Sustainable health practices save lives
¡Soy Capaz! is the education branch of Amazon Promise. We strongly believe that self-sustainable health practices save lives in the Peruvian jungle communities where governmental medical care is sparse.
Prevention of transmittable infections and diseases, ranging from HIV to the Zika virus, from fever to diarrhea. We also emphasize the synergies between community wellness and environmental health.
Women form the most influential, yet the most vulnerable part of the communities. Peru has the highest percentage of femicide worldwide. Our efforts are concentrated on promoting gender equality, women’s rights and protection to prevent the violence against women and abuse we see in the jungle communities.
Empowerment Through Education and Training
It is our long-term goal to affect changes in the behavioral modes of both the individuals and communities. Ultimately, by taking these positive steps, the people themselves will become empowered to take on the program and continue its message in our absence.
We work closely with local populations and tailor our approaches and teaching strategies to the specific socio-cultural aspects of each community, with particular sensitiveness to their necessities and cultural taboos. In each place, we collaborate with community representatives who often work as our trained facilitators and educators.
Our activities and interventions may thus vary according to whether we work in a traditional native jungle setting (i.e.; the indigenous Quechua, Achuar and Candoshi villages), or in the impoverished neighborhoods of the city of Iquitos.
What We Are Doing
Our Community Education Program offers repeated and consistent education through workshops, interactive lectures, school visits, and individual counseling. We have provided continuous educational programs in many of the communities since 2005.
Train the Trainer
As a part of our goal to empower the jungle communities, we train local volunteers, known as promoters, who facilitate ongoing education and support to the community between Amazon Promise expedition visits. In this way, local stakeholders have the opportunity to modify the Soy Capaz program to their needs and gradually take over.
AHF: National organization that provides testing and treatment for people living with HIV, with a center in Iquitos. Their promoters join us on our campaigns, and the center supplies us with information materials. We now refer our HIV patients exclusively to AHF.
CEM: Centro de Emergencia de la Mujer. National organization belonging to the Ministry of Women’s and Minorities’ Affairs that provides shelter, legal counseling and therapy for women victims of domestic violence, as well as workshops and informational meetings. We organize workshops and events together, and we refer women to the centers in Iquitos and Nauta.
Lazitos de Vida
Lazitos de Vida: Local orphanage for children living with HIV.
Project Amazonas: Local nonprofit organization we have partnered with for training purposes.
There is also a recently published book for purchase:
Mother is an Amazon jungle-inspired story written by Elena Deem, a PhD in Comparative Literature, and illustrated by the Peruvian artist, Juan Carlos Zeballos, recipient of numerous international art prizes.
Proceeds from the sale of the book will support our Soy Capaz! programs.
Peruvian Ministry of Health recognizes us as one of the health educational programs of the region. We report to the MOH after each expedition, and we produce a yearly report.
Centro Emergencia Mujer, Women’s Emergency Center, has been providing us with information materials and contact information for women who seek shelter from abuse and need legal aid