Conservation Project in the Amazon Rain Forest
I am a Colombian environmental lawyer passionate about this field. I've been teaching environmental law at the Universidad Autónoma de Bucaramanga, Colombia since 2008. Next November I will be volunteering at the conservation project in the Amazon Rain Forest outside of the Cusco area. There, I will be involved in various types of work. The two primary work areas are reforestation and wildlife inventories. Working in reforestation includes planting trees, shrubs and orchids as well as removing non-native and invasive species of bamboo. Wildlife inventories include observing and counting various species of birds and primates. I will also get involved in teaching at the local school.
Peru's population of about 23 million is divided almost equally between the highlands. Highland regions are marked by extreme poverty and subsistence agriculture. It comprises about a quarter of Peru's territory, but are home to about half of Peru's population. This mountain mass poses major problems for development and integration into a single society. The result is dramatic regional diversity, and considerable inequalities in services and living standards. Health, education and law enforcement programs are unevenly distributed across Peru.
A large majority of highland people live a marginal and impoverished existence and are removed from the modern benefits of the national economy. While retaining an unchanged loyalty to their ancestral heritage, so well identified to the outside world through their bright homemade costumes, the poor of the Andes are nevertheless equally eager to share in the luxuries of a "modern" lifestyle which includes education, electricity, sewage and running potable water.