Hi from the amazon rainforest. We are spending a week here at the volunteer centre somewhere in the middle of the rainforest. How we got here you ask? Well it started with a 5 hour bus ride from Ica to Lima which soon became a plane to Puerto Maldonado and then a car into the forest. I know it seems like a lot but it went by really fast. We are volunteering for the Wasai conservation project which runs a large a reserve on the Madre de Dios river which it a tributary to the Amazon river. This was one of our top hundred activities that I was really looking forward to.
When we got to the lodge in Puerto Maldonado we were greeted by the head scientist and also our guide for the week. Her name is Adriana and she is very nice and always there to help. She leads the Wasai conservation project (basically the entire thing) which has 3 main projects. They are biological monitoring, reforestation, and agriculture.
When we got to the volunteer station we got a tour of the place. It is very nice with the basic needs and even more like showers and a lake to cool off in. The weather here is HOOOOOT and humid and MOSQUITOES so many MOSQUITOES. (P.s if you ever come here don’t forget to bring bug spray lots and lots of bug spray)
On the first day we got to help with the agriculture by planting mango trees so the grass below dies and the acai trees can grow and be harvested. On the second day we got to help with the monitoring by looking for animals in clay licks (where animals eat clay for salt ) and on the trails. After the walk we watched some videos from the camera trap and that helped us collect important information about mammals and frogs (we also did this almost every day and night walks at night). The most interesting animals we have seen on the camera are probably the tapir and the sajnos. While we are on the on the walks the things we are looking for are footprints, sounds, and the animals themselves. While looking we have seen some pretty cool stuff like the panther foot prints or the capuchin monkeys we have also heard some cool sounds like the dink frog or the macaws.
On the 3rd day we got transported to a lodge for tourists and also where we would be staying for the rest of the time. At the lodge we got a tour; there is a sitting room, a bar, an observation tower, and multiple rooms. We are staying in room 3 and our guide Adriana is staying in room 4. At the lodge we get served the most delicious food ever like chicken, rice, and copoasu deserts. The things here definitely met our needs and even more like the restaurant and the bar.
On the fifth day we got to help again with the agriculture by moving more acai trees to be planted so they can be harvested for fruit. We do this because because the government demands that they use a small space of land for agriculture so they can still export stuff to different countries. In the afternoon we got to pick some fruit for the agriculture as well and also plant some cedra trees for reforestation.
On the last day it rained all day long and nearly washed away the volunteer station so we did not really do much. To sum it up the week was awesome it was full of adventure and fun so if you ever go to Puerto Maldonado I recommend you go here.
While being here in the jungle we have gotten to see some pretty amazing things like the animals and plants. Here is a list of the top 10 things we have seen.
1. Jaguars (only on video)
2. Caterpillar with poison hairs
3. Poison dart frogs
4. Wandering banana spider
6. Tapir (video)
7. Gigantic ant eater (video)
9. Paca (video)
10. Rata de Bambu