Motacu: Amazon Research Center

Sustainable Bolivia and its partners are committed to researching the Amazonian rainforest and its rich cultural and biological diversity. The Motacu Research Center represents one stage of an ongoing process to establish an interdisciplinary field school in the Aquicuana Reserve.

Currently, the center is carrying out research pertaining to the conservation of the local ecosystem, sustainable development/design, and engaging in reforestation initiatives.

Located in the heart of Aquicuana Reserve, the center provides easy access to one of the most biodiverse areas of the world.  In this setting, our center seeks to understand the complex relationships between the forest and its inhabitants.  To this end, we observe and we engage.  We work alongside our sister non-profit, Fundacion Amazonia, to implement community development and conservation projects. We combine the field with the classroom: affecting change, creating global communities and instilling practical life-skills.

Field School for the future:

We believe students must engage and learn both inside and outside the classroom. The ivory towers can confine our visionary ability to address the unique issues we face as a global society in the 21st century. This is especially true in given the importance of the Amazon Rainforest; one of the greatest natural resources that links all of humanity.

We are beginning to think and act outside the box. Innovative and interdisciplinary approaches recognize the practical benefits of integrative and experiential education. The Motacu Research Center seeks to build upon this philosophy, providing a safe and comfortable setting to integrate design, art, scientific research, and community education through residencies and workshops.

Furthermore, we already oversee long-term community development projects inside the Reserve; supporting our neighboring communities. These interdisciplinary projects improve living standards, focusing on education, food security, economic development, sustainability and community health. SB field school students won’t just learn about these approaches, they’ll work alongside the local community to implement them. They’ll learn and they contribute.

Returning to the city of Riberalta, students will contextualize their field learning by classroom based analysis and critical reflection. Local and international instructors and experts will lead hands-on workshops and classroom lectures.   Students will also visit nearby additional ecological, cultural and historic sites in Bolivia.

The Field School is still in the developmental stages. We are currently looking for individuals with a background in education and a sincere interest in assisting us develop a progressive field school that benefits the student, the environment and the community.