The Sacha Warmi Center

Location
The Sacha Warmi Centre is located at the km 25 of the Puyo-Macas road, in the Pastaza province. A series of buildings and facilities aimed at serving the project’s objectives have been built on a 3 hectares piece of land. The land covers a series of hills between which runs a stream ending in a 30 meters high waterfall on the side of the road towards the village of Canelos. From there, one can admire a beautiful panoramic view over the Rio Bobonaza valley.
“One day, a man was walking by this place around night fall. Suddenly, he heard women laughing as they were bathing under the waterfall. Frightened by what he had seen, the man ran back to his home to tell his family about it. His family told him he had met the spirit of Sacha Supay Warmi (Spirit Forest Woman).

Map of the center with the differents zones :

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Medicinal Garden
In the medicinal garden, 35 species of plants are cultivated. Most of them are well known and studied by science. It is a small representative model of how medicinal plants can be cultivated. We make our own natural composts, and we cultivate plants that help with biological control, such as rosa sisa (Tagetes sp.), marco sacha (Ambrosia sp.), citronella (Cymbogon nardus), Chili pepper (Capsicum sp.), Tabaco (Nicotiana tabacum), among others. This space is used to support education, training, and sensitization programmes, designed for indigenous as well as non-Indigenous people.

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“House of Plants” - Plant processing facility
This is where collected plants are brought to be dried, aromatic plants are processed to extract their essential oils and floral waters, and other natural products are made. The making of soaps, balms, tinctures and syrups are among those taught during some of the training workshops. This space also houses materials containing information on every plant growing in the garden. The place has been used for gatherings, meetings, and workshops so far organized at the Sacha Warmi Centre. In the future, these gatherings and events will take place in the multimedia room once it is built.

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Pedagogical Garden
The pedagogical garden was created for the benefit of the cultural sensitization programme, particularly aimed at non-indigenous populations. Its goal is to spread knowledge about the importance of relationships between peoples and plants, and on the history and cultures of Amazonia. In this space are found all sorts of plants, from those linked to creation myths to useful ones still used in everyday life by many Amazonian cultures. Together with the available pedagogical and information material, a visit to the pedagogical garden is an intercultural tool which aims is to show the values of cultural diversity and remind us of the importance of our relation with nature, and to encourage us to regain a respect an understanding for it, something very much missing in our technological world.

Interpretive Centre

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The interpretive center is where visitors who wish to know more about the Sacha Warmi project (see “Visit Us”) are welcomed. It is a space designed to provide support for all the programmes and activities taking place at the SWC, where volunteers interact with Indigenous students. It will serve as a meeting space until another structure is built for this purpose. It provides an office space, a small library accessible to the general public and a gift shop. Information materials as well as multimedia resources are made available there. (Not built yet).

The Volunteer House

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The volunteer house is a wooden structure constructed in a traditional oval shape; it has two bedrooms, each with two beds, to host volunteers and the students participating in the intercultural health facilitator programme (IHF). An important aspect of the IHF programme is the experience of living with volunteers from Latin-American countries and from all over the world, offering an intercultural living environment during their stay at the Sacha Warmi Centre. The house is furnished with all the necessary items and facilities to live comfortably, including spaces to socialize, cook, rest and work.

Multimedia Room
This place is where all the educational and training workshops, meetings will take place. It will house our multimedia material and provides access to other sources of information. (Not yet built).

Medicine House/ Maloca

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Built by Kichwa men from the village of Canelos, the maloca is a space designed to invite specialists of indigenous medicine to meet and discuss issues related to the current situation and reflect on the future of their medicine. It is a space dedicated to the profound healing needed within society and nature.
Health support to individuals from the local population is also provided when requested. This support translates either in advice and orientation, or in direct help to relieve the patient from illness.

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Food Garden
The food garden provides food for "mingas" (collective work), such as manioc, plantain, pepper, and sweet potato, among other products. It is a space used for activities associated with the themes of food-ways, the preparation and cooking of food products, and the need to increase the diversity in women’s gardens with useful species possessing an economic potential.

The Reforestation Area

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Covering the entire side of the hill where the medicinal garden and food garden are found, the reforestation area hosts about 300 plants of 15 different species that are being closely monitored. Among these are medicinal plants, fruit bearing trees and palm trees. Some of the trees are used for their wood or have other economic value. Women can learn to cultivate these other species, which when their garden stop producing staple food, they can provide them with an additional income.

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