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

Monday, April 13, 2009

A Visit to the Local Market

The weekends here in the rainforest normally involve a bit of social interaction with the world outside of the GVI expedition, what with the football already mentioned. Saturdays often include a visit to Agua Santa, the closest, local weekly market. The first Saturday at base was pretty hectic. In the morning, the day panned out as usual, up and 6am and breakfast at 6.30am. By 7.15am everyone was ready to set out for their visit to the local market, which would take a couple of hours of walking before they could experience all that Agua Santa had to offer.

The eager group headed off out along the Ridge Trail (named after the ridge that creates fantastic views at the end of the trail of broad stretches of jungle and of course proves to be a top bird watching spot as well!). The first part of the trail was fairly straight forward, but things started to turn a little messy as the trail dropped down and the group aimed to have a peak at the swimming hole. This is a slow running section of river where volunteers can come in small groups to have a refreshing dip in the water - nice rainforest refreshment!

The walk matched almost every expectation of the total Amazon experience; trekking through grassland, tropical rainforest, boggy marshes, streams and balancing over planks of wood and logs high above waterways below - brilliant! On arrival at Agua Santa the volunteers were gasping for a cold drink, which is always a welcome treat after adventuring for a couple of hours in the humidity and heat of the rainforest. Luckily, after browsing around the market we did not have to retrace our steps, instead returned to the GVI base camp by local canoe - what luxury! Certainly not your average visit to a local market, but the volunteers are learning quickly that there's always an experience to be had around these parts. Welcome to the Amazon!