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

Friday, November 11, 2011


The Pump is Here! & A Whole New Challenge Is Underway

4 months ago, GVI Amazon volunteers and staff fought it out in an epic battle- boys vs girls- 10 challenges over 24 hours, where the winners in the end were the kids at Rio Bueno.

Rio Bueno (also known as Fuerzas Unidas) is a tiny community situated on the western border of the Yachana Reserve. It consists only of a small collection of wooden houses, 2 little shops selling not much beyond a cold Coke, and a tiny one-classroom school, nestled amongst a number of farming fincas along the banks of the Rio (river) Bueno.

GVI first started teaching English at Rio Bueno in November 2010 and has since then become a growing success with usually 11 shy but enthusiastic kids aged 6-12, and their lovely local teacher, Martha (whose own children are also in her class)

The kids were being taught in a tiny school situated down a long, muddy trail whilst they were having a new school built with better amenities right in the community centre. Almost finished, it would still be a long time before they could move into their new school (over a year!) as they did not have a water pump to supply the school with running water. GVI staff and volunteers decided to help the community out and raise some money towards the purchase of a water pump through the 24 Hour Survey and Staff Slave-for-a-Day.

And what a water pump did we purchase! Last expedition two of us went with el Presidenté Waulter and his father to the small town of Loreto where Waulter picked out a very snazzy, diesel powered pump powerful enough to pump water from a stream over 50m away. Waulter looked like a proud new father caressing the pump home in the back of a taxi, and excited that his community’s children were able to move into their new school sooner.

Since then we have had the community to Base Camp for a big lunch (around 40 people!) where volunteers set up a carnival atmosphere with lots of fun and activities for the kids including achiote face painting. GVI were also kindly invited up to Rio Bueno where we were taken for a walk with Waulter through one of their beautiful fincas and then down the Rio Bueno itself, ending with tilapia and plantain cooked in banana leaves on the fire. An awesome day out.

We’d like to thank all volunteers and staff and their families and friends who kindly donated money, time, sweat and/or sleep for this to happen for the kids. Good work everyone!

And yet, while Rio Bueno has their new pump, there are currently many other schools and education projects where GVI works in the Amazon that desperately need our help. Seeing this need firsthand, GVI Amazon is pleased to announce that our Charitable Trust permanent focus will be rural education in the Amazon, allowing us to fundraise to support all manner of education initiatives and schools where we work. From simple things like supplies and books to larger projects like high school scholarships and sponsorship of student-produced texts & guidebooks, GVI Amazon will be there to help, but only with YOUR support! See our official Charitable Trust page here for more info:, AND….



Since the 1st Challenge was such a massive success for our Charitable Trust project, the big-hearted, hard-working crew of volunteers, interns & staff currently on base have devised another, possibly even more intense challenge to raise money for our project. 24 Hours – 24 Challenges – 2 Teams – 1 Winner (the students!). Dec 5th & 6th, 2011. Keep watching the blog as we post more details on the challenges themselves (incluing a cook-off!) as we get closer to the date.

Please check out our fundraising page here and donate to help us forward our dream of a better future for kids in the Amazon:

Donate now!!!

Jasmine Rowe, GVI Amazon Base Manager