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Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Causes > Crowdfunding > Crowdfunder: Peru-based couple bring their passion for conservation and helping indigenous locals plant a new future for Peruvian Amazon Basin

Crowdfunder: Peru-based couple bring their passion for conservation and helping indigenous locals plant a new future for Peruvian Amazon Basin

LatinaLista — Longtime Peru-based LatinaLista contributor Isabel Guerra wrote us saying that she and her husband, professional photographer, Jose Enrique, had decided to do their part to help save one of the world’s most important environmental treasures that literally sits at their doorstep — the Amazon Rainforest. Isabel and her husband want to recover 15 hectares of rainforest in the Peruvian Amazon Basin. Their goal is to reforest and recover these 15 hectares (about 37 acres) that have been abandoned after too many years of monocultivation of coca (leaves) crops.

Below are the details of the Indiegogo campaign.

Campaign: A miracle for Los Milagros

Amazon Rainforest's newest conservationists Isabel and her husband Jose Enrique.
Amazon Rainforest’s newest conservationists Isabel and her husband Jose Enrique.

We are Isabel (Peruvian) and Jose Enrique (Spanish), a marriage of a professional photographer and a college professor who care deeply for the environment and for conservation. We have legally acquired 15 hectares of land in Aucayacu, in Los Milagros, a settlement located in the Alto Huallaga Valley in the Peruvian Amazon basin.

Our current dream and main project here covers three areas:

Reforestation.
Sustainable agriculture.
Ecotourism.

We want to recover the degraded rainforest and its soil, as well as develop sustainable crops, such as cocoa and coffee beans, and start ecotourism activities. This land has been abandoned for some 10 years, after many years of coca leaf production. Los Milagros (the name means “Miracles”) is a poor peasant community striving to progress and leave poverty behind without growing coca again.

We are being advised by professionals from the Universidad Agraria de la Selva (National Agrarian University of the Jungle) and have already started work.
This fundraising campaign aims to raise enough funds to just start working on the land and make our first-stage goals happen as soon as possible. Our long-range goal is to get our land’s legal status changed to be recognized as a Private Conservation Area.

What do we want to do?

Recover degraded rainforests and soils, and to preserve the remaining big trees.

Whatdowedo1

Recover agricultural soils in order to develop sustainable crops of cacao and coffee beans.

whatwedo2

Involve local population with ecotourism and experiential tourism activities, for their own benefit.

whatdowedo3

What do we HAVE to do?

  • Build a barbed-wire fence (almost 3km length) to protect the area from poachers and illegal loggers.
  • Reforestation with 2,500 native species trees, such as Ormosia coccinea, Cedrela odorata, Ceiba pentandra, Cedrelinga cateniformis, Capirona decorticans, Schizolobiumamazonicum, among others.
  • Sow 1,000 “guava” trees (Inga sp.), a species recommended by specialists to nurture and recover soils damaged by years of monoculture of coca.
  • Plantation of sustainable crops (cocoa and coffee beans). The long-term goal is achieving in the long term an Organic Certification.
  • Share knowledge and techniques in agriculture and zootechnics with local communities.
  • Clean, improve and maintain access to roads and hiking trails.
  • Construct (using traditional materials and techniques) of some four cabins, a shed and a pit latrine.
  • Install systems to collect and store water from rain (during the rainy season).
  • Install a solar energy system.
Photo: Jose Enrique
Photo: Jose Enrique

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Social/Environmental Impact

Empower local communities with knowledge and techniques in sustainable agriculture, contributing to raise their standard of living and to reduce peer pressure to return to growing coca.

Recovery of native forests, in order to help carbon sequestration and to recover habitats for endangered native species.

Organize diverse ecotouristism and other environmental awareness activities.

How can you help?

Choose one of our featured options. If you actually cannot contribute with a monetary donation, that doesn’t mean you cannot help:

Spread the word among your friends and social media contacts!

Use Indiegogo’s sharing tools!

The campaign’s goal is $20,000.

This home video shows the different zones of our land, since the most well-preserved forest until the agricultural area where we will grow guava, cocoa and coffee.

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