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April 17 Well-being Festival Prevents Extinction of a People

GMU professor brings health to Maijuna indigenous people, whose population has dwindled to 400.

The Mason Center for Social Entrepreneurship and the Center for Consciousness and Transformation have partnered with Mason ethnobiologist Dr. Mike Gilmore and Mason students to bring clean drinking water as well as proper sanitation and hygiene to the Maijuna communities, an indigenous people in the Peruvian Amazon whose population has been reduced to the low number of 400 individuals. The Maijuna are dying due to dysentery and waterborne diseases contracted from contaminated drinking water.

A “Well-Being in Action” fundraiser for the Maijuna community will be held on the Fairfax campus, SUB1 QUAD lawn, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax on Wednesday, April 17, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. The fundraiser goal is to raise $4,800, the amount needed for Gilmore and Mason students to install a biosands water filter in each home of the four Maijuna communities, at a cost of $60 per filter (the materials are all purchased locally). There are 80 Maijuna homes in total.

Throughout the day, there will be a full schedule of yoga, tai-chi, meditation and creative writing classes. The day ends with a sunset trance dance. You can see the full schedule at http://masoninnovation.org/2013/03/04/join-the-mcse-for-the-maijuna-water-sanitation-and-hygiene-fundraiser-april-17-2013/.

No prior registration or experience is required and classes are free; donations will be accepted throughout the day on behalf of the Maijuna water project. Professor Gillmore and the students will be sharing throughout the day, and a biosands filter will be on display.

In the case of inclement weather, the alternative location for this event is the Johnson Center 2nd Floor West Lounge.

For more information about this event, please contact Brandice Rogers at bvalent2@gmu.edu.