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Photo by Tom Pablo, South America Semester.

Boca Pariamanu

Without a watch, it was nearly impossible to tell the time during the day in the rainforest. We might have been walking 40 minutes or two hours. Occassionally, we would pass a pile of brazil nuts that the people of Boca Pariamanu had collected from the wild brazil nut trees. Occassionally, a worker would pass us on a ¨moto¨ on his way to collect that same harvest. One thing we knew, as we felt the air cool, was that we were getting deeper into the forest. However, our location was also impossible to deduce as the forest must have looked similiar to what it was 100 years: a vast, beautiful environement.

This timeless existence was due to the resolve of the Boca Pariamanu community to preserve their rainforest, by finding environmentally conscious ways to provide for themselves. Chris, from Fauna Forever, explained the processes that communities can use to take advantage of the forest whithout destroying it. At Boca Pariamanu, they utilise some of these approaches by harvesting the brazil nuts, which are both fairtrade and organic, as well as providing tourism experiences, including the walk that we took part in.

The community could have taken more effortless paths to meet their financial needs such as selling their forest for cattle production, which would have involved the deforestation of the land. However, they decided to take the long term approach by sustainably utilising the land and protecting it for future generations.  I admire their commitment to nature and I wish to bring back this mentality to my community.