New boarding house for Matsiguenka teenage girls in Peru

Matsiguenka teenage girls from communities inside Manu National Park will now have better access to secondary education, and the same opportunities as their male classmates.

Maganiro Matsiguenka Manu NP boarding school
School girls at Maganiro Matsiguenka.

On May 28 2014, Manu National Park, Frankfurt Zoological Society and the Municipality of Fitzcarrald (in the region of Madre de Dios) signed an agreement in which the three institutions were committed to support formal education for Matsiguenka schoolchildren through infrastructure, materials and training. On Saturday May 16 FZS handed the management of the brand new building to the Municipality of Fitzcarrald. The new boarding house for girls is called "Maganiro Matsiguenka" which means "We are all Matsiguenkas" and is located in Boca Manu, the nearest town from these communities on a two-day boat trip down the Manu River.

 

This initiative, funded by the Sarastro Foundation, will also strengthen the preschool and primary education for the indigenous communities living in Manu National Park. The construction represented quite a logistic challenge, but in less than a year FZS delivered a fully equipped building, in accordance to the agreement as the project culminates in December 2015. The boarding house has a capacity for 20 girls and has an area of ​​542.50 m2. In addition to the women´s housing, the project also implemented the men´s bathroom and a proper sewage system. Furthermore, the project included hiring an educator who will be girl´s tutor. This professional will guide them through their academic and personal development. Finally, the project considered providing food supplies, educational materials and hiring a cook.

 

This project enables young students to continue their secondary education in Boca Manu, since they only have access to primary education in their communities. Moreover, the Manu National Park demonstrates their interest to work hand in hand with the communities located within the protected area.

 

The Matsiguenka parents do not hide their satisfaction when they see where their daughter will live while attending high school. Enrique Misairo Keimari, father of the student Rosita says "this building has all the facilities and will give more opportunities to the girls. I am happy that my daughter will have a better future".