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, April 6, 2010

The Return of the Intern

New phase, new volunteers, new additions to the staff; after a short break away from camp it felt like all change in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Not only that, both my fellow intern Laura and I were returning to camp for our work placement to join the GVI Amazon staff team. Any fears we may have had about the transition to our new roles or how we might fit-in quickly dissipated when we met the new volunteers; they are a really great group – enthusiastic, motivated and already settled in camp, thoroughly entering into the spirit of things. Take as evidence ‘Camp Cluedo’ (just think of the game and transfer locations and weapons to a rainforest setting). By day three, half the staff and volunteers – including yours truly – are already dead. Most deadly though has proven our erstwhile Country Director Karina, who has already mercilessly slain two volunteers, with the likelihood of more to follow.

With training and introductory sessions almost complete, our focus is beginning to shift to the coming weeks of community and conservation work, and I for one can’t wait to see what they will have in store, with two new survey methods for birds and amphibians being launched, in addition to the ongoing bird, amphibian/ reptile and butterfly projects, as well as TEFL lessons and other community activities. It is going to be really busy for sure, but rewarding too: I’m itching to get out into the reserve and it’s surroundings to help continue the fantastic work everyone does out here. To put it succinctly: it’s good to be back.

Tom Smith - GVI Amazon Intern, Jan-Jun 2010