We recently posted a blog about a project to assist the village of Veinte de Enero with the cultivation, processing and marketing of the aguaje fruit that is native to the area. This project is led by Latitud Sur, the French-Peruvian NGO that also operates the Selva Viva Amazon cruise boat. It is not the only Amazon development project they have, however.
An hour by boat from Iquitos, up the River Nanay, lies the hamlet of Fray Martin de Porres, where, in 2010, Latitud Sur began a project to offer viable alternatives to the ecologically-damaging practices of charcoal production, single crop farming, and slash-and-burn agriculture.
At the same time as restoring the environment, the goal was to secure the food security and life quality of the local families. This involved a multi-faceted, but voluntary, programme of activities and education.
To date, 100,000 trees have been planted. They are of various species, chosen for their fruit-giving, timber-yielding or medicinal properties, thereby being a potential source of income, as well as a boon to the environment.
Sustainable farming practices have been introduced in such fields as fertilization, vegetable plots, fish-farming, bread-making, nurseries, bee-keeping, and the raising of small animals (eg guinea pigs!).
With visible success in Fray Martin de Porres, the neighbouring villages of Santa Rita and San Jose de Lupuna joined the project in 2012, followed by San Pedro in 2013. This has been important in enabling the establishment of a rain forest corridor, running between these communities.
Currently, there are 60 people signed up to the project, and they receive support in the form of tools, materials, seedlings and professional advice, as necessary.
Don't forget that by taking an Amazon cruise on the Selva Viva, you are contributing towards valuable projects such as these. Just ask us how.