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

Monday, April 30, 2012

First Night Adventure

Yesterday was my first day at GVI Amazon base camp after a two day journey from Quito (the capital of Ecuador) on local buses and a canoe. I had heard that the showers were cold here and I was dreading it. Around 9:30pm, I decided to it was time to take the plunge and go for a shower, as I wanted to go to bed soon. 

Going down the stairs to the showers, the only light brightening up my path was my head torch. I was being careful, looking around to make sure nothing dangerous was in my path. As soon as I got to the showers. I saw a snake on my right hidden from above by a dip in the ground.  It was curled up and not moving about two meters away from me!

I decided to postpone my shower and tell the staff team, as earlier that evening we had received a presentation entitled The Dangers of the Amazon, which included information about snakes. As soon as I told them about it, they quickly came down to assess the situation. 

It turns out the snake was the biggest Fer-De-Lance (Bothrops atrox) that had been seen on the reserve in recent years. This was indeed one of the deadly poisonous snakes that we had talked about in our presentation, so the staff went about catching it with tongs, putting it in a secure plastic bin and removing it from camp. I feel lucky I had the chance to see it, and on my first night at camp. I wonder what other adventures are in store….

Chrystine Cadieux, GVI Amazon volunteer, February-March 2012