Our latest publication about Wanamei project.


InfoRegion local press is talking about us! «Madre de Dios : presentan retroexcavadora para impulsar desarrollo de comunidades»


All the manufacturing documentation to build the Boa mini-excavator are online and free downloadable!


Publication of the book «La piel del Oro» («Skin of Gold»), ethno-photography of Amarakaeri gold miners, by Philippe Geslin and Carole Baudin, April 2016, Editions G d’Encre, Neuchâtel (Switzerland). In french/spanish.

More infos on the page dedicated to the book. 


The first polyvalent mini-excavator entirelly designed and manufactured in Peru is now finished!

«La Boa» was born from collaboration with Madre De Dios gold miners, local workshops and partners, and Haute Ecole Arc Engineering of Neuchâtel.

This machine was designed by miners, for miners. It matches local miners needs, and help them to work in better conditions and reduce their ecological impact:

  • The Boa avoids working in «open air mining holes», dangerous by landslide risks, water deviation, hydrocarbons water pollution and related diseases or accidents.
  • The Boa helps to extract auriferous material more cleanly and more controled: excavation, load of material, and water closed-circuit.
  • The Boa is designed for local climatic conditions and local knowledge. It is manufactured locally, and thus, can be repaired quickly with local and low-cost material.
  • The Boa is a multi-purpose machine, and can work with various accessories. This is an opportunity for miners to have mining alternatives: digging trench for cacao plantation, excavate soil for aquaculture, etc.

Manufactured in a local workshop, the machine can be adapted or customized, depending on miner needs.

You can also  build the machine yourself, following technical plans and manufacturing informations (online and free downloadable).




More information: (project manager).


Laura Maillard presents the design process of Boa Mini-excavator , the 18th of October 2016, at Haute Ecole Arc Engineering. The presentation: « La Boa- Made in Peru :  une mini-excavatrice conçue avec et pour les orpailleurs péruviens ».



Carole Baudin, Laura Maillard and Yohana Ruffiner  published an article in the SFAA american review “Practicing Anthropology – Issue 38.2” on Wanamei purpose:  “Wanamei: An Intervention for and with the Small Gold Mining Communities in the Peruvian Amazon”, abstract available on this page.


OpenSourceEcology are supporting our mini-excavator project, inspired by OSE LifeTrac design.


The structure of the mini-excavator «La Boa» is now finished and the next step will be to fasten the wheels and integrate the thermal motor. To be continued…

This device will help the excavation of gold components and will also be able to host a suction pump. The purpose is to offer an alternative to the current excavation systems used in the region, which are dangerous for the operators and polluting the environment.

soldadura Wanamei

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In order to cover Madre de Dios area, the reporter Ruedi Leuthold from the SRF (Swiss television channel) interviewed Ronald Jara – local coordinator – and Laura Maillard – engineer – about the retorta Anamei and the anthropotechnological approach adopted by the Wanamei project’s team.

Broadcast of the report for December 2015.


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The project leader of Wanamei Carole Baudin, organized a meeting between the miners possessing the retorta Anamei and the Deputy Minister of Environment Mariano Castro. This meeting has been the occasion for the miners to comment on the efficiency of the retorta Anamei.

The APMABAPU president (Small and Artisanal gold miners from Madre de Dios) pointed out the fact that since the acquisition of the retorta on the last 8th of June, all the partners from the association are using it and obtaining some very good results for mercury retrieving, which efficiency was estimated around 98% or more.

The president and the miners were very proud to contribute to the co-design of this retorta and especially to take part of the test phases. To thank them for their participation and contribution, the

Deputy Minister Castro has seen the fact that all the miners had taken ownership of the retorta Anamei, which is the result of lots of efforts from them. He also informed the miners that these efforts for a better mercury management are a big step forward, which is being noticed by the authorities. He also encouraged them to continue to work with the same co-design strategy for clean technologies during their own activities. The Deputy Minister was very pleased to see the results of this work with the retorta and offered to support its diffusion beyond the Madre de Dios area.

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The retorta Anamei has been introduced during the seminar “Use of Mercury in alluvial mines, research and propositions”. This event has been co-organized by GOMIAN, Solidaridad and Terre des Hommes Suisse and coordinated by Wanamei team.


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The work process that allowed to make the retorta Anamei has been presented to a miner’s delegation, some experts of the Ministry of Energy and Mines, experts of the environment and postgraduate students from the UNSAAC University.

The audience was very receptive and many miners came to Carole Baudin after her presentation to have more information about the retorta.


Wanamei’s project manager Carole Baudin and Peruvian national coordinator of Terre des Hommes Suisse Lizeth Vergaray presented the retorta Anamei and its design process to the Deputy Minister Mr. Mariano Castro on the 22nd of July. The same presentation has been made to the Minister of Energy and Mines Mrs. Ortiz and to the Deputy Minister of Mines Mr. Guillermo Shinno on the 23rd of July.

The retorta Anamei did attract a lot of interests and motivation from authorities during both of these meetings. They especially greeted all the anthropotechnological hard work that led to work for and with the miners and helped to assert the appropriation of this technology by the miners.

Thereby, the Deputy Minister Castro is discussing the possibility to integrate the retorta Anamei as an obligatory device in the norm of minor’s formalization process.


Artisanal miners from Huaypetue paraded with the retorta Anamei on last 8th of June during Huaypetue’s celebration. The demonstration of the retorta showed a mercury vapor recovery with about 99% efficiency. Brochures have also been handed out to the miners and public institutions who were interested in having the retorta.

The informational brochure can also be printed here: page1page2page3 (in Spanish).


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Défilé 2_NB

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The anthropologist Yohana Ruffiner and our local collaborator Ronald Jara presented a press conference on «Anamei, the retorta co-designed with and for Madre de Dios miners», the 5th of June of 2015 at the College of Engineering of Puerto Maldonado (Jr. Cajamarca 757) in Madre de Dios.

For more information: download the press release (in Spanish).


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