Floresta Project is supporting the AmaGaia project, a certified Ecovillage Design Education (EDE) course created by Gaia Education that teaches villagers in the Purus National Forest of Brazil about sustainable communities. The AmaGaia course is modeled on several successful ecovillages around the world and is the first certified EDE course to be held in the Amazon rainforest and one of the few in the world dedicated to traditional communities.The course is divided intotwo 2-week phases, with each week dedicated to one dimension of sustainable communities – social, economic, ecologic and worldview. The main objective is to inspire and support the village so that its population can dream, plan, and celebrate the future that they want.

The first week of AmaGaia was dedicated to the social dimension of a sustainable community. Through integrative and participatory processes the following themes were addressed:

The importance of building and strengthening communities; embracing diversity; future visioning; personal empowerment and circular leadership; group facilitation and decision making processes; communication skills; non-violent communication; conflict resolution; how to run councils and how to make dreams come true through successful projects.

The second week was dedicated to the economic dimension, where the participants addressed the following themes:

The current global economic system; local economic systems; healing the communitarian economy; how to redefine the concept of money, prosperity and life quality; possibilities for a new, sustainable economic system; economic experiences within the Purus National Forest; exchange systems and fair trade; social enterprises for a new economy; community banks; microcredit and local currency.

During the fifteen days, the group created a harmonious and intense community devoted to discussing possibilities and creating solutions for their communities. They developed acollective vision for the next two years and designed a strategy and action plan to be carried out during the next six months, seeking to adapt locally and put into practice the contents presented in the course.

The second phase of AmaGaia covered the ecologic and worldview dimensions. Once more a team of approximately 14 facilitators and educators traveled to the forest to share experiences and help create local solutions for building a strongwin-win culture and resilient communities.

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