Few words can describe the emotional impact of coming across a clear cut field in the middle of a dense, lush, green jungle. Astonishment, bewilderment, and intense sadness were just some of the things we felt as we crossed the stream at the edge of Hoja Nueva’s property and the formerly forested hills came into view. Row upon row of neatly planted, yellow-green corn stalks jutted from the landscape, reflecting the brutal rays of the Amazon sun back into our eyes. It was so different from the soft green and blue light that filters through the thick forest canopy that we’d become so accustomed to. Beneath our feet, the grey dust of the soil and the charred skeletons of 400-year-old trees crunched and snapped.
It was difficult to see these once noble giants of the forest felled and dry – and for what purpose? To plant the same species of the same crop over and over again. These crops will then produce for only a few years, depleting the soil of essential nutrients in the process and leaving it barren and open to the harsh sun so that no new life can sprout up.
Lacking the expertise of the many photographers in the forest online, I’ve armed myself with only an iPhone to record my trip. To my surprise, I’ve captured many more scenes in more detail than I had initially anticipated. One of my favorite tools has been the panoramic feature, allowing me to immerse the viewer slighltly more to these incredible scenes which all forms of media hopelessly fail to represent.
Cusco, the Sacred Valley, Chinchero, Moray, and Machu Picchu in panoramic:
I’ve always found nature to be incredible; its wonders stretch beyond imagination. The perfect synergy of ecosystems and astounding ways evolution has created millions of diverse species never ceases to blow my mind. Nature has developed more advanced biological technology than human minds can comprehend, over longer time periods we have ever witnessed. The mainframe of this massive biological network of life on Earth are the tropical rainforests; of which I am more than excited to witness.
ARCAmazon, through its partnership with Wild Forests and Fauna (WFF) gained the rights to an 11,000 hectare ecotourism concession along the Las Piedras river (in the Madre de Dios region of the Peruvian rainforest) in early 2015. Through this concession and the construction of the Las Piedras Amazon Center, ARCAmazon aims to conserve the region’s rich biodiversity, minimize threats to the environment and local communities, and inspire local and international students to connect with rainforests.