SRC Marañón

The River Collective is extending its innovative educational initiative to South America, inviting 10 university students from diverse academic backgrounds to embark on a transformative journey along the Marañón River in Peru.
Date: July 2025
Place: Marañón River, Peru

What is the Marañón SRC?

This immersive two-week program is designed to deepen your understanding of rivers and their critical role in
our natural world, with a particular focus on the Marañón case. The Marañón River is currently subject to a law proposal by Conservamos por Naturaleza aiming for its long-term protection after years of looming threats from large dam projects. It also got recently recognized as a subject of rights due to ongoing efforts led by the Huaynakana Kamatahuara Kana Federation, an Indigenous Kukama women’s group.

This moment presents a unique opportunity to engage the younger generation in the protection of the
Marañón River. The Students for Rivers Camp Marañón will bring 10 participants on a journey from the Andes to the Amazon, accompanied by a team of experts spanning various fields of knowledge. At the core of the exploration lies a fundamental question: “What does it mean for the Marañón to remain free-flowing?”. Through workshops, expert lectures and transdisciplinary exchanges among participants, you learn about the river from various perspectives.

Students for Rivers camp drawing by Vera Knook

Why join Marañón SRC?

This program offers a platform to turn knowledge into actionable project ideas that will contribute to the campaign for the Marañón’s long-term protection. As both our experts and participants represent a wide range of educational backgrounds and cultural diversity, the program nurtures the development of interdisciplinary project ideas that combine science, art and conservation.

The River

The Marañón River, often hailed as the “hydraulic source” of the Amazon, emerges in the Andes, traversing more than 1700 kilometers while winding through two embracing mountain ranges. Along this journey, it erodes sediment from the youthful mountains and conveys vital nutrients into the Amazon basin. This dynamic interplay of river and terrain spawns diverse ecosystems, with the seasonally tropical dry forest being particularly notable for hosting numerous endemic species.

River Collective Ripple Projetcs drawing by Vera Knook

In recent years, the Marañón faced grave threats from proposed dam projects. While the collective efforts of local communities and dedicated NGOs have temporarily thwarted these projects, new investments and ongoing perils from mining and oil spills persist. This juncture presents an opportunity to secure the river’s protection for future generations.

Conservamos por Naturaleza, an esteemed NGO based in Lima and operating under the Peruvian Society for Environmental Law (SPDA), is on a mission to establish legal safeguards for the Marañón and other Amazonian rivers. In partnership with The Nature Conservancy, they are actively crafting a comprehensive law, mirroring the success of their “Hazla por tu Ola” initiative to protect surf breaks along the Peruvian coast. The legal framework they envision will serve as a pioneering model for Amazonian river conservation.

people camping on a river beach on the Marañón during a rafting trip

For Whom?

The SRC is open for Bachelor, Master and PhD students from all disciplines. We hope to welcome 10 students: 5 from Peru and 5 from other countries. If you are not currently enrolled in a university course, you are still welcome to participate, just send us an email regarding your situation. You do not need any kayak or raft experience to participate in the camp.

Marañón SRC Program

The program commences in Cajamarca with an intensive day focused on introductions and valuable meetups at the local university.

At the heart of our program lies an immersive eight-day journey through the Marañón River’s Heart, spanning from Balsas to Puerto Malleta. This river journey encourages participants to connect with the complexity of a free-flowing river. They will also have the opportunity to visite remote riverside villages, delving into the stories of the local communities’ efforts to preserve the river’s integrity.

Following this adventure, the program transitions into a two-day stay in Cocachimba, providing participants with a place to cultivate ideas and develop their own river conservation projects. They take their insights and project plans to Chachapoyas to present them during a conference that concludes the Students for Rivers Camp.

Students for Rivers camp drawing by Vera Knook

Prac­tical Informa­tion

As the program is still under development, further information on participation fee, logistics and how to apply will follow. Make sure to sign up to our newsletter!

River Collective Ripple Projetcs drawing by Vera Knook