Semillas para el Desarrollo Sostenible “Seeds for Sustainable Development” is a Peruvian nonprofit confronting development challenges in the Peruvian Amazon. Historically, this area has suffered from a lack of infrastructure development, and most acutely from a lack of educational resources. With those resources absent, parents face difficult decisions: they can leave their children uneducated, or migrate to cities in the hopes that their children can find schooling.
In partnership with local governments and other agencies, Semillas hopes to reverse that trend. Semillas is composed of a group of international architects and volunteers who lend their time to provide onsite design and construction assistance. Focusing primarily on schools, the studio holds community engagement and interaction as the basis for its work. It looks for opportunities to utilize local materials and employ local labor, with every project being viewed as an exchange.
Because of the remoteness of the terrain, Semillas approaches sustainability as both a question of resources and a moral imperative. Semillas’ schools are designed to take advantage of natural air currents and solar shading. Using natural materials, and featuring plenty of play space, Semillas schools become community centers and instruments of development
In their own words:
“Architecture, to us, is not only a form of cultural expression, but also a powerful way to improve peoples’ lives.”