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.