Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Never too many monkeys

One of my favourite activities here is to visit the Maikuchiga rehabilitation center.  For approximately the last 10 years  Sarah  Bennett  has been working to conserve and rehabilitate local fauna.  Most of her wards are victims of the pet trade that have either been confiscated or voluntarily handed over by owners who no longer can care for the monkeys.  Despite most of the animals coming from a background of abuse and neglect any one who visits is greeted by a number of curious faces.

No where else in the region will you have the chance to interact with so many species which currently number around 9.  Whether its the calming grooming of Puu a monk saki monkey , the playful chaos of the squirrel monkeys or the mischievous curiosity of the brown capuchins there is at least one resident that will bring a smile to your face.

Unfortunately the concept of conservation oriented tourism is not very widespread here in the region. We can only hope that the few companies leading the way in sustainable tourism will serve as an example for the many others who see  the forest as something to exploit rather than care for.  If you are interested in supporting the rehabilitation and conservation efforts of Maikuchiga you can make donations on their website:  

Of course we invite everyone to come and visit the rehabilitation center as well as experience all the natural and cultural charm of the region. For more information visit our website:

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Continuation of 'An EcoLodge on Budget'

  I realize that the last entry was pretty dry so I've decided to write follow up.  As the title suggests funds have been tight during the construction process which has meant that a lot of the construction has fallen on the shoulders of just a few people including myself.  It has been an educational experience as well as a slimming one.  Despite manual labour not being my favourite past time the hard work has well been worth the effort as is hopefully supported by the photographic evidence. 

After much sweat in the tropical sun the result has been a lodge with many amenities that you would not expect that far removed into the Amazonian rainforest.  Comfortable beds, flush toilets, and showers await visitors looking for relative comfort while they enjoy their adventure.  I can't really describe the satisfaction I felt the first time I flushed one of the toilets with collected rainwater. So there is a comfortable place to eat, sleep and take care of personal hygiene. Who could ask for more?      

Yet as much satisfaction as I get from the progress we make nothing brings a smile to my face like coming across an animal I haven't seen before.  Last week I had an  unexpected find in a smooth fronted caiman (Paleosuchus trigonatus).  Needless to say to be able to not only catch sight of this amazing reptile but to also be fortunate enough to safely bring it aboard for a closer look was exhilarating. And so goes my time here in the beautiful Amazon rainforest, come visit.

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