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, March 16, 2012


The GVI Amazon 2012 Huaorani Jungle Challenge is now complete, 15 GVI Amazon volunteers and staff members made their way down muddy hills, across fast flowing rivers, up monstrous inclines, helped build part of a traditional house and paddled along a river in the depths of the Amazon rainforest. Thank you to all of the volunteers who took part and a massive thank you to everyone who has donated, so far we have raised a whopping £4363 (16/03/2012). If you haven’t donated yet and want to add your own contribution visit

Over the coming days we will be posting a blog from each day of the challenge written by our intrepid explorers. So, here is how the second day went…. and remember to check back every couple of days!

Phil B, Assistant Base Manager

Challenge Day 3 Blog

On Sunday the third day of our challenge we took part in a minga. This is when the whole community gathers for a project. This minga involved us building a whole new wall for their casa typica and starting to replace the leaves that make up the roof. We split into two groups. I was with Omene, the guide who had led us for the previous two days, looking for materials to build a wall including 7 tall skinny trees for support, lots of vines for string and the leaves from a huge palm for the wall its self. Whilst we set to work cutting down the small trees with machetes and pulling some vines straight off the trees, the locals brought down the huge palm in a matter of minutes with nothing but an old axe. It didn’t take long to finish and there was no problems except Mark, the intern who had been living there for three months, managed to get himself lost on the only trail, but next we had the gruelling task of carrying all the materials back to the casa typica, bear in mind the leaves from the palm were about 5m long, very heavy and the path got very steep. Next we had to get to work building the wall. This involved setting up the chopped trees along the side of the casa typica where the wall was going and then sitting down, eating popcorn and watching the huaorani easily (and Phil B not so easily) shimmy up the tree trunks and start attaching the leaves so they covered the entire side, making a beautiful traditional wall. We celebrated our achievement with a game of football on their pitch/swamp where we lost 6-5 after previously being 2-5 up. All in all it was a hard but absolutely brilliant day!

Tom Chester, Scholar