Apologies for the radio silence from Friends of Ecuador. We’ve been using our Facebook page for regular news updates, and the coronavirus has made it challenging for us to be as active.
We have a new project to support from RPCV David Goucher, who served in Omnibus 94. Conciencia Amazónica is a new organization Dave is working with in the province of Morona Santiago to support an “Eco-Club.” You can donate on the link below and use the dropdown menu to specify Conciencia Amazónica. Your donations are tax deductible as FOE is a 501c3.
Conciencia Amazónica was inaugurated on February 29, 2020, with the mission of working with local institutions to promote scientific education and artistic development across the Ecuadorian Amazon region. While a Peace Corps Volunteer, the current president founded the EcoClub Siete Iglesias, which led to the establishment of Eco-tourism trails, scholarships for local valedictorians, and gave the necessary momentum to local authorities to establish a municipal ecological reserve. Scholarship recipients have since graduated from national Universities, and now are professional biologists, schoolteachers, and play an active role as the new generation of community leaders and role models.
As a team comprised of a biologist, an environmental engineer, a cultural promoter, and a Dance Studio manager and expressive artist, Conciencia Amazónica now wants to promote the “Jungle as a Classroom” in the local schools and rural communities across the Ecuadorian Amazon, exploring the rich biodiversity with national and international scientists and artists, involving local leaders and school children alike, to educate environmental awareness and protection.
We aim to empower local youth with knowledge of their surroundings, exploring from the microscopic level to the interaction of species across the ecosystem, providing unique opportunities for learning and artistic expression. The flora and fauna from the rain forest will be the inspiration for painting, sculpture, theater, dance, and photography and other artistic means to teach the importance of conservation. Promoting such activities will lead to income generating activities such as guided tours, eco-designs and artisan development, as well as employment in all ecotourism related activities, activating a new environmental consciousness, while respecting local traditions and customs.