How You Can Help The Children

by Captain Bill

"Dawn on the Amazon delivering school supplies"

Marmelita delivering school supplies to the teacher of the river village school in Mishana.

If you are planning to travel to Iquitos Peru for an Amazon River cruise or to stay at a lodge, or even just to visit for a day, and you want to help children in need, you can make a big difference in the lives of the children who live in the remote villages along the rivers you will visit.

In theory, education in Peru is free from age 7 – 16, however in practice education is poorly financed and inaccessible in rural areas such as the villages along the rivers in the Amazon jungle.

Every small village is guaranteed by the federal government to have at least a one room school house and a teacher. However the Ministry of Education lacks the resources, or the will, to provide educational material for the teachers and students of the jungle schools.

This is where you come in. Compared to the resources available in a small remote jungle village, you are a billionaire. If you packed a shoebox full of school supplies chosen from the list below, to leave with the teacher of the school when you visit a village, you can make a big impact on the lives of children in the Amazon jungle. Five pounds of supplies will go a long way. Multiply that by many tourists bringing a shoebox full of supplies and we can make many children’s lives better, and who knows how much we can change the world…

School supplies

  • pencils with rubber eraser tops
  • colored pencils
  • crayons
  • coloring books
  • individual pencil sharpeners
  • pens
  • notebooks
  • scissors
  • world map
  • Peru map
  • Loreto map
  • solar powered calculators
  • classroom posters in spanish, (biology, math, astronomy, human body, language)
  • flash cards, (math)
  • flash cards, (alphabet spanish)
  • puzzles
  • rulers, metric
  • measuring tape, metric
  • stickers
  • art supplies
  • craft supplies
  • books in spanish, children’s storybooks, language, learning to read books, literature, parenting, and science
  • glue sticks

First aid supplies

  • bandages
  • bandaids
  • alcohol wipes
  • antibiotic ointment
  • aspirin
  • stingez


  • Friends of mine go to yard sales all summer and accumulate a suit case full of children’s clothes to bring to the jungle children.
  • children size flip flops


  • soccer balls
  • volley balls and nets
  • rubber balls


  • toothbrushes
  • toothpaste
  • combs
  • brushes


  • Scrabble
  • Connect Four
  • Dominoes
  • Bananagrams
  • Checkers
  • Chess
  • Decks of cards
  • Backgammon
  • marbles
  • tops

If you speak Spanish, or hire a guide, and come a day or two early, most of the items on this list can be purchased in Iquitos which would help the economy even more.

For more ideas and inspiration click on this link;

Pack For A Purpose, small space, little effort, big impact;

A special thanks to my friends at Conapac, who have been doing good work in the Amazon Rainforest for 24 years.

Dawn on the Amazon Tours and Cruises has delivered supplies to villages and schools for over 11 years.

"School supplies in a jungle village"

Each student got some version of this care package.

I must mention the wonderful work done by my friends and peers, Patty Webster through Amazon Promise, Albert Slugocki, Devon Graham and Don Dean with Project Amazonas, Bill and Karla Park with Eco-ola and  Acaté. I realize there are dozens or probably 100s of NGOs, missionaries, tour companies, and individuals donating their time, labor, and money to do good work in the upper Amazon. I apologize for not mentioning you all by name. Please leave a comment and tell us all about your project.

"Student with Inflatable globe"

A student inflating a world globe. Where are you from?

How You Can Help The Children

Bill Grimes is president of Dawn on the Amazon Tours and Cruises;

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dottie Bonnett October 14, 2014 at 6:41 pm

Great article Bill! In April, CONAPAC delivers an amazing amount of school supplies and volunteers can join them for a wonderful experience. But there are many other schools that they can’t reach so please bring supplies when you visit.

2 Leon Jones October 16, 2014 at 5:11 pm

Bill, what a wonderful thing you and Mermelita are doing. I can’t help with much, but I will check out the list of items mentioned in the post and get back with you the next chance I drop by your restaurant. Leo

3 AnimalLover January 27, 2016 at 6:06 am

This is an awesome idea and I will be organising supplies for the children on my trip.
I’d just like to mention that sustainable, eco-products should be the preferred items as much as possible like bamboo toothbrushes, fluoride free toothpaste etc.
Also to avoid the huge mego-corporations products like Colgate, Coca-cola for example who do nothing environmentally friendly.
As consumers who travel to more isolated communities we can all do our part for responsible, sustainable, eco tourism in these small ways.

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