I ran an exciting Sapelli training in the city of Rio Branco between July 2-4. After spending a very long time immersed in the forest with the Ashaninka community of Apiwtxa, I finally stepped out of the jungle to feel a little bit of an urban atmosphere. But not for a long time, as the training happened at the Comissião Pró-Índio’s (CPI-AC) house, which is based in a beautiful reforested area in the outskirts of Rio Branco – the capital city of Acre.
The training is part of the agreements made among ExCiteS, Apiwtxa and CPI-AC during the community protocol meeting in September 2015. In that occasion, we agreed on a collaboration in which ExCiteS would train both Apiwtxa and CPI-AC, the Ashaninka would monitor and collect data on their territory about invasions, and CPI-AC would provide them with the necessary equipment to do so and also to visualise the collected data.
Not only members from CPI-AC were present, but also indigenous representatives, an MsC student from the University of Copenhagen, and staff from the National Foundation for Indigenous Affairs – Funai and from the Zoo-botanical Park. At first I presented ExCiteS’ tools and methodologies and the Ashaninka case, and then we began the practical work.
During the workshop, we built four interesting application prototypes for: 1. monitoring evidence of isolated peoples; 2. counting trees according to their species; 3. informing the right time to harvest native seeds; and 4. registering the work of the indigenous agroforestry agents in their lands.
The group was very excited about the achievements of the workshop, and I was personally very surprised to learn that myself, as an anthropologist, was able to teach xml vocabulary and writing to such a heterogeneous public. I think ExCiteS is moving in the right direction.