The Putumayo River forms the natural border between Peru, Colombia and Ecuador. Putumayo vzw works with the indigenous organizations and native communities of the Secoya and the Kichwa peoples who live in the Teniente Manuel Clavero district. The empowerment process that we implement with these communities is situated in the upper basin of the Putumayo River, the so-called "Alto Putumayo", in the utmost north of Peru. The district is part of the province of Maynas, department of Loreto.
The main challenges that the Putumayo region faces nowadays are twofold: to overcome the predicament of being a border area, and to find a way towards a sustainable development model. In this region it is painfully clear that the Peruvian government often has a very distinct vision on development, and tends to favour the economic interests of the Peruvian elite, which has devastating effects on biodiversity and the local inhabitants. In particular the previous president, Alan Garcia (2006-2011), conducted a similar policy over the last couple of years, and it remains to be seen whether the current president Ollanta Humala really wants to tackle this situation, and how he plans to do so.