In New York's Port (Loreto, Perú)--en el Puerto de Nueva York (Loreto, Perú)

En el Puerto de Nueva York (Loreto, Perú)

We are ecstatic, thrilled to be able to say that VASI now has the funds to realize our first event in the project area, the district of Sarayacu. We cannot thank you, our first donors, enough for having made this fundamental step possible.

With these funds we have now started organizing our first project wide meeting. Inviting the residents of the nine participating communities to elect their representatives, organizing meetings with the university students so that they can choose their representatives, and inviting appropriate scientists and provincial and regional authorities.

With this important step, we will create VASI’s legal structure and define and detail the processes and procedures we will use. That may just sound a bit backward; we have a project and no legal structure? No clearly defined processes and procedures? As a collaborative project, it is fundamental that these decisions that will define our structure and process be debated and created in the communities. We will follow an interactive and iterative process, and with these funds we can start.

Endless thanks to those who have donated, shared, and continue sharing the campaign and project. Together, we are making this Amazonian vision a reality.

To visit our campaign, click on this link: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/vasi-amazonian-vision-4-integrated-sustainability#/

dug out to Mahuiiza


Already! VASI Has Launched its Campaign Indiegogo

From Lima, our capital, we wish to convey our greetings and thanks to all people who in one way or another are contributing their time, ideas and advice, and their selfless work to get where we are, and strives to achieve today Friday, January 22 we can give them the exciting news: VASI launched its massive fundraiser funds, and we need your help.Please visit our campaign:


Let VASI go viral. This is the project I’ve been working, which combines science, conservation, sustainable development, education, and chocolate-, yes, chocolate!

Watch the video here:




And GO: VASI Just Launched on Indiegogo!

We are over the moon, thrilled, to announce that VASI just launched on Indiegogo.

Please click on https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/vasi-amazonian-vision-4-integrated-sustainability and join our campaign! Thank you all who have supported us, committed to support us, and have helped VASI get to this incredible point. Share us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, by email, and by voice – Let’s go viral!

To watch the video, click here:

VASI is Empowerment through Chocolate. With your support, VASI will empower people to own their own projects that will contribute to the conservation and sustainability of the Peruvian Amazonian region and the United States through legal, sustainable, business opportunities, providing access to higher education, and scientific information to inform both local and regional policy and development decisions.

  • 9 Peruvian communities (plans to expand)
  • Peruvian University students
  • Peruvian and international scientists
  • US, Peru, and Global Businesses

And Chocolate!

Did you know the Amazon is home to cacao—the fruit from where we get Chocolate and that a significant portion of the world’s chocolate is produced by forced child labor and slaves. The communities that initiated VASI will help provide you with ethically produced, organic, sustainable, absolutely delicious chocolate—all with the aim of improving quality of life and contributing to increased access to higher education.

Chocolate for conservation, for education, for a better life.

The more views, shares, and donations we get in the next 24 hours, the more likely VASI will go viral. Please, help us spread the word, donate if you can, put us in touch with media, refer us to your friend’s, your boss, your boss’s boss, and your grandmother (she use’s chocolate in those chocolate chip cookies).

You can find us at www.proyectovasi.org, on facebook at www.facebook.com/proyectovasi, via twitter @proyectovasi, and on indiegogo: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/vasi-amazonian-vision-4-integrated-sustainability

We hope our video will move you, our pictures bring you smiles, and our story inspire.

One of the most helpful ways to share the project is directly with people you know via direct conversations, email, or chats. Make sure you provide the link, and tell people you know us. Two or three simple sentences and the link is all you need to do.

“Hey, I thought you might want to see this. VASI is a cool project combining Community, Science, Empowerment, and CHOCOLATE. My friends (family members, colleagues) are facilitating it. You should check it out: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/vasi-amazonian-vision-4-integrated-sustainability.”

Thank you again for your support.

Thank you! Gracias! Irake!

(Irake means thank you in Shipibo, one of the native languages spoken in the area).


Come Celebrate and Talk with us about VASI

The Amazon Needs You! LA SELVA TE NECESITA

Niños de Dos de Mayo2006

What: An Informative Event and Celebration

Where: la avenida Brigadier 2776, distrito de Lince, Lima, Peru

When: 12PM Sunday the 24th of January 2016

VASI Invites You to an Informative Event and Celebration

VASI’s coordinating team, invites you to participate in our public presentation in Lima. The event will be both a celebration of our crowdfunding launch and an opportunity to discuss the project. We will present a brief summary of VASI and the processes and mechanisms we are using in its development.

VASI is a collaborative project created by students, scientists, and residents of nine communities in the District of Sarayacu, Provincia Ucayali, Loreto. In this poorly known corner of the Peruvian Amazon,  the residents  have joined forces to work for conservation and improved quality of life. Together, we have created a project that includes collaborative scientific research, scholarships for higher education, and applied projects. The first applied project is an organic mixed agroforestry system that combines wild, native, and heirloom varieties of cacao (for chocolate) with tropical hardwoods, exotic fruits, and other products.

We need your presence and collaboration to help spread the word about this project and help it go viral.

With that in mind, we will share a small toast and some snacks, celebrate the official launch of the crowdfunding campaign, and have time to catch up with old friends and make new ones. We hope you will share ideas and questions, and look forward to seeing you there.

