As I have repeatedly mentioned, we have combined our project for the elderly with our program to protect the Amazon rainforest. It is so important to get this message of conservation out to the world, and we are succeeding through our emphasis on social media, principally right now, TikTok. But though we are reaching the world, we are also getting to the people who live in the region. The “crazy gringo” is well known locally and students and families are following me and what we are doing through our videos. We are doing them all in Spanish; the language of the people who are directly involved in the projection of their rainforest. To give you an example of the impact, we now have 581,000 FOLLOWERS! We have 4.1 million LIKES. And our videos have been viewed over 50 MILLION times! That is an impact! Thanks for your continued support of the work of Yachana. You can find the videos at firstname.lastname@example.org Douglas
In our world today we all have to be flexible and innovative. Things for our elderly project were finally opening up, but now the Municipal government does not have the funds to cover their part of the program which included transportation and food. So, all we can do is hold that project in stand-by. But, that has not kept us from moving forward in other areas.
Conservation and education are two of the most important pillars of our foundation. We have been protecting 1,000 hectares (2,500 acres) of rainforest for nearly 30 years. We are now using this land in an interesting project called Footprint For Life (yachana.com/nature ) as a way to help raise funds without touching the forest to allow us to continue protecting this land and hopefully acquire additional rainforest for conservation. In education, we are offering a new program that will start early next year where students from a nearby school will be able to walk to Yachana after school for practical activities. Our philosophy is “learn by doing”, and this program will reinforce that. It will include everything from their fixing their own lunch in one of our kitchens to then be involved in agriculture, mechanics and learning English. Also, a new component of what we are doing in education is the production of a series of videos on life in the jungle and world climate issues in a simple format to understand. This is available on most of the social media platforms (yachana.com/videos). To focus on these directions, we have a new GlobalGiving project supporting the conservation, education and videos. (https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/saving-the-amazon-with-your-help/ ) So please check out this new GlobalGiving project and see how you can be involved. We have been able to modify and develop new ideas thanks to your interest. We hope you will continue to support the Yachana Foundation in our work to protect the Amazon. Remember, it is for our climate and the local people. Thanks, Douglas
We in Ecuador are having to live with the same ups and downs of the pandemic as the rest of the world. As a result, it has forced us to be very flexible. We have not been able to receive the number of older adults from the region as planned. But over the past few months we have had a half a dozen groups of folks come, through the coordination of the municipal government, really just to “check us out” and see if they like the program. And for the government types to see the reaction. The overwhelming response is SI! Even though Ecuador has the highest rate of vaccinations of any country in South America, the Ministry of Health is still limiting vulnerable groups from traveling, but we hope this will be lifted soon. But it has not kept us from continuing to make improvements in the program with our emphasis on sustainability and add activities that will be of a lot of interest to the groups. So once again, I want to thank you all for your continued support of our program. The elderly program is actually more important now than before by providing activities, things to think about and anticipate for a group of people whose mobility has been very limited for too long. I will keep you posted as things develop. Thanks again, Douglas
I would like to thank all of our supporters for the tremendous support we received over the past four months for our project for the elderly in our part of the Amazon. As the director of the project, I am 78 years old and acutely aware of the needs and challenges of many elderly people in this very rural region. It is different than an urban environment in that there are not many options for this age group. We are getting everything ready here at Yachana to receive the groups. One of the big differences of what we are offering from municipal government projects is the diversity of activities. We are in the “campo” with agricultural, culinary, horticulture, mechanical and other projects that people can be involved in; where they can move around in a natural, open environment.
We will be providing breakfast and lunch and are putting a major emphasis on offering healthy food. We produce much of our own food: free range chickens and eggs, vegetables, yuca (a root like a potato), plantain and much more. We will be working with groups from two provinces; Loreto in Orellana and Chonta Punta in Napo. What has surprised us is the demand; there are approximately 400 people who want to participate! We will receive them in groups of 25 to 30 each day, five days a week, because that is all we can manage. We, like the rest of the world, are having to deal with all the issues of the coronavirus. It has delayed our project some, but everything is still on track. We tentatively have a “test group” of 15 elderly visiting on Saturday 3 April, but recent virus restrictions may cause that to be cancelled. But we hope to be up and fully operating shortly. I will keep you posted as things progress. Thanks again for your support, Douglas
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