By Rebecca Bell - Executive Administrative Assistant-LRFF/CR
Bienvenido Cruz w/Alfredo Acosta-Tribal Council
We continue to work closely with the Maleku people for such as the Río Sol reforestation project. We are carrying out much valuable work involving this tiny tribe of 600, down from their initial 6000 members before the 19th century massacre of these indigenous people for their rubber trees during which time much of their ancestral land was taken from them.
These lands passed into the hands of non-indigenous farmers who deforested it for cattle farming. LRFF and the Maleku are reforesting the land they live on and we’re buying back the rest to be reforested as acquired. The Tribal Council, that governs the new communal lands, needs a meeting place. Presently we are borrowing venues costing us precious time to set up and move equipment and people to each venue.
Furthermore, the current Rancho has suffered greatly this year due to excessive rainfall in the area. During one visit, there were 2 inches of water covering the earth floor, making it impossible to hold meetings there.
LRFF is hoping to be able to present a new Rancho Bienvenido (welcome ranch) to the Maleku for Christmas. With a total build time of just 10 days, this is a viable option, however we are still in need of donations.
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