The Story of the Visitor

A collaborative story written during a creative writing workshop between the Forest Online and Wild Forest and Fauna’s Future Leaders program. Written by Vanessa, Sami, Ian, and Lua.

Rose sat in the boat, feeling the waves of the Las Piedras river roll off of the side of her boat, causing it to sway gently on the water. She tilted her head back, smelling the fresh breeze. Rose had never been to the jungle before, and the fresh oxygen that filled her lungs was intoxicating.

The ground was earthy and muddy, her boots slipped back slightly with every step that she climbed. Rose’s eyes took in the sights and her fingers absorbed each texture that they encountered. She had read a little bit about the rainforest before coming, and she practiced identifying the trees as trudged thought the mud. A walking palm, which could move two to three meters over the course of hundreds of years, on her right. A sheep frog “baa’d” on her left, expanding its navy belly rhythmically.

Rose was curious about the rainforest, and had read about the various birds in the forest. She wanted to see macaws. She heard of a claylick nearby, and walked the claylick, striding though the green ferns and the lush grasses. She arrived, and was overwhelmed by the beauty of the birds. She sweat heavily, because she had never experienced humidity like this before—but the work was worth it to see the hundred of red birds eating the clay next to her.

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Madre Selva: The Mother Jungle

A collaborative story written during a creative writing workshop between the Forest Online and Wild Forest and Fauna’s Future Leaders program. Written by Dani, Luke, Ana, and Katerin.

En algún lugar del bosque tropical amazónico de Perú, Kadal caminaba por la trocha contemplando los árboles. Ella estaba perdida sin salida.

Kadal construye en refugio al pie de un árbol de ceiba para protegerse de los rayos, truenos en lo pro fundo del bosque; finalmente logro construir su refugio cortando bambú descubrió que dentro de él había agua limpio y claro. Entonces calmo su sed, pero moria de hambre vio a su almededr Frutos coudos y maduras, algunos ro edores como el sajino y picero comían agua je y chapaja.

Entonces se siento segura y los probo gustándole el sabor, ají mismo vio hongos comestibles llamados cayampa, cambiándolo em Monmigas y Termitas que encontró al pie de un árbol sedo.

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Hugo and the Shihuahuaco

A collaborative story written during a creative writing workshop between the Forest Online and Wild Forest and Fauna’s Future Leaders program. Written by Casey, Jose, Blake, and Pavel. 

Many years ago (in 1990), Hugo was born in the native community of Tipischa. He spent his childhood in the jungle on the banks of the Las Piedras, amongst the trees and the birds. He sought adventure in the forest, climbing and playing in the trees. Hugo loved all of the trees of the forest, but his favorite of all was the giant Shihuahuaco, or ironwood, that stood by the creek.  

Time passed, and there was no school for Hugo to attend in Tipischa, so his family moved to Puerto Maldonado, a small city of laborers and loggers a few hours away from their community. More than anything, Hugo knew that he would miss his tree, and he carved his name and the year, 1997, into its bark so that it would always remember him.

As he began his education in Puerto at the Carlos Fermin Fitzcarrald school, little by little he lost his connection to both his native culture and the land, and his priorities began to mirror those of his peers. Consumerism became the center of his life: he spent his time in front of the TV, or partying with friends. He became accustomed to “easy living” in a society very different from the community in which he was born. In Puerto, money was king. As a result of this new lifestyle, Hugo forgot the beauty of his childhood and his true home…
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En las colpas – In the claylