Jersy Tangoa Garcia is an instructor at a bilingual training institute for indigenous teachers in Yarinacocha in the Ucayali region of Peru and a member of the indigenous Shipibo-Conibo tribe in the Peruvian Amazon. She is being trained in INMED Aquaponics® to teach other indigenous communities how to strengthen their food security, access to fresh, organic food and generate sustainable incomes via aquaponics.
“Today in my community, our families do not have access to fresh food,” says Garcia. “We no longer find as many fish as before, and here in Yarinacocha there are no fish in the lake or in nearby rivers.” Deforestation also has driven the forest animals away, she adds. “So, the community can no longer hunt to feed our families.”
The new INMED Aquaponics® Social Enterprise (INMED ASE) in Yarinacocha has become a lifeline for the community, says Garcia. Located on the campus of the Instituto Superior Pedagógico Bilingüe de Yarinacocha where Garcia works, it is the first aquaponics center in the Peruvian Amazon and is the first completely solar-powered facility in the region.
Garcia and the indigenous teachers in training at the institute are learning about aquaponics for income generation. “The goal is for teachers to develop similar systems in their home communities for food production and to train their neighbors how to sell the products to support their families,” she explains. “As a trainer, I want to help families to have access to foods rich in iron and vegetables to improve the nutrition of children who are most affected by food shortages and lack of economic resources.”