News from the Rainforest

July 2004 - This January (2004) found forty-seven students, parents and teachers from Marin Primary & Secondary School visiting Butterfly Lodge and their Ecuadorian sister schools.This program has existed for a decade and grows more popular each time.

Participants spent a week learning about rainforest, following entomologist Ed Ross in his pursuit of insects, and splashing in Amazonian creeks.

There was an all day canoe trip that included visiting a native museum where they learned to blow the dart gun, picnicked on the banks of the Arajuna, and spent hours roaming through Amazoonico animal rescue and release center.

This time the group visited three local schools. As in previous years, both Marin and Ecuadorian students prepared programs demonstrating their own culture, especially its music and dance. Favorite activities were doing art projects together as well as playing soccer (North Americans usually get soundly beaten by their bare footed opponents).

At week's end there were many reluctant good-byes before buses headed to Ecuador's highlands. This year, the group could once again visit the spa town of Banos, reopened after closure due to volcanic eruptions of nearby Tungaraua.

Another favorite was Center of the World - a spot on the Equator where you can put one foot in each hemisphere.

Marin Primary ended their eleven day adventure with a day long visit to the Otovalo indigenous market town, where they sampled exotic foods and purchased tapestries and other crafts.


February, 2000 - We received the first ever Environmental Easement in South America! Our Ecuadorian partner, Jatun Sacha Foundation will be overseeing all contiguous properties willing to make Environmental Easements. Hopefully, this idea will catch on so that we can preserve a much larger area more quickly. Easements will definitely be cheaper to obtain than having to buy land outright.

With this in mind Health & Habitat is creating an easement fund. We will also keep the purchase fund, as we need to continue buying land as well, particularly intervening parcels. In fact, we are in the process of buying a parcel for which we have long been negotiating. Matching funds are being provided by the Schlinger Foundation. We need your participation!

Purchase of this parcel is vital as it provides a link to the 5,000 hectare preserve owned by Jatun Sacha Foundation. Their reserve holds the world record for number of species of plants, reptiles, and amphibians per acre. We still need nearly $18,000 for this purchase.

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