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

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Thoughts from a new intern...

The GVI field station was purpose built and so the facilities far exceeded any of my expectations and the location is peaceful. Days until the start of the expedition were spent cleaning and preparing the camp for the new injection of volunteers, bringing up the food supply. John and I were learning the ropes of the base camp mechanics and the anticipating the exciting sights and sounds the forest offers and wondering what the expedition had in store for us.

On our first evening the sounds of the rainforest - the frogs and birds making some crazy noises around us- lured us into the forest for a night walk. We were lucky enough to see some real treats, including a black and yellow banded snail eating snake right by the path, several poison dart frogs, tapir tracks on the river bed and a number of large spiders and insects hanging off the foliage.

In our first few days alone we also went to Puerto Rico, the closest local community to the GVI Amazon base camp, of 19 families, about a 20 minute walk from base camp. The walk there affords some excellent birding opportunities and we saw several Chestnut- eared Aracaris (Pteroglossus castanotis), a White-throated Toucan (Ramphastos tucanus), oropendulae and a woodpecker. We sat in the village store chatting to the shopkeeper who told us some legends of 20 metre snakes and enquired about organising a minga (community work party).

By Saturday afternoon we were ready to greet the new party of 16 intrepid volunteers…