I recently visited the rainforest of my dreams. Here is account of it. If anyone is interested in a visit, we can help them with travel arrangements and guarantee that ever bit of your dollar will go to save these 4,000 hec. from the hands of the greediest oil companies ever.
I am an American science teacher, environmental activist and traveler who is working with a new ecotourism destination, the Juri Juri Community. I have just returned and wish to pass along a few observations.
I have background in rainforest preservation and ecology and have visited many rainforests. This preserve is the most exciting of all!! The forest is primary virgin timber and incredibly pristine. The rivers and creeks are clean and teeming with fish. After seeing so many raped, logged and cut over forests, one almost forgets how large and varied the trees could (should) be!! The variety and size took my breath away. The legendary Kapok stands in all its splendor. The variety of palms alone had my head spinning.
Each inch of this land is teeming with life with many, many varieties of monkeys happily swinging though the trees looking for lunch to many frog types making wonderful lullabys to sleep by. Two different monkey families regularly visited the trees next to my guest cabin. I could almost set my watch to their daily visits. They did not seem to care or notice that we watched them and they were unafraid. They struck comical poses for my Pentax again and again.
Many mammals were present in this forest, just waiting for a quiet visitor to stroll up a path for a glimpse:tapir, tamarin, peccary, marmoset, deer, sloth, ocelet, jaguar and many many others! We heard a large noise on our walk--minutes later we saw large cat paw prints in the sand by the little creek--very large!! It was a thrill for me to walk in the same jungle as one of these magnificent and endangered felines!
The bird varieties must range into the hundreds and Juri Juri is truly a bird-watchers heaven. Flocks of parrots and parakeets were constantly hurrying noisily about their business over the preserve and its rivers. Several birds hang about the main casa including a scarlet macaw, three parrots and a hawk. The community mother, Ana, likes to feed them bananas by hand and this makes for great photos. These are wild parrots who just happen to like humans (and handouts). One minute eating out of hand the next moment up a hundred foot tree.
On a beautiful trip up the river in a hollowed out tree tree, we visited a beautiful and magical lake and saw MANY caiman or alligators, a large flock of endangered hoatzin and a glimpse of the resident boa taking its midday nap.
In addition to the flora and fauna that has disappeared in many other places but thrives at Juri Juri, the people of the community are warm and wonderful. Talented in the old ways of the Ecuadorian Quichuan culture, they are excellent teachers and willing and able to immerse the visitor from food and cooking to woodslore and fishing to music dance and handicrafts. The food is fresh and delicious, the water boiled and safe. A visitor leaves with a renewed understanding and respect for the people, the land and how to walk gently on the planet.
The plan is to open the reserve to ecotourism to help the community protect the ancestral land. The oil companies in their region are putting pressure on the people all over this area as only a large and greedy short-sighted corporation can. You as a visitor can make a difference for these people's children and our children's children as well. The preserve is reached by a short and awesome plan trip from Puyo. Plans for travel are easily made.
P.S. Juri Juri means protector the rainforest in Quichuan. I would be happy to send you one of my "homemade brochures" if you sent me your mailing address by e-mail.
Thanks for reading all this.. Pamela S