Maniapure Community Camp – A short history of community development in the Amazon

Dr Simon Sambrano1
1Iguanas Outdoor Education, Caracas, Venezuela; 2Maniapure Foundation (Fundacion Proyecto Maniapure), Caracas, Venezuela; 3Asociacion de Damas Salesianas, Caracas, Venezuela

 

Abstract:
The Maniapure Community Camp is a program for underprivileged and Indigenous communities in southern Venezuela, right where the Amazon jungle begins. In this rural region youth faces high risks given the presence of illegal miners, drug traffickers and guerrilla fighters (illegal paramilitary forces) who quarrel for close to free and subjugated hand labor.

The program strives to keep children and young adults in the school (through a series of endeavours), offer medical and dental services and provide experiential learning through activities and sports. Year round and specially in the summer a safe environment where children can grow and learn from adult role models is offered, while guaranteeing meals and transportation.

During this presentatiion, the program and its successes and failures, as well as the 2021-2023 plan will be discussed. The aim is to offer some guidelines/better practices for proffesionals and NGOs that are undertaking similar programs with indigenous communities or facing similiar conditions whitin their programs


Biography:
I’ve been involved in camps and Outdoor Education for over 35 years, as a camper, CIT, counselor, coordinator, program director, director and owner. In addition to my job as Iguanas Outdoor Education Director/Owner, I’m an Organizational Leadership Consultant/Trainer, as well as an International Camping Fellowship ICDC Lead Trainer and a former member of the Venezuelan Camp Association Board of Directors. I’ve developed and ran camps and outdoor education programs in 5 countries in 4 different continents. Since 2008 I’ve worked together with +50 different Camps and Outdoor Education organizations around the world. Last summer (2019), I collaborated with Reset Summer Camp in Santa Barbara California – USA. I’m a Medical Dr. (General Surgeon) and I hold a Master in Organisational Leadership from Monash University Au.

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