Rare has launched 11 campaigns in the Andes to help protect vital watersheds as well as safeguard important habitat for endangered species. This story is really about the journey of water from the páramo grasslands in Cajas National Park through the dairy cattle communities upstream to the downstream farmers and water users all the way to Cuenca, the third largest city in Ecuador. Rare Conservation Fellow Marco Bustamante scripted the lyrics to this lovely song that accompanies this slideshow that follows water through breathtaking vistas to the people who rely on the rivers and the relationships that are developing to protect the watershed.
If you’d like to learn more about how Rare is protecting cloud forests and endangered species in the Andes with reciprocal watershed agreements, I highly recommended checking out this Q&A.
Here are the lyrics to the song:
The Páramo of the Yanuncay I was born in the mountains I am the páramo and I am thinking of you I protect water in a place Where the sky is high And I bring it to you via the river Yanuncay
You must protect the grasslands They are the heritage of your people Therefore everyone should Respect the environment So that you will always have water in your home
Chorus But this land cannot survive If the cows and calves Continue to cross the river and trample the land The spongy black soil Cannot endure this abuse And it will no longer be able to secure the water that it harbors
I only ask that you help me Because I tried to no avail Protect our hills Where the cows and calves roam
Here are the lyrics to the song in Spanish:
EL PÁRAMO DEL YANUNCAY EN LAS MONTAÑAS NACÍ YO SOY EL PÁRAMO Y PIENSO EN TI YO GUARDO EL AGUA EN UN LUGAR CUANDO DEL CIELO YA NO CAE Y LLEGA A TI POR EL RÍO YANUNCAY
EL PAJONAL HAY QUE CUIDAR ES PATRIMONIO DE LA COMUNIDAD POR ESO YA TODA LA GENTE ESTA CUIDANDO EL MEDIO AMBIENTE PARA QUE EL AGUA NUNCA FALTE EN TU HOGAR
CORO PERO ESTA TIERRA NO PODRÁ SOBREVIVIR SI LAS VACAS Y TERNEROS SIEMPRE CRUZAN POR AQUÍ EL ESPONJOSO SUELO NEGRO YA NO RESISTE EL PISOTEO Y NO PODRÁ GUARDAR EL AGUA QUE HAY EN MI
SOLO TE PIDO QUE ME AYUDES PORQUE YO TRATÉ Y NO PUDE PROTEGER A NUESTROS CERROS DE VACONAS Y BECERRROS
SI DE LA TIERRA NECESITAS TODO TE DA NADA TE QUITA SIN EL AGUA NO PODREMOS PROGRESAR
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