You can help jumpstart the campaign, by sharing this event with your contacts and on the 19th you can start making donations of any size.

Together, we will help make a more sustainable world and look forward to your presence starting at 12PM Sunday the 24 of January 2016, Avenida Brigadier 2776, distrito de Lince, Lima, Perú.

Get Ready, Get Set: VASI launches its crowdfunding campaign on Tuesday, January 19th

Dear Friends and Family,

From the hot humid jungle island of Iquitos, we have exciting news: Tuesday, January 19th, VASI launches its crowdfunding project, and we need your help. On the 19th, lets make VASI go viral. This is the project we have been working on over the past years, the one that combines, science, conservation, sustainable development, education, and chocolate—yes, chocolate!

VASI – An Amazonian Vision for an Integrated Sustainability (Visión Amazónica para la Sostenibilidad Integral) (Click here to see our Video)

VASI is Empowerment – The Goal: to contribute to conservation and sustainability of the Peruvian Amazon and the United States through legal, sustainable, business opportunities, increased access to higher education, and scientific information to inform both local, national, and international policy and development decisions.

  • 9 Peruvian communities (with plans to expand)
  • Peruvian University students
  • Peruvian and international scientists
  • US and Global Businesses

A significant portion of the world’s chocolate is produced by forced child labor and slaves

Cacao–>Chocolate, an Agroforestry project

In addition to scientific research and scholarships for higher education, VASI’s agroforestry project will produce organic, wild and heirloom varieties of cacao (for chocolate) along with traditional foodstuffs, exotic fruits, and rare tropical hardwoods. These rare cacao varieties will not only provide unique flavor profiles, they will also contribute to the conservation of genetic diversity in cacao and the availability of good chocolate! The Amazon is the home of Cacao.

Predictions are that global production of cacao soon will not meet demand for chocolate.

Peru and the United States

VASI has established connections with 3 ethically and sustainably focused craft chocolate makers in Northern Michigan.

  • Presently Securing Business Relationships with additional:
    • Chocolate businesses in Peru and throughout the world
    • Peru’s top chefs
    • Specialty food providers in both the US and Peru

The Amazon

The vast majority of Amazonian residents live in extreme poverty. This, despite it being one of the world’s most important regions in terms of fresh water, health related discoveries, bio-diversity, impact on climate, and origin of many loved foods: brasil nut, pineapple, acai, cacao…

Increased pressure on the resources and communities forces residents to turn to increasingly unsustainable and/or illegal activities (indiscriminate timbering and fishing, mining, and coca growing amongst others).

Support VASI

Contribute: Large numbers of donations on January 19. The more early donations the more likely the project will get direct attention from Indiegogo, promoters, media, and then go viral. Donations of all sizes matter and are deeply appreciated. Our webpage (under the To Donate/Para Donar Tab) has a list of items and services we need. And, of course, all donations are tax deductible (in the US). Please, contribute on Launch Day.

Share: the link as soon as we launch, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, on Linked-in, etc., and via email, and talk to others. If each of us shared it directly with 8-10 people, our goal would be met.
Refer: Please send us the names of people or organizations that may provide matching grants or donate rewards to inspire others to donate. Throughout the 6-week campaign, we will announce special rewards and matching grant opportunities.

Join: If you feel particularly inspired by the project, we invite you to join our campaign team. Campaign team members spread the word. You share the project throughout the campaign, contacting traditional media, bloggers, and others to help us get the word out. In return, you will be eligible for extra rewards.

Thank You! Whether you have money to donate, feel comfortable reaching out to others, or have expertise, services, or other ideas you can contribute, VASI thanks you for helping us make this project a success.

Please let us know your pledge amount, any referrals we should have, or other ways you want to participate in advance of the launch. Having this information now will help us to plan. If you can, your employer, or you know of other individuals, or funding organizations that can offer a matching grant please let us know as soon as possible. Just before the 19th, we will send an email with the announcement, links, and sample text you can share with your contacts.

To follow and see photos, visit our webpage www.proyectovasi.org, twitter @proyectovasi, or Facebook www.facebook.com/proyectovasi (Click here to see an accompanying photo album).

I hope you are having a great beginning to the New Year, and Edgardo and I send all of our best, and look forward to hearing from you soon.
Best Wishes,
Nancy, Edgardo, and Javier

VASI Coordinating Team
PS. Last Friday we presented the project to the scientific community in Iquitos, Peru and, as a result, have already arranged for a couple of significant collaborations. Sunday, the 24th, we will be hosting a public event in Lima. All details will be on our Facebook and webpages. We would love to see you, or your friends, there.


You are Invited to Scientific Friday

In anticipation of our upcoming crowdfunding campaign via Indiegogo, we invite you to our presentation at IIAP (Instituto de Investigación de la Amazonía Peruana, Peruvian National Research Institute).

Scientific Friday

Date: Friday, 8 of January 2016
Place: Auditorium José López Parodi (IIAP’s central campus, Av. Abelardo Quiñones Km. 2.5, San Juan Bautista, Iquitos, Peru)

We will present the project, its current state, steps taken, and our immediate plans. Please share this invitation with anyone who is interested in: learning more about VASI, organic production of cacao and other native plants, conservation and sustainable development, education, and the District of Sarayacu. A summary of the talk follows below.
We hope to see you there!