Amazon Region of Peru

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Amazon Region of Peru – Manu Pärk Lodge

According to sociocultural studies carried out by the IIAP for the SEZ process, in the Amazon region of Peru (IIAP, 2004) four types of predominant populations with different sociocultural patterns can be distinguished in the Peruvian jungle: the indigenous Amazonian population, the regional mestizo population, the migrant colonist population and the urban mestizo population.

Some important social factors are described below.

a. Demography in the Amazon: the population of the Amazon region estimated at 2002 was 428,095 inhabitants, which represents 1.6% of the national population, with an estimated annual average growth rate of 2.1%. (INEI, 2003 Peru). The average population density in 2002 was 10.9 inhabitants per km2. The population that inhabits the rural area represents approximately 64% of the total population of the region, and the urban population 36%. (INEI, 2003 Peru). The most densely populated province is Utcubamba with 34 inhabitants / km2 and the least densely populated is Condorcanqui with 2.34 inhabitants / km2, both estimated at 2002. Amazonas has a young population: those under 25 make up 59% of the region’s population , predominantly the population under 15 years old, with 41%. Males make up 51% of the total population and women 49% (INEI et al, 2001 Peru).

b. Rurality in the Amazon: Amazonas is among the regions with the highest rurality index: 64%. Condorcanqui is the province that heads the figures, with 71.8% of its population living in rural areas. The most urban province is Chachapoyas, with 57.5%. (INEI et al, 2001 Peru). Gómez (sf) differentiates three types of communities based on communication and physiography: road communities, with fluid communication with the market economy and with mestizo population; communities of height, difficult to access, with difficulties for trade, do not have much contact with the mestizo population; and fluvial communities, with access and trade facilities, although the link with the mestizo population is not close.

c. Migration in the Amazon: the Amazon region does not expel so many inhabitants, unlike other regions in a similar situation. According to the INEI Peru, the period 1976 – 1981 presents a neutral migratory balance, with the settlement in its territory of almost as many foreigners as Amazonians emigrated. In the period 1988 – 1993, there is an imbalance in favor of emigration, perhaps explained by the increase in violence in those years, and although emigration to Lima, Lambayeque and La Libertad increases, the important contingent goes to San Martin.

Types of population of Amazonas in Peru

a. Indigenous Amazonian population: it is made up of the Awajún (aguaruna) and wampís (huambisa) peoples, belonging to the Jíbaro1 linguistic family, who live ancestrally in territories that cover the provinces of Condorcanqui and Bagua, over an area that comprises approximately 50% of the population. total territory of the Amazon region. The indigenous population, based on the 1993 census and with estimates to 2004, is 60,000 individuals, of which 50,000 belong to the Awajún people and 10,000 to the Wampís people.

The socioeconomic and cultural patterns of the indigenous population in the Amazon differ from the regional, colonist and urban mestizo populations. Some of the characteristics of the indigenous population are: greater knowledge of biodiversity and its use practices in the Amazon; maintenance of their language, culture and identity, and use of ancestral technologies in production processes, as well as in other fields of daily life, such as traditional medicine, the product of intergenerational oral transmission.

b. Regional mestizo population: it is the settled population that lives permanently in the region. It occurs in small villages or hamlets scattered in a scattered manner, mainly on the margins of roads or truck paths in the Amazon. This population differs from the recent settlers because of its greater knowledge of the limitations and potentialities of the natural environment, and its current productive systems are the result of prolonged coexistence with the jungle environment; but they also have differences with the indigenous populations and these are defined among others, by the different land uses and agricultural activities and the greater degree of connection with the market and insertion in the regional economy of the Amazons in Peru.

c. Migrant colonist population: it is a population of diverse origin, coming from the neighboring coast and mountain regions, which migrated and settled in the area especially in the last fifty years in the Amazon of Peru (from the construction of the penetration roads towards the jungle). Their sociocultural patterns differ substantively from the indigenous and regional mestizos due to their interventions on the natural environment with implications and stronger environmental impacts on the Amazon. Two particularities are spatially correlated with the presence of the colonist population in the Amazon region: they are settled mainly along the marginal road and all its secondary roads, including the stretch from Pongo de Rentema to Santa María de Nieva; and that the large deforested areas are generally settler settlement areas, which are mainly dedicated to the raising of livestock, small animals and clean crops, such as rice, coffee and hard corn, among others, which is evident in the spaces of Colona incursion from the provinces of Bagua, Utcubamba and Condorcanqui.

d. Urban mestizo population: it is a population that lives in urban areas. It is characterized by properly urban cultural expressions, nuanced with their own regionalisms transmitted intergenerationally. It differs from other populations because it has greater access to basic services, communications and links with regional markets of the Amazon. The main urban spaces are made up of the cities of Chachapoyas, Bagua Grande and Bagua Chica. (IIAP, 2004 Peru).

e. Peasant communities in the Amazon: those that maintain an element of productive household and its base is the management and exploitation of natural resources, which in the case of the Amazon region can also be composed of other types of population. It is found throughout the region and the essential characteristic is that its members share a socio-cultural system of their own, in which beliefs and norms complement social relationships and institutions, and vice versa in the Peruvian Amazon.

Indicators of the Amazon:

a. Illiteracy in the Amazon: the illiteracy rate for people over 15 in the Amazon region was 17.1% in 2000 (Peisa, 2004), quite high compared to the other regions of Selva. The Amazon province with the highest percentage of illiteracy is Condorcanqui, with 27.3% of the population, a figure that rises to 50.2% among women. This is partly explained by the fact that the majority of the population is indigenous, and among the indigenous population over 50, many have not accessed education services and are mainly monolingual, especially in the case of women. According to ENDES (2000), the median of years of education, reached by the population of 6 years and over, is 5.1 years of study in men and 4.0 years in women.

b. Health in the Peruvian Amazon: in Amazonas, children under five years of age are the most vulnerable group, due to their high mortality, especially in the peri-natal component. In addition, the available health data indicate that several of the main causes of mortality and morbidity can be related to a greater or lesser extent to environmental risk factors, so there is a need to implement policies and plans to reduce risks. The major cases are acute respiratory and diarrheal infections that cause illness and death in children under five years of age. The percentage of children aged 6 who suffer from chronic malnutrition is 43% of the regional average, which rises to 62% in the province of Condorcanqui. Life expectancy at birth reaches 66 years but is projected to be very close to 71 years for 2010-2015. (INEI, 2003 Peru).

c. Human Development Index (HDI) 2: Based on the HDI of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and according to characteristics of the Amazon region, Amazonas is located in a low middle development range, with an index of 0.515.

d. Economically Active Population (PEA): in the region it is 55.1% of the population aged 15 and over. The main economic activities are agriculture, livestock, hunting and forestry, as well as commerce, education, manufacturing industry, public administration, construction, transport, storage and communication, among the main ones. It is also pertinent to bear in mind that about 65% of the PEA is dedicated to extractive activity, characterized as a sub employed, with a source of subsistence work (INEI, 2003 Peru).

e. Income per capita: it is undeniable that in Peru there is a problem of low income level, being Amazonas one of the poorest regions, despite the great potential that it presents. According to the studies of the INEI (Departmental Compendiums 1997 and 1998 Peru Amazon), the average per capita income in the Amazon region is US $ 1,216 per year, and the average rural income is US $ 825, which represents around US $ 69 per month. , which express weak productivity conditions in the region, which must be overcome in the Amazon of Peru.



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