In the last three months, much progress has been made on our project in Pampa Hermosa, Peru. Back in January our new Lima-based Pampa Hermosa project coordinator Norma traveled to the Pampa Hermosa project site with Angie, a Peruvian architect student, to gather information about the ecolodge site in Calabaza for the Austin chapter of Architects Without Borders. The information gathered included site boundaries, soil sample, and possible ecolodge location. Furthermore, Norma held a meeting with community members where they expressed their opinions for building materials and design layout. With this information, Architects Without Borders can begin to design an environmentally sound, community-minded ecolodge. Rainforest Partnerhsip has been and continues to be in constant contact with Architects Without Borders in the design process.
Other developments of models implementation of project management include setting up a volunteer program for the project site. With the groundwork laid out for the screening and training of new volunteers, Rainforest Partnership is beginning to recruit volunteers to go down to the site for a few weeks to share their skills with the community and to learn from them. Some tasks of volunteers would include setting up basic infrastructure for ecotourism, holding educational workshops depending on volunteer’s expertise, and documenting the needs and expectations of the community. Other project management develops include establishing partnership relationships with local organizations. Norma has met with Swisscontact, who are interested in providing ecotourism workshops and setting up other forms of sustainable income generation. Norma has also set up workshops with the organization Manuela Ramos for female community members to create a tourist menu that incorporates local agricultural knowledge and customs.
Even though much has been accomplished, there is still more to be done to ready the community for ecotourism. Rainforest Partnership is in the process of helping the communities set up a formal profit sharing system for the money received from tourism to ensure fairness and equity in the communities. Furthermore, Gunnar Engblom from Kolibri Expeditions continues to bring in groups of birders to the stay in the hostel. The next step is to market to a wider audience, especially backpackers and other nature enthusiasts, to travel to this pristine, virtually untouched and unexplored area. It is truly a remarkable area for biodiversity that needs to be protected.
Thanks to your generous contributions the project can progress in a sustainable and community-minded way.
In the last three months, much progress has been made on our project in Pampa Hermosa, Peru. Back in October, the National University of Central Peru in Huancayo was granted a 40 year conservation concession in the Pampa Hermosa region where RP is working. The concession involves a total of around 6,000 hectares. RP is excited about the opportunity of being involved in a three way partnership with both the University of Central Peru and the communities of San Antonio and Calabaza. RP is currently working with both the communities and the university on the details of the partnership.
In our last project update, we mentioned that the community had just welcomed its first group of tourists. Since then, Gunnar Engbloom of Kolibri Expeditions has begun regularly bringing tourists to the community to stay for several days. As the project progresses, these types of tours will become even more frequent, establishing the area as a prime eco-tourism destination. In order to increase capacity for housing tourists, the municipal government has agreed to pay for 50% of the costs of renovating a local building in the community of San Antonio so that it can be used as a guest hostel. We are excited to see this level of commitment on behalf of the municipal government. With a new hostel in San Antonio, the communities will be able to handle a larger number of tourists on a regular basis.
In terms of the other necessary infrastructure for ecotourism, progress has been made on a waste disposal system for the communities of Calabaza and San Antonio. Eusebio, RP’s Project Coordinator in Pampa Hermosa, has helped the community devise a system for using compost pits to recycle organic materials. As for the inorganic materials, the community has devised a new system of collecting all the plastic items and selling them to be recycled in the city. This recycling system creates a great incentive for the community to not only make some extra money but also keep their community clean and beautiful. This is exciting news as it shows how dedicated the communities are to the environmental protection of their pristine land.
Thank you so much for your support of this project. Without you, none of this would be possible! By helping the communities of San Antonio and Calabaza establish their region as a prime ecotourism destination, you are making it more valuable for them to keep their forests standing.
By Anna Trela | Project coordinator in US for Pampa Hermosa
Eusebio, project leader in Pampa Hermosa on right
Rainforest Partnership is excited to report on the continuing progress of Phase 1 of our eco-tourism project in Pampa Hermosa in Amazonian Peru. This initial phase focuses on making improvements to infrastructure for basic ecotourism facilities in the communities of Calabaza and San Antonio. With the help of our community leader Eusebio, the community of Calabaza has readied the town and hostel for tourists. Eusebio, who is also the newly named ground project coordinator, has been leading a community-wide “beautification” project to pick up trash and repaint the buildings in town. The hostel in Calabaza, which is the unused room in the schoolhouse, has been set up for tourist use, and now includes furniture, beds, mattresses, and sheets, along with basic bathroom facilities. The community welcomed their first group of tourists on September 23rd. According to Gunnar Engblom, the founder and bird watching guide for Kolibri Expeditions, the tourists were very pleased with their stay.
This comment is very motivating to hear as our next steps is to help the community of San Antonio refurbish an existing structure for a new hostel in their town. Also Rainforest Partnership is going to train members in both communities on how to manage a successful eco-tourism hostel. It is important to note that community members have directly done all the labor work, since they understand how important sustainable eco-tourism is for the future of their livelihoods and their clouds forests.
Thank you for supporting the communities’ need and desire to maximize their potential. Since we are only in Phase 1, there is still much work to be done, such as furnishing both hostels, training both communities on health codes, trash collection, and eco-management, and marketing these communities to tourists. Nevertheless, in the long run, the development of this ecotourism site will prevent deforestation, provide reliable income, and preserve a rich and diverse ecosystem.
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