December 12 2015

Dear Friends and Supporters,

I want to let you know about some important changes and events that happened this year
in our Ecological Youth Center, Cajamarca, Bolivia.

Digging the Well:

2015 was focused on raising sufficient funds for digging the urgently needed well at our Youth Center in the valley of Cajamarca in the high Andes. The costs were offset in part by the sale of our lumber that we head cut, by a grant from the German Embassy in La Paz, by your generous contributions, and by the prize money that came with the award I
received from the environmental foundation “Fondation Yves Rocher” in February of this year. The remaining deficit of 2000 € we hope to cover through further lumber sales. From a depth of 100 meters we now can enjoy this delicious gift of water together with the young people, with our co-workers and our visitors! And for three months we have been able to irrigate our vegetable plantation regularly.

Water! – for all living things at the Youth Center in Uyuni K’asa

On the 20th of June 2015, a stream of water spurted up from the depths surrounded by jubilant CEJ-people.


A powerful pump was installed. So much water … we had only seen this much water in January and February, when it rained for three days straight. Now the dry months between May and October have also lost their scariness. We are thankful for this gift!


The four co-workers at the ‘Centro Ecológico Juvenil’ were especially busy this year with their forestry work. Old and sick trees were selected for cutting with the consent of the forestry department, then the resulting locally sawed boards and planks were sold.

Bee Keeping and Nature Trails

After Wolfgang Scholz held a first and very successful course for 150 participants in 2014, Hubertus and Irmgard Scholz supported the bee keeping project again this year. In the three months they have been here with us they have, among other things passed on their knowledge about the proper keeping and care of bee populations to co-workers as well as to many farmers in the region.
In April 2015, Marius Oechsner, one of our “weltwärts” (world-ward bound) volunteers, developed a first and very beautiful nature trail with information about plants and their medicinal properties. The Scholzes have now installed a second nature path with displays about the forest, its plants, tress and pests. And just recently, Armgard Scholz painted these beautiful illustrations about birds that have migrated here during the last two decades. In 1990, when we began our reforestation project, only pigeons and buzzards lived here in the Cajamarca Valley.

Street Repair

The roads and paths we have built need constant maintenance. Rocks are gathered to stabilise crumbling road sections. Our two project vehicles (a Suzuki Jeep and the small truck ‘Camioneta’) are both over 20 years old and in constant use. The camioneta with almost 300,000 km will need to be replaced soon. Forest work has taken its toll. How can we get a new one and from whom?

First Aid Course

On December 3, we held a first aid course for the co-workers of the Center to alert them about the dangers inherent in forrest work. Mrs. Armgard Scholz taught the course together with the involvement of two regional physicians.

Unsolved Problems To-date 

The monthly salary for the four permanent employees of the Center. This is a pressing problem since we receive little revenue from our eggs and from the overnight fees guests pay at the hostel. Unfortunately, these funds cover only the salary of one co-worker. But we still need to cover three more salaries, plus the ongoing costs for materials, fuel for the
vehicles, road building and renovations. So far I haven’t touched on this salary problem with you. Can you give us any advice?

Dear Reader, may you have a good and healthy year 2016, and may you continue to be friends and supporters of this jointly run and outstandingly successful project which has operated for the past 29 years. In concert with the organization Centro Ecológico Juvenil and together with many Bolivian and international participants, progress has been made to sustain and improve our environment step by step. It happened in 2015, and, we hope, will continue in 2016! We were able to change a small part of our planet, planted more than 100,000 trees, and introduced thousands of children and young people to the value of environmental protection. For instance, many farmers in our region have become proud owners of their very own reforested green paradise by planting an additional 400,000 trees in the region!

In the name of all co-workers at the Ecological Youth Center, a heartfelt “Thank you!”

Annelie Dehmel

Annelie Dehmel

Founder of the Ecological Youth Center in Cajamarca in the year 1990