In August, all the men and 8 of the women of the Cofán community of Zabalo joined together to make the arduous full day canoe journey to the eastern boundary of their territory along the Peruvian border. The low water allowed for sightings of the endangered black caiman species, including a 15-foot long specimen sitting on a sand bar in the middle of the river. He seemed completely unperturbed by the three canoes full of people trying to get a better a look at him.
The 8 miles of Largato trail that the 50-person crew cleared the next day hadn't been visited for over seven years. It is important for the Cofanes to patrol their territory that encompasses over 1 million acres of Amazonian forest to project against illegal poaching, mining, and deforestation. In this case, the whole community decided to volunteer to go, and the global giving project covered the gas for the canoes, which cost $900. The municipal government paid for their food. In other instances, local park guards are employed.