Greetings from CONAPAC in the Peruvian Amazon rainforest! You are receiving our email NewsNote because of your interest in CONAPAC and/or Adopt-A-School.
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Special Projects, Special People

In 2005 Ron Rossi, a technology teacher at the Academy of the Sacred Heart in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, brought students to the Amazon, staying at Explorama Lodges to tour the rainforest and asking if his students could donate their time and effort helping make improvements in a Adopt-A-School partner community. This turned out to be our first CONAPAC Service Project!
Ron Rossi on a visit to one of CONAPAC's partner communities.
Academy of the Sacred Heart students after a day of service on the Amazon
March 2014 was Ron's tenth "Both Sides of the Equator” Project Term trip to the Amazon with his Sacred Heart students. Each spring trip usually has 12 high school students and two mentors. In the summer he also brings between four and ten participants, having led 19 groups in total. They spend as many as three days working with river communities on improvement projects that CONAPAC plans and supervises.
An art project celebrating clean water
Painting a village school building
In addition to traveling to Peru to work in Amazon communities, the Project Term students collect used clothing in their own community before the trip and, when they visit the Amazon, trade with villages for handmade crafts. Later, when they are back home, they sell those crafts and send that money to CONAPAC for the Adopt-A-School program. Last year they raised $1700.

The last two years they held fundraisers with all monies earmarked for CONAPAC projects—This year’s focus was clean water. Also in 2014, Ron, with the help of students and parents, started the nonprofit organization EKOAMAZON, which is "committed to engaging both students and adults in the mission of assisting the indigenous people of Peru in sustaining their communities through a combination of efforts, including: Water Treatment Systems, Village Service Projects, La Clinica Yanamono, and the Adopt-A-School program."

Preparing packets of school supplies for Adopt-A-School delivery week
It was in 1995 that Ron first traveled to the Amazon to participate in one of Environmental Expeditions' Educator Workshops. Very quickly he became part of their team, sharing his photography and web design skills, and later bringing students. Environmental Expeditions is a company started by Frances Gatz of Washington, DC.

Since 1992 the core of Frances Gatz’s life’s work has been the organizing and promoting of Amazon rainforest workshops for students and educators in Peru. In 2008, she created Amazon Amigos as a program of the non-profit TREE Foundation to support the work of CONAPAC. Past Amazon Rainforest Workshops travelers have contributed mightily to support water purification, sustainable development, and the CONAPAC Amazon Library through the Amazon Amigos program.
While Frances continues to rally support for the Amazon and CONAPAC, Amazon Rainforest Workshops are now directed by Christa Dillabaugh, a 1993 Educator Workshop alumna, and hosted by EcoTeach. The workshops continue to embrace a strong science and service focus, involving both scientists and village service projects organized by CONAPAC. The highlight of a student rainforest workshop is a day visiting an Amazon community. During their visit, they work in partnership with village members on projects like painting schools damaged by flooding, repairing fences for livestock, and planting community gardens, to name a few.
Frances Gatz at the ExplorNapo dock with one of her Student Workshop leaders
Student volunteers painting fences in a CONAPAC partner community

Frances Gatz and Ron Rossi are two of the many faces of CONAPAC who are committed to the support of projects in the rainforest. Community service projects are just one of the many aspects of CONAPAC's work. Check our CONAPAC website to find out how you can help.

We are now partnered with Pack for a Purpose to better assist you with a suggested list of donations that you can carry down. If you find yourself traveling to the Amazon rainforest and staying with Explorama Lodges, take a look at their site.



CONAPAC has been been providing access to clean water in the Peruvian rainforest since 2008. Our new initiative, the Family Water Project, places Sawyer PointONE™ water filtration systems in individual homes, helping more families attain this vital resource essential to good health.

A gift of $195 will supply one household.
To find out more and to learn how you can contribute, visit:

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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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