In the Peruvian Amazon, along the Ucayali River, the Shipibo-Conibo people live. They have been doing this for millennia. Today, they are in a time where they are trying to find a balance between two worlds, their own and the Western. At all times, the Shipibo-Conibo peoples have adapted to the rhythm of nature, which today is influenced by the increasingly dominant economic forces that lead to many in the new generation having to change their lifestyle. More and more people are abandoning their village and for various reasons, mainly economic, are looking for cities.
It was not until the late 19th century, when the rubber industry made its way into the jungle, that Shipibo-Conibo came into contact with modern society. In the 1970s, oil was found in the area while Peru began exporting wood from the tropical forests. This brought people to Pucallpa. From Pucallpa, wastewater is now flowing down the Ucayali River. The polluted river water does not infrequently cause disease. In addition, the logging in the highland forest causes large quantities of water to flood over the shipibo villages. These floods cause the crops to rot, the wildlife dies and the fish are spread over large areas. Food shortages that did not previously occur are now periodically part of the reality.
The Shipibo Association Non Netes members are driven by concerns that old values and knowledge in ecology, cosmology and traditions are being lost. Through discussion and reflection, the organization wants to engage and make people aware of the processes that are going on and which totally change the conditions for their future existence. Non Nete which at shipibo means our hometown is working to introduce a sustainable ecological and cultural development for the Shipibo-Conibo tribe. This also means that people gain better knowledge of their own people, increased self-confidence, strengthened identity and a willingness to make their culture visible. Non Nete develops schoolbooks and other literature on shipibo, arranges seminars, produces news magazines and supports ecotourism, local radio initiatives and other things that promote alternative income opportunities for people in the area.