouses in order to protect them from downpour, humidity, vermins and animals such as rabbits and rainforest rats.

• February 14: Incidentally but exactly on Mascha Kauka’s birthday, the first seminar for indigenous executives is successfully completed. The students are given a diploma in the presence of the German ambassador in Ecuador, the rector and the lecturers of the university of Cuenca and  the leaders of the Achuar.

• In May the first group of students of three faculties of the University of Munich arrives (Tourism, Geo information and Architecture). The group is accompanied by four lecturers and the head of administration of the university. For the first time the academy serves as a meeting point “of the forest and the world” and the natives can welcome their first paying visitors, their first tourists.

• Now another improvement quickly follows: the village Sharamentsa receives the first satellite dish in the rainforest as a donation from Marcus Tandler, an internet guru. This enables to establish an online connection for the Achuar and the academy. The German newspaper “Bild am Sonntag” sends a team of reporters and a 3 page-article is published subsequently. A documentary of 30 minutes is produced for the German television program “Abenteuer Wissen” in the channel ZDF, a public-service German television broadcaster.

• In autumn eight representatives of the University of Applied Sciences of Weihenstephan, the Technical Universities of Munich and Berlin and the Institute for Market Gardening in Potsdam come to the Amazon region. Subsequently two lecturers and 10 students of the University of Munich come for a visit.

• In Sharamentsa and Yuwints several courses of the Ecuadorian Ministry of Tourism for tourist guides and for community based tourism take place. At the end of the courses, the tourist guides in the villages receive a diploma.

• In September the university of Cuenca starts a seminar for hotel business and gastronomy that has been developed specifically for the needs and the situation in the rainforest. Six students of the Achuar and two Shuar take part in it, among them three women. Shortly before Christmas they all pass their final exam successfully – this is a first great step toward tourism with and at the natives of the rainforest.


2010: Issue no.1 is work in every respect


• Everything that has begun in 2009 has to be accomplished, improved and to some extent brought to a termination. The villages, INDIO-HILFE and AMAZONICA work as they never did before.

• Walking and by canoe, Mascha Kauka and the project manager in Ecuador, Domingo Peas, tour all 14 villages that are now participating in the project within two weeks. The families prefer the building of fish ponds to the chicken husbandry but both things are needed. Yamaram, one the Shuar villages neighboring Yuwints proves very successful. After a short time already the families can sell their chicken products to Makuma, the next district town.The inhabitants of Wayusentsa seem to be the most hard-working ones in the Achuar tribe. They have also made progress with the cultivation of land. The peanut crop is abundant as never before. All villages are now growing corn – for the chickens, the fish and for the natives themselves.

• Marcus Tandler donates a second satellite dish, this time for Yuwints. Now both model villages are online

• In September a camera crew of Germany’s international broadcaster “Deutsche Welle” comes to Sharamentsa and Yuwints. As a result from that visit, a 30-minutes documentary in German, English and Spanish is produced.

• End of October the main building for the AMAZONICA academy in Yuwints is ready for inauguration. It features 20 beds for students and lecturers, an elevated working platform and a huge hall, its floor nicely decorated with a mosaic of river gravels, with a fire place.The separate bathrooms for students and lecturers are convenient and comfortably equipped and the staff of the adjacent day service and a night watch man is available at any time.

• The inauguration ceremony is attended by the leaders of the Shuar/NASHE and representatives of the canton and of the province.

• At the end of the year, the construction works for the students’ accomodations are started.


2011: Expositions and lectures help to push our initiative


• As of January 12 (to end of February) the “Little Art Gallery” in Munich shows a rainforest exhibition by AMAZONICA with a workshop for playschools and elementary school classes.


• In March, an event of the Foster Institute takes place in Zurich, where Mascha Kauka presents the project of AMAZONICA.


• In April and May the Heidelberg city hall places its historical hall at our disposal for the AMAZONICA exhibition. Pictures of the rainforest’s fauna and flora and of the projects currently organized by INDIO-HILFE and AMAZONICA taken by international artists of photography are exhibited. The well-rounded program is completed by handcraft and objects of utility of the natives as well as by several films and it has a very positive response.


• On May 8 the documentary of the Deutsche Welle on our work “The guardians of the rainforest – Mascha Kauka in Amazonia” is telecasted all over the world.


• In September, the Bethmann Bank Frankfurt organizes an evening at the Bethmannhof. Mascha Kauka presents our projects.


• Early November, a similar lecture takes place at the Friedensengel in Munich organized by the UBS bank


• In Ecuador, the cooperation treaty between the AMAZONICA Foundation and the University of Cuenca is prolongated.

• Students of the University of Applied Sciences Bielefeld are now also working in Sharamentsa and Yuwints. The dean of the media faculty of the University of Applied Sciences Lemgo comes to the forest for a first meeting.

• A Shuar from Yuwints accomplishes his degree as electrical engineer! Every effort and hope for Holger Jencham, who was supported by us with scholarships that helped him to pass his school leaving examination and his studies, turns out to be justified. For his final project at university, he sets up a water turbine in his native village and energizes his community and our academy.

• In July we welcome a prominent visitor at the rainforest: Peter Linder, the German Ambassador of Ecuador, gets to know Sharamentsa and Yuwints. He is so taken by the Achuar and Shuar and by our work that he places a small project for the equipment of the carpenter’s workshop in Sharamentsa at our disposal. This means approximately 12,000 US$ for the purchase of machinery.


2012: Year of Anniversary: 30 years of INDIO-HILFE


• The jubilee year starts with the edition of a large-sized classy calendar documenting our work and the beauty and importance of Amazonia

• End of February the second pilot project of INDIO-HILFE financially supported by the BMZ is concluded.

• Key issues were the spreading and the consolidation of the development of the communities at the Achuar and Shuar and the establishment of the AMAZONICA Academy. We have come along with that quite well and have established a solid basis. However, more financial support (donations) would have brought us even further.

• In March the German Ambassador Peter Linder and his wife Abeba come to Sharamentsa for the second time to inaugurate the carpenter’s workshop financed by the Ambassy.Very pleased, the ambassador is very happy with the work in progress and the nearly finished accomodations for the students.

• On the occasion of the anniversary year the Chachi invite Mascha Kauka to visit them. For five days she tours the rivers, sees old friends and examines the results of the projects from that time. Almost everything is still working or has even developed further.

• On June 2 the anniversary flea market of INDIO-HILFE takes place at the Rotkreuzplatz in Munich. Since the year of foundation of INDIO-HILFE in 1982, this event has become a constant tradition.