Out of the Rainforest

Posted in Environment, Our News, Uncategorized.

Sam with a ParrotEarlier this month, we told you about our Sam’s trip to the Peruvian Amazon. To help with our Yorkshire Rainforest Project, she was off to meet with the people on the ground who we’re working with, and to stay with the Ashaninka – the communities who live in the rainforest. After so long with no contact (she was in the rainforest after all) we’re rather relieved to hear she’s alive and well and back in Lima. Here’s what she had to say:

“Wow, what an amazing trip! From being thrown into a bustling, congested, polluted Lima to sleeping through a drive over the Andes, then waking up to a vast, cloud covered, lush green rainforest.

Sailing down the Rio Ene and through the Amazon is nothing short of spectacular – you see life in abundance and it was clear on arrival at the first community, Puerto Ashaninka, that this is not taken for granted. We were offered (literally) the fruits of the forest, from coconuts to oranges to yucca (an Ashaninka diet staple), fish and samani, a small boar.

And of course the first bowl of the infamous ‘spit beer’, masato, was passed around. I have to say it tastes a little better than I imagined it would – but it comes in all sorts of strengths so it's wise to take caution. This community, as with each one we visited, was generous, kind and keen to make the most of their natural surroundings – incredible to see when back in England we are so far removed from the source of our food, housing, water etc. And yet it became clear from early on that the threats to their very way of being (one Ashaninka child, Nike, told me that to be Ashaninka means to be a person of the forest) are very real and getting more serious. It was enlightening, though, the work that the Ashaninka are putting in to combat these threats and look after their home.

CARE, the team on the ground who we're working with, have done a lot of work in a short space of time on the project. It’s great to be able to see some results – especially from the sustainable livelihoods programme.

Look out for lots more info on this and many other things when I get back to Harrogate next week!

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