We support our sister organization, Bosque Medicinal in achieving direct conservation of the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforests. Bosque Medicinal purchases land for deep conservation, locking it away in a private reservation near the public reservation Runahurco, expanding the protected land. With Bosque Medicinal, we also offer local community education, and support further scientific investigation of the rainforests, and the life they support.
Help us inspire people to find their inner balance through a deep connection to the Self and to Nature. We offer yoga, meditation, forest bathing, mantra singing, and various volunteer activities to directly care for the nature surrounding our communities.
Forest.ink and Bosque Medicinal are 100% volunteer organizations, meaning no one is taking any funds out to pay salaries or the like. This reduces our overhead, and allows us to guarantee that your support goes directly towards our shared goals of personal healing and environmental conservation.
Every year, with your support, we have managed to achieve more, caring for and protecting a growing region of the Amazon rainforest. Our initial project focused on securing a place to create the Bosque Medicinal basecamp, or refugio. This was completed in 2018, when we finished building the house and outfitting it with everything needed for a comfortable stay in the jungle for upwards of 20-30 people.
In late 2018, through Bosque Medicinal, we purchased the first parcel of land, roughly 70 hectares, and named it the Valle del Colibri, or Valley of the Hummingbirds. We purchased this land to help protect critical paths and waterways, while also expanding the existing protected land of Runahurco. The Valle del Colibri is home to 2 beautiful waterfalls that are part of a large river supplying the local rainforest with fresh water.
In 2019 we managed to purchase an additional 35 hectares of commercial land, converting it to additional protected land alongside the Valle del Colibri. This land had been previously deforested, and much of it was essentially a swamp. Many years ago, it had been a flower nursery. Some of the roses from back then survived until today, earning it the name of Valle de las Rosas, or the Valley of Roses.
From 2018 through present day, we have also managed to plant roughly 100 wayusa trees, although the neighbor’s cows ate most of them. We also prepared the Valle de las Rosas for reforestation by digging several drainage paths, allowing the swamp to clear into a nearby river. Once the land was not as water-logged, we began replanting trees, including some medicinal trees such as sangre de drago and bobinsana. The bulk of the reforestation was done by planting 300 cascarilla, or quinine trees, which are locally endangered.
Most recently we finished the construction of a bird-watching sanctuary in the Valle de las Rosas and dug out a small pond to complement the fruit trees we planted near the bird-watching sanctuary. This was all done to provide fresh food and water for the local fauna, and in time should attract a range of life to the area. We have also made some improvements to the Bosque Medicinal refugio, having vastly expanded its medicinal garden and installed a beautiful “magic” path behind the refugio. Bosque Medicinal directly sponsored the creation of a Shuar-style Maloca on the property as a means of preserving Shuar culture and allowing for more visitors to stay comfortably at the refugio.
Over time, we purchased 9 camera-traps which we place and monitor directly throughout the surrounding rainforest. Video footage from these camera traps lead to the publication of 3 scientific papers so far, with more to follow.
Most importantly, we have inspired others to start similar organizations focused on bring people out to nature to fall in love with the wonder and beauty of the forest, and to use the forest as a means of self-care and mindfulness training. Some friends of Bosque Medicinal have started a mindfulness initiative in Cajas, north of Cuenca, using nature to teach self-awareness and calmness of the mind. A biologist friend of ours has also purchased land near the Bosque Medicinal refugio in order to host eco-tours focused on observing the beautiful birds of the rainforest.
Finally, we continue to scout for further commercial land to purchase. While none have met our criteria so far, we continue to look for further ways to expand direct conservation of the rainforest.
Our next big project is to create a vanilla orchid greenhouse on the Bosque Medicinal property. We want to produce vanilla, using the greenhouse as a means of teaching the local community how to grow and harvest vanilla. In this way we can demonstrate and teach a more sustainable means of generating an income that relies on the continued healthy existence of the rainforest itself.
With your support, and a lot of hard work, we hope to help the local community switch from raising cattle to raising vanilla orchids. This could result in a greater income relative to raising cattle and should be much gentler on the body. This project should help improve the quality of life for both the local community and for all the life in the rainforest.
This will be a long-term project as vanilla orchids take 2 years before they mature and begin producing vanilla. If everything works, then we will be able to develop a sustainable new industry for the people of local valley!
With your support we can increase our shared impact, healing the self while caring for Nature.
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Forest.ink, z.s., Sklenarka 458, Kostelec nad Orlici, 517 41