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

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Food for Thought

Here at GVI Amazon the staff and volunteers all work pretty hard. We are out in the forest nearly every day busying ourselves with surveys, mapping work and TEFL, so when the bell rings for breakfast, lunch or dinner everyone’s built up a healthy appetite.

Without refrigeration and about 30 mouths to feed, the issue of ordering food, storing it and rationing it (let alone cooking it!), is quite a logistical exercise.

The GVI Amazon expedition is one of our most remote expeditions with the nearest large town being located a few hours away from camp. This means there’s no quick duck to the shops for any low supplies! Our food is shopped for and sent by a lovely lady in a jungle town called Tena five hours away. Fresh fruit and vegetables come once a week and dry food such as pasta, biscuits and coffee come once a fortnight. Careful planning and forethought is involved by staff in order to ration out supplies and use fruit and veggies before they turn bad in this hot and humid environment.

We like to be as socially and culturally aware as possible. Bananas, plantain, citris fruits and yuca are grown for us by a local farmer who lives near the reserve, and fresh eggs, bread and cheese are bought from a little Saturday market in the tiny community of Agua Santa located a 10 minute canoe ride away from the GVI Amazon base. We also try to cook food local to the area we live in, such as patacones (smashed, fried plantain chunks!), yuca and babacos (a strange Ecuadorian fruit).

It’s important to support the local people and communities by buying local produce and to be aware of where your food comes from. We hope that in the time our volunteers stay here they understand these relationships and practice them after their return home.

Jasmine Rowe – GVI Amazon Field Staff