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Amazon Library Music Fundraiser Now Until March 31

Just last year, Jerry Wolf, from Friends of Jazz, donated 32 recorders and 60 books to the kids at the library. That project has thus developed, and we'd like to take it to the next level by introducing classical instruments. Brian recently met a professional musician and conductor in Iquitos who expressed enthusiasm to create a youth ensemble in the Amazon. Their common interest quickly led to the plans for a full fledged music program to take place in the CONAPAC Amazon Library focusing on the 30 interested kids.

To initiate this project, we have created a crowdfunding page at Global Giving, a fundraising website that focuses on non-profits. The link to this page is https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/amazon-library-childrens-music-program/

This project will ultimately open up new academic and career paths for the students involved, and also enrich the cultural arts of the region. The first steps are gathering supplies and ensuring the kids show up for the three planned lessons per week. The proposed budget covers costs not only for instruments, but also for snacks when the kids arrive as incentive to arrive, and provides for gas costs.

This will be the first ever music ensemble on the river. If they can do it, new director Brian Landever personally pledges to learn the trumpet so he can play along with them. Once the music program begins, it will be taught by Jose Estrems, a musician from Spain who lives in Iquitos with his family. He has 30 years music experience, and is excited to teach regional songs with classical instruments to give students a new level of confidence.

Please help us reach our fundraising goals by making a donation to our project between now and March 31. Once we reach $5000 in donations from 40 people, Global Giving will give us a significant package of promotions. This will be invaluable, as they are a collection of fundraising gurus.

Suggestions? Let us know. Donations? Tap here!
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School Supply Packets Under Major Construction

For the last several weeks, CONAPAC has been gradually amassing thousands of pounds of boxes stuffed with school supplies for the big Adopt-A-School donation distribution week. Our team of helpers has been working hard, assembling packs of books, pens, craft supplies and more into well organized school supply packets. Each child gets their own packet, and each teacher their own, and different grade levels get different collections of items to best meet their needs. The entire process required months of planning, ordering, organizing, hiring, and production. Our work has clearly paid off and is near completion.

If you haven't yet signed up for Adopt-A-School Week #1, it's March 25th - April 2nd, and there are only five seats remaining, join today!
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Bats for Health?

Many people don't think that bats could be welcome near their homes. As a matter of fact, Hollywood pretty much has us freaked out about those creepy scenes of hundreds of bats flying over us, getting stuck in our hair, and scratching us. Even worse are rumors of vampire bats. Nonetheless, Explorama, CONAPAC, One Planet, Wartburg College, and Amazon Rainforest Workshops all got together to go to the trouble of bringing in experts from the United States to attract bats right to the middle of a populated community along the Napo River.

Tyler Vogel and Dr. Michael Bechtel came down from Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa to initiate the invitation to the flying mammals, only they came prepared with plans that would only invite the best of them. They arrived with detailed construction plans and materials prepared to create a ten-cubic-foot house, raised 30 feet off the ground. The secret ingredient, however, was the size of the slots in the house in which bats enjoy cramming themselves together. These slots were sized just right so that only mosquito-eating bats will bother entering.

Once the house is constructed, and bats populate it, an estimated 5,000 mosquito-eaters will roost. This number is expected to make a serious reduction in cases of malaria in the community. The project did require some local education to explain that this type of bat is harmless and is solely interested in insects. Fingers are crossed for the success of this bat house. One success could stimulate future interest by other communities.

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We're revving up our social media activity. Please follow us and share to let the world know about our great work in rural Amazonia.



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Find out what's happening downriver by reading staff members James's CONAPAC partner communities blog and Fernando's Amazon Library blog.
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CONAPAC is a Peruvian non-profit organization whose mission is to promote conservation of the rainforest through education of its stewards, the people who live along the Amazon and Napo Rivers. Our centerpiece project is the Adopt-A-School program, which is strengthened by workshops and complemented by service and sustainable projects in river communities.
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