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

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Minga at Puerto Rico

GVI Amazon base camp was quiet on Friday morning as the volunteers had left for Hectors Island ridiculously early. I’ll admit I smiled as I heard the rain at 4.15am when they’d have been waiting on the road for the bus to Coca. Me, Andy and Sam headed to Puerto Rico to help with a minga, a communal work session, at a slightly more reasonable 7am. We ended up in a field behind the community where an enclosure was going to be built for the school kids to grow some vegetables. First an area had to be cleared, most of it had been done but a small amount of brush remained. The border was marked out with large stakes then huge stretches of bamboo were cut, carted, then tied to the top of the stakes.

The temperature got higher but the work still continued and by midmorning we were inserting small stakes between the bamboo to make the fence – taking care to make sure it was chicken-proof of course. Standing back to look at them there were distinct sections with a slight lean but I’m sure it’ll do the job! By this point it was stupidly hot and we all collapsed in the shade of the school to recuperate with juice and biscuits. The kids, after investigating Sam and Andy’s tattoos, discovered my camera and crowded round for as many piccies as they could get in, piling on top of each other to get a look at themselves on the screen. We eventually escaped and returned to work to find that we only needed to empty sacks of soil onto the beds ready for the kids to start planting. All in all it was hard work but rewarding, we could definitely see what our hard work had achieved.

Amy Dutton, GVI Amazon Scholar October - December 2009