Guaycuyacu – 2000


November 2000 saw a trip to Reserva Rio Guaycuyacu in Ecuador. Run by Jim and Meredith West Foyle, this incredible lowland tropical rainforest was home to me when i volunteered with them during one month.

The reserve produces fruit trees and aims to work with local people to promote diversity of species and general improved life quality in this area which is largely dependant on the cultivation of Palmito (palm hearts) a salad vegetable which is really tasty but intensive in it’s production. People travel from all around Ecuador to work here and as a result there is a sense of cultural displacement which i felt intensely.

During the month I was meant to be helping to manage the reserve and do lots of work with the fruit trees but found myself more drawn to the vast possibilities i saw in the raw natural materials in the forest all around me. I failed as an eco farmer but it was interesting how people from the nearby village (only a couple of hours away walking) would be fascinated by what i was making. Good on Meredith who supported my efforts and didn’t make me wield a machete for more than a couple of hours a day.

Find out more about Reserva Rio Guaycuyacu


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