The Hope of the Amazon Civil Association (HOTAA) is an organisation that has evolved from the Hope of the Amazon Program, launched by The Tavistock Institute and T-Consult Peru in October 2010.
Since then, the Hope of the Amazon Program (HOTA) has taken the Tavistock Tradition to the Amazonian Society, integrating different methodologies (Action Research, Action Learning, Role Analysis, Observation techniques, field work, Group Relations Conferences, training in systems psychodynamics, qualitative research and evaluation). It has also drawn on Audiovisual Research Technologies and cross-organisational collaboration clusters for the development of social and intellectual capital from the London School of Economics and Political Sciences.
The program has worked with native indigenous leaders representing eleven different tribes originally from the Oepiap indigenous organisation. Entrepreneurial outcomes of the program have included the creation of the Curuinsi Learning Centre, a biofarm and the organisations Ajuma, Asociación Juventud Matses in 2011. In 2012 Group relations conference Comunidad Esperanza was founded with representatives from the indigenous organisations Oepiap, Curuinsi, Ajuma, Aiespep and the Iquitos organisation Red Ambiental Lorenta. Members of these organisations and others participated on 2013 conference leading to the formation of the Hope of the Amazon Civil Association.
Hope of the Amazon Civil Association
Now ready for a new set of challenges, the former indigenous leaders of Hope of the Amazon Program decided to act on what they have learned about the difficulties of leading a community with multiple agendas, conflicts of interest and the complex dynamics of power, vulnerability and dependency. As a result they have shifted their focus in order to apply their learnings into the wider society. In August 2013 they co-designed the Hope of the Amazon Civil Association. A broad based process enabled them to co-create and approve the Civil Association bylaws with the support of the Peruvian law firm Pizarro, Botto and Escobar. The Association’s codes of honour were written in a similar process with the leadership of a philosophy student from Barnard College of Columbia University, with whom we piloted the Hope of the Amazon internship program for University students
The process of designing and authorising the Association bylaws has been elaborate. Using 360 degree communication strategies with translation into multiple languages, including English for the international team, has allowed for an authentic encounter among cultures, applying the Tavistock tradition to address issues of Social Inclusion, Sustainability, Reflective Citizenship and Corporative Social Responsibilities. This process constitutes a new experience and a rich learning process about cross-cultural governance and the dynamics of Civil Trust.
The Hope of the Amazon Civil Association has been founded by Mónica Velarde, who serves as President, James Krantz as Vice President, Barbara Williams in the role of managing International Communications, and Beatriz Rodriguez Macuyama who was elected by the former participants of HOTA and former leaders of Comunidad Esperanza as their representative. Additionally, Beatriz Rodriguez Macuyama holds the role of Director of the Iquitos base and the National Representative for HOTAA. TConsult is also a founding member, represented by Diana Anaya in the role of Financial Officer.
The 4th International Group Relations Conference in the Amazon will take place in Iquitos in February of 2014. Staff will be composed of national and international consultants. There will be a maximum of 80 participants distributed in the following groups: 20 representatives from 11 ethnic groups of the Peruvian Amazon, 20 students of the national social inclusion program Beca 18 (these are indigenous tribes joining for the first time the city of Iquitos), 10 members of national organisations affiliated to Hope of the Amazon Civil Association and 30 citizens and/or representatives of the national and international private sector world.
The conference design includes three sub-conferences. An entry sub conference for those joining a Group Relations Conference for the first time or wanting to renew an experience in a different context. A sub-conference of Design that aims to allow participants to learn how to design socially sustainable methodological applications of system psychodynamics for projects of Corporate Social Responsibility. And a Training sub-conference for those who have more than two Group Relations conference experiences (one week or more) and are interested in becoming internal or external consultants in their organisations and/or communities. Training will be particularly beneficial for those interested in concrete applications in the fields of Corporate Social Responsibility, Corporate Citizenship, Community Development and Social Inclusion. Conference fees include an Observation trip to an unknown destination in the Amazon. Full paying members of the training and design sub-conference are provided with tools for their post conference process. A few scholarships and corporative discounts are available for conference participants. For information about any of this options please contact Diana Anaya at email@example.com.
Collaborations and the Future
The Hope of the Amazon Civil Association’s achievements so far include the creation of an operating cross-organisational collaboration cluster between the indigenous leaders, Universidad Cientifica del Peru, T-Consult, the Association of Hotel and Restaurants Ahora, Radio La Voz de la Selva, and the Association Desap. As a result of this cluster, indigenous leaders have been active on confronting dynamics of sexual exploitation in the hotel industries, empowering women in riverside communities, disseminating values in the city of Iquitos, winning an award with a creative campaign on public transportation. Additionally they are collaborating to introduce Action Research and Social Dreaming into the Ikuari School project that allows children to express their thoughts by creating musical productions. Their first song confronted the need of conserving the Kukama Culture The second stage of the program is design to confront teenage suicide and sexual exploitation. In 2014 we are starting field work and research to expand the program to the Southern Amazon in the city of Tarapoto.
We invite citizens, professionals, and organisations interested on this program to contact Diana Anaya to explore possibilities of collaboration. We also accept donations to specific causes such as:
- supporting the Ikuari school action research program and musical creation (video can be seen here);
- the construction of our new centre at the Universidad Científica del Peru;
- training for indigenous consultants in systems psychodynamics;
- Social Dreaming across indigenous cultures:
- construction of an audiovisual centre (cameras and computer)
- Internet coupons at a local shop used for coaching sessions.