Camino Verde

Camino Verde is a 501-c-3 non-profit organization dedicated to: * Protecting and understanding biodiversity in the Peruvian Amazon. * Protecting indigenous rights, autonomy, and wisdom. * Spreading sustainable ways of life and encouraging fair, sustainable development. Our mission is to plant trees and encourage others to do the same.
Apr 15, 2014

Times of change in the Peruvian Amazon

There are few spectacles as visibly transformative as the rainy season in the Amazon. In our home in Tambopata, Peru, intense rains can change the course of rivers and alter landscapes literally overnight. These last few months have brought the most potent rainy season in the last half a century to our area, and the feeling of transformation is still palpable. The highest river rise in 50 years has changed the face of Tambopata, part of the extraordinary cycle of life and death that is ongoing in the rainforest.

But currently there are other winds of transformation in our area as well. Illegal gold miners in our Madre de Dios region have taken to the streets of the department's capital of Puerto Maldonado, demanding the government make laws more lenient and permissive to their mercury-heavy and ecologically heavy-handed gold mining. The current laws are poorly enforced, and are somewhat cursory in their ecological protections. As I write, our city is paralyzed by a miners' strike that has closed schools and access routes and shut down all commerce. In the uncertain scales of environmental justice balance the needs of thousands of working men and women in the mining zones, and the ecological integrity of one of the most bio-diverse regions on Earth.

For us at Camino Verde, there is a remarkable feeling of calm through these storms. Our business is planting trees and conserving forests, and happily things are business as usual at our center. One of the most effective and efficient teams of reforestation and agroforestry workers in our region is actively restoring degraded ecosystems and helping keep the green lung of our planet green.

Even so, the river rise meant that several hundred of our trees were killed by these rare water levels. A lesson well learned-- to replant the affected areas with water-loving trees, but we need your help to do that. We are seeking support from our donors now in order to bounce back from our losses, small in comparison to so many of the farmers in our region who lost whole fields of crops to the river. Please help us in this work alongside our region´s farmers, to plant trees resilient to the wildly varying conditions of our region.

Despite the intensity of this time of year for reasons ecological and social, as ever I'm filled with a sense of gratitude for the life of the forests of the Amazon. Recently I had a chance to greet a unique visitor to our reforestation center, a scarlet macaw who came to land outside our kitchen and was even willing to grab onto my hand. The astonishing gifts of life are with us always.

Warm greetings from Tambopata,

Dec 30, 2013

We've reached our goal! Now help us grow again

One of our partner farmers showing off a tree
One of our partner farmers showing off a tree

Dear Friends of Camino Verde,

Happy holidays!  Thank you so much for including Camino Verde in your giving in 2013.  Since our organization is small by design, your contributions make a huge impact on what we're able to accomplish.  2013 has been a great year for us, and 2014 is looking to be even more exciting.  Thanks for helping us plant trees and save virgin Amazonian rainforest!

You may have noticed that our project on GlobalGiving is very close to reaching it's fundraising goal!  This is exciting news, and we couldn't have done it without you.  I want to give you a heads up that because we are soon to be reaching our goal, we have posted a new project on GlobalGiving, and we'd love to have your continuing support through this transition.  It will mean a few clicks to switch your donations over to the new project.  Please take a second to check out the new project page now.

In the meantime, we're celebrating the successes we've had through our partnership with GlobalGiving.  Thanks to your support, GlobalGiving has labeled Camino Verde a Superstar organization. It's their highest rank!  Here are a few more amazing facts related to our time on GG so far:

•Since our first donation was received through GlobalGiving on November 29, 2010, we've received over 900 donations totalling $50,000 

•Contributions through GlobalGiving have helped us to plant 5,000 trees and save 200 more acres of Amazon rainforest.  It doesn't take a math wiz to see that we dramatically upped our initial project goals.

•Great beginnings-- When Camino Verde signed up for GlobalGiving, we ranked in the top 10 new projects on the site, again thanks to your support and donations

•In order to keep up with your support, we expanded our project budget and goals three times in the past three years.  Finally it feels like it's time to retire this awesome project and start a new one! Join us in making the new project on GlobalGiving as big a success as our previous one has been.

•Did you know? Camino Verde also has another project on GlobalGiving as well: Turning Carbon Footprints Into Healthy Soils is our response to linking agricultural solutions for tropical farmers to exciting and practical technologies for carbon capture.  Passionate about climate change? Check this project out.

Thank You once again for your support of our Amazon restoration work.

Wishing you and your loved ones a wonderful new year,

Robin Van Loon

Executive Director

Camino Verde

www.caminoverde.org

www.facebook.com/CaminoVerdePeru

Seedlings arriving to be planted
Seedlings arriving to be planted
A volunteer getting ready to plant a tree
A volunteer getting ready to plant a tree
Discussing the tree planting campaign
Discussing the tree planting campaign
Taking seedlings into the field
Taking seedlings into the field
Planting in the field
Planting in the field
A volunteer getting ready to plant a tree
A volunteer getting ready to plant a tree
Meditating on new life- planting a tree
Meditating on new life- planting a tree
Dec 26, 2013

Camino Verde 2014

Dear friends,

What if everyone in the world realized that the best way to celebrate this season was to plant Christmas trees?  With the close of one year and the coming of another, it's a wonderful time to reflect on where we've been and where we're going, who we've been and who we're becoming.  Thanks to your support, Camino Verde has had an extraordinarily fruitful 2013, and we're looking forward to all that 2014 will bring.  When you plan your holiday giving, we're grateful for your consideration as a worthy project to support.  We, and the trees, thank you!

A year in review

In 2013, Camino Verde broke new ground in several areas.  Here's a few of the highlights--

-In February, we planted 900 rosewood seedlings in the native community of Brillo Nuevo, Loreto, Peru in the parcels of indigenous farmers looking to establish a sustainable income from tree crops. (Photo 1, below.)  This brought the total number we planted in the first quarter of 2013 to 2,100 trees

-In April we inaugurated our new buildings at the Camino Verde reforestation center.  From the ground up, these new lodgings for visitors, volunteers, and staff are at the vanguard of sustainable architecture for the rainforest (Photo 2, below).  Thanks for making our new home so sturdy!  (And come visit.)

-In June we completed work on our tree nursery, which now allows us to propagate 2500 tree seedlings a year.  (Photo 3.)

-In November, with the first rains of the season we planted another 750 trees, our final tree planting of the calendar year.  These 750 trees represent a half dozen of the Amazon's most endangered, over-exploited trees.  Thanks to Carpe Diem Education for once again supporting our work in the world with volunteer visits and carbon offsetting donations!

What comes next?

In 2014, Camino Verde will ally with a diverse range of individuals and organizations to help transform our reforestation center into a world-class model farm of tropical agroforestry and sustainable agriculture.  Here are a few of the pieces of the puzzle to look forward to...

--Gorka Atxuara from the Basque country in Spain is an expert in bio-fertilizers.  Think compost tea: rich plant nutrient formulas that include abundant beneficial micro-organisms. In 2014, Gorka will help Camino Verde set up a small production facility for use in our tree nursery.

--Biochar!  In 2014 we're gearing up to step up the implementation of this vital technology on our farm.  Biochar improves soils and is an important carbon sink!  Check out our previous reports for more information.

--Allies from Earth University and the University of Guelph are helping us to implement solar power, biogas digestion, and other amazing green technologies on our farm.  With their help, we are aiming to become a living example of what's possible for our neighbors and farmer partners.

--And, of course, more planting trees!

Once again, we're grateful for your support in 2013.  Thanks for helping us to plant a greener world, one tree at a time.  

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