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Photo by Tom Pablo, South America Semester.

Amazon excursion!

Dear friends and families,

The group is currently enjoying day three of their week-long village stay in Boca Pariamanu,  a native Amahuaca community located 2 hours by boat from Puerto Maldonado, upriver on the Las Piedras River.  During this time, the group is collaborating with Fauna Forever, a conservation and biological research group that has spent many years documenting the flora and fauna in and around the Tambopata National Reserve in the Peruvian Amazon.  Students have been learning about the biodiversity in the region from Chris Kirkby, Fauna Forever founder and director, while supporting the activities of Chris’s research team.  During afternoons and evenings, the group has been enjoying soccer games with Boca Pariamanu community members, and learning about Amahuaca culture and way of life.

The Puerto Maldonado region is a confluence of extreme biodiversity, encroaching mining operations, waves of migration as highland populations move to the area with hopes of economic prosperity, and native lowland indigenous groups struggling to come to terms with the conflicting forces of development and deforestation on the one hand, and cultural and environmental preservation on the other.  This backdrop offers enduring lessons in issues around natural resource use, territory, and cultural resilience in the Amazon rainforest.

The group has limited to no phone service, but are working on sending off some Yak updates soon!  The instructors report that the group is healthy and enjoying this new phase of the itinerary after their time in the highlands.