Indigenous communities do not have access to basic services (ex. potable water, sanitation, etc.), decent opportunities for education and work, and are often forgotten and marginalized.
In many of these communities there are not enough classrooms for the number of students, and too many students are crowding into dilapidated classrooms in poor condition that receive little to no maintenance.
Most of the professors teaching in the community do not possess the training, tools, and vocation for teaching, and feel obligated to take teaching vacancies because of financial necessities and the lack of other work opportunities.
These factors make education quality in the Amazon one of the lowest in Colombia.
In turn, this decreases economic opportunities for local people and produces indigenous leaders that lack basic knowledge (mathematics, writing, reading, history, biology, etc.) and who are ill-equipped to deal with the local government and the implementation of projects. Hence, most projects are bound to fail, which is also true for projects that aim at protecting their environment and way of life.
To improve access to education, Entropika and its Swedish partner Ankarstiftelsen (Fundación Ancla), are working to build educational infrastructures (classrooms, kitchens, dining halls, bathrooms, and water supply systems) in indigenous communities of the Amazon. This initiative is complemented by a godparents program that sponsors children’s studies and improves education quality (for example, through the purchase of school supplies, uniforms, maintenance of existing classrooms, etc.).
So far, we have built 4 classrooms, 2 kitchens with dining halls, and 4 bathrooms in two indigenous communities and one school in Leticia.
The godparents program currently helps 69 children from two indigenous communities with school expenses; one student is being sponsored to attend university. During the COVID-19 crisis of 2020, this fund shifted to provide families from these communities with food aid and other essential items.