Raja Ampat SEA Centre
Located just 1km from our resort, is the village of Yenwaupnor. A traditional Papuan village of approximately 300 residents, life goes on much as it has for decades; with a simple lifestyle based around subsistence living.
Including Yenwaupnor, the Dampier Strait area contains a total of 9 villages, each comprised of approximately 100 to 300 inhabitants. Without a doubt, children under 18 represent the majority of the local population; educated adults tend to migrate to cities (Wasai and Sorong) to look for livelihoods in order to send money back to their family and village. Some adults who stay in the villages occupy the very few political and administrative positions (head of villages, secretaries, teachers etc…). However, in the villages, most adults don’t have a “paid job” as we know it, but rather live simply; fishing for nutrition and participating in the construction and maintenance of the village infrastructure (building long boats, houses, jetties etc…). Each village has its own school and church, and some have very basic running water systems. Although waste management is still almost non-existent, the Dampier Strait villages are remarkably clean and most beaches and streets are relatively free of plastic. This is partly due to the small populations, as well as plastic waste being regularly collected by the women in each village and then either burnt or buried. Unfortunately throught West Papua and Indonesia, waste management infrastructure is extremely limited, or in many cases, non-existant.
Here at Papua Explorers, we have a very close relationship and exist in a tight symbiosis with the village of Yenwaupnor. Being in an area as remote as this, it is important to us to work with the local community in order to support the people whose land and seas we are operating within. Currently, 50% of our staff come from Yenwaupnor, these locals work with us in the kitchen and restaurant, housekeeping, carpentry, and as boat crew, captains and of course dive guides. The majority of our local staff have been trained here at the resort (‘from scratch’) and have now acquired a variety workplace skills and a varying levels of English language and comprehension. Working at the resort also enables many villagers to stay with, and support their families without having to relocate elsewhere. Our relationship with the village of Yenwaupnor is one we very much appreciate, and we are very grateful for the support and co-operation provided in all of our endeavours.
In return we do our best to support Yenwaupnor, and other villages within the area, in order to help enable a better livelihood for the community. We regularly supply the village (and other villages nearby) with goods such as vegetables, rice and fuel, and continually provide support and assistance in social and family issues (transportation to Wasai and Sorong, support in cases of passing, wedding, traditional events etc..). We also provide assistance to improve the sanitation and infrastructure of the village including building school toilets, well digging etc.
Our symbiotic relationship with the village, and the logistical and economic support we have provided has enabled the community to prosper, whilst retaining the traditional way of life.
We encourage all of our guests to visit Yenwaupnor during their stay, to meet the wonderful people of the village and gain further understanding of life in a traditional Papuan village, here in Raja Ampat.