The End of an Era

After over 6 years of intensive research and community development work in and around the Yachana Reserve, GVI Amazon is coming to a close. We have finished our final research project (look forward to our Road Effects paper, coming soon!) and are handing over the project to our partner, The Yachana Foundation. They will continue to maintain and monitor the reserve, using it as an hands-on science education center for students -- we're very excited to see what fabulous things this next generation of scientists find! For more detail on GVI Amazon's closure, and our accomplishments over the years, please read on...
GVI Amazon Closure Statement

Friday, April 24, 2009

Fresh Coconuts and Chicken - Can It Be True?

Wednesday morning and another new experience, a visit downstream from GVI base camp to Piter’s Farm. Piter lives in a local community consisting of about 30 families in total. They mainly cultivate rice, corn, coffee and cacao beans. It was a great opportunity to learn a little bit more about how the locals in this region live on a day to day basis.

The area surrounding this little community is a great spot for some good birding! During an extremely wet walk, (most of the volunteers ended up thigh deep in water at some point!), a number of birds were spotted, including the large Hoatzin (Opisthocomus hoazin). After the walk, the volunteers were treated to fresh coconut, straight from the tree – delicious! They were then given a little demonstration of how chocolate powder is produced from the magical cacao fruit! The beans are first removed from the fruit, then dried in the sun, roasted over a fire, peeled and finally ground, to produce the rich powder. Milk, sugar and cinnamon were then added to make the most amazing hot chocolate the group had ever tasted. Piter’s family then spoiled the volunteers with a fantastic three course meal, including chicken (meat is always a treat for those carnivores amongst the group)! No refrigeration at base camp means meat is not a menu option whilst in the rainforest! The volunteers could hardly move after the meal, it had been so plentiful and delicious! So, thank you Piter and family for such an amazing experience!

On Friday we are all going to Hector’s Island for a long weekend. More news to follow soon…