Voice of the Shipibo

Current Projects

Projects on this page:
1. Maroti Shobo, artesans collective;
2. Shipibo Midwives Initiative;
3. Girls for the World

Maroti Shobo is a collective of 26 Shipibo women (Shipibas)  in Yarinacocha, Peru.  The women create beautifully painted and embroidered textiles as well as seed and bead jewelry, pottery, and other objects identified with the Shipibo culture.  The women learn their crafts from their mothers at an early age.  The designs are unique to the Shipibo culture and express the spiritual relationship the Shipibo have with the rainforest.  The designs may also represent visual healing songs that are called Icaros.  Many of the women in Maroti Shobo are widows are single moms so the sale of their goods are their only source of income.

The women of Moroti Shobo shared with us that they would like to learn how to market and sell this work internationally.  To that end, Shipibo Joi has assisted them with the following in the last two years.  We gifted them with a laptop computer and digital camera and provided training on how to use the internet and set up email accounts.  We taught them how to use the digital camera to take pictures of their work and download them onto the computer.  Additional training is needed in assisting the women with using these tools.

Shipibo Joi facilitated Maroti Shobo’s participation in the 2011 Santa Fe International Folk Art Market.  We assisted the president of Maroti Shobo to travel to Lima for her visa so she could participate in the market but she was denied her visa so Mershona Parshall, director of Shipibo Joi, represented them at the market so they could still sell their work.


The Shipiba midwives are an integral and important part of the community, in conjunction with the healers, considering that the midwives are responsible for helping women in the birth of new life.  The midwives provide their services without receiving any compensation for their work.  This knowledge is passed down from generation to generation despite the great advances in medical science.  For the Shipiba midwives, they use plants with medicinal properties to accomplish their work that also includes individuals with infertility problems, to control fertility, for impotence in men, and also for a quick and normal delivery without complications.

Shipibo Joi has been providing a Shipibo practical nurse, Marleni Garcia, with support to visit a few  Shipibo communities to provide training, collect information and to buy some midwifery supplies.  We are working with the Shipibo community of San Francisco to develop an integrative medicine approach, meaning to support  traditional  Shipibo midwifery and to incorporate Western knowledge to improve maternal and infant outcomes.  Marleni is also working in the community of Santa Rosa de Dinamarca.  We are also fortunate to have a midwife from Germany volunteering with Shipibo Joi for 2013 to further our work on this project.  We have been coordinating with the Alianza Arkana on this project and will be working to expanding this work in the next year.

If you would like to donate specifically to the Shipiba Midwife Initiative, please indicate this either on your check donation, through our donation button that will take you to our Facebook causes page, or contact us.
Girls for the World

We are very pleased to be piloting the Girls for the World program for 15 Shipibo teen girls.  Karen Hanson, the director of the program will be joining us in Peru in February to run the 5 day program.  Additional participation in the program will include Shipibo young women and a few mothers who are interested in learning the program.  The Girls for the World program is well described on the website:  www.girlsfortheworld.org.  Ms. Hanson has been offering this program in India and will now be bringing it to Peru.  We are so excited to see how this wonderful program will grow.  The Alianza Alliance has offered technical assistance and you can also read about it at the following link: http://alianzaarkana.org/blog/entry/empowering-shipibo-girls.  As Shipibo Joi grows it is exceedingly clear that the young people are the future of the Shipibo tribe.

Bill Mollison, founder of Permaculture, has said “Our society has all the symptoms of a domesticated species.  If we can’t switch from linear thinking to pattern thinking, human existence on this planet doesn’t stand a chance.”


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