The Project

Fundación Ņucanchi Yuracuna is currently in the middle of a ten week summer research program. Please excuse the poor quality of our pictures, as we are having camera difficulties. Below are some stories and pictures to give you an idea of what weīre up to down here...

(to the left) Here we are the morning of our first trek up to the Sacha Huayco Forest. We got up early, but due to horse packing difficulties, we didnīt leave Urvina until 10:30. Notice the glum looks and outheld watches. We did, however, make it up to the forest that afternoon after five hours of walking.

So far, we have finished half of our project for Yale University, and have made considerable progress studying pesticide levels in the water and starting community reforestation projects. We are in the process of raising money for an organic farm and will attend a class on organic farming in one week. The next week coming up we will spend the entire week up in the Sacha Huayco forest studying the enormous Yagual trees. Its an adventure to get there: five of us, three horses, and a whole lot of gear doesnīt make for an easy hike. Our pictures from the forest are currently being developed, so check back next week!

On this page we have some stories from Bill, Santiago, and Jennifer. Danielle is currently meeting with a number of Canadian Foundations to learn about how they are integrating communities into their projects. So enjoy our stories, and check back soon:

From Santiago Diaz: For those of us who enjoy the outdoors, Ecuador is that special place that we are always looking for. From the dolphins and whales on the coast to the condor on the highest Andean rocks, you will see it all here. Miracles of mother nature that have been here for thousands of years for all of us to honor and admire. Godīs greatest pieces of art, these creations that have given human beings their roots and souls, are not going to last forever.

In Ecuador, our native forests and fauna are disappearing everyday from the high Andes. The destruction and fires donīt stop at the foot of the ancient trees we study. We need to stop the deforestation and we need to protect our land so that in the future our kids and our grandchildren will still breath the same air and drink the same clean water. Our Foundation is helping to do this by directly working to preserve these ancient forests and sharing this improtant information with local communities. We are replanting with native trees and helping our land to regain its strength.

We have the will and the resources to accomplish this, but there is always room for more people. There is nothing more satisfying that knowing that becuase of your work, there are still wild places...

Jennifer Osha: Most importantly, we now have a mascot. He goes by many names...Jackie Chan, Vaquero (cow herder), perro, and hey dog. We have recently liberated him from the homemade sweater he was wearing in this picture because, with all our leftovers at his disposal, he has outgrown it. Now we have our own personal dog escourt, garbage disposal, and enthusiastic doorbell.

Urvina is one of the coldest places I have slept, but the view from out backyard is spectacular. Below is a picture of Chimborazo, the worldīs highest point from the center of the world (the earth is fatter at the equator). On clear days we are surrounded by glacier-topped volcanos. In the foreground is one of our neighbors driving his cattle back to his house.

Bill Faria: The first thing I had to learn about Ecuador is that you canīt think in dollars, and that you canīt get mad at mud. If you think in terms of dollars, a beer costs 50 cents and then all your money is gone. If you try to fight the mud in the forest, you will end up in quicksand up to your waste with handfuls of your own hair. Lately Iīve begun to think in sucres, and even refused to pay 10 cents to have myself weighed! Ecuador takes a few days to get used to, but once you get used to the little differences (thin hamburgers, three legged dogs, non-flushable toilet paper, showers that resemble electric chairs) it feels like a second home.

Take a look at our next summer entry!

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Fundación Ņucanchi Yuracuna
Conservation, Education, and Hope in the Andes of Ecuador
Date Last Modified: 5/18/99