Illegal mining is rampant in the Peruvian Amazon. Lured by promises of lucrative work opportunities, thousands of impoverished indigenous men are forced to work in the mines for little or no pay while hundreds of women are coerced into prostitution. Not For Sale provides access to alternative education and economic opportunities to reduce poverty and prevent exploitation in the amazon.
Not For Sale hosts awareness trainings throughout the Amazon, educating communities about the realities and warning signs of human trafficking. We partner with local service providers to find shelter for victims of human trafficking and connect them to legal support. In times of dire need, Not For Sale helps members from our network of indigenous communities escape their situation of exploitation by providing temporary housing or financial assistance.
Schools in these communities often lack the resources necessary for effective instruction and learning. Not For Sale provides school supplies to enhance the educational experience for both teachers and students. There are no high schools in the communities. For students wishing to continue their education, the only option is leaving for the nearest city, Puerto Maldonado. Without money for food or housing and ethnically discriminated against, they are at high risk for exploitation. Not For Sale has developed a scholarship program to provide housing, school fees, supplies and emotional support for these vulnerable students. In the poorest and least developed villages, some families eat only once a day. Not For Sale has created community gardens in six schools to educate students, teachers and family members on the importance of proper nutrition while creating self-sufficiency.
The Amazon boasts an abundance of natural resources, but current systems for extracting these resources are highly corrupt. The poor farmers and miners who harvest the raw materials are paid only a small fraction of their worth, leaving them incapable of ever escaping extreme poverty. Not For Sale is working to create a value chain that enhances the lives of the region’s people. We provide communities with technical training on how to sustainably grow, harvest, and sell raw materials in both domestic and international markets. In rural areas of Peru, cultural norms mean women are expected to dedicate themselves fully to childcare and rarely earn independent income. This economic dependency makes them particularly vulnerable to exploitation. Not For Sale provides artisan training and small business workshops for hundreds of women in the Amazon. The women develop self esteem while learning marketable trades and skillsets.
Much of Peru’s wealth is centralized in urban city centers where deep-seated linguistic, geographic and tribal prejudices against Andean and Amazonian natives are common. Many indigenous families and subsistence farmers abandon their traditional way of life and migrate to the city seeking work and education opportunities. Victims are ensnared with false work offers and forced to work in informal gold mining, logging, agriculture, brick-making and domestic service. Within remote illegal gold mining camps, thousands of women and children are exploited in makeshift brothels from which they are unable to escape. Child sex tourism is also present in areas including Lima, Cusco and various regions of the Amazon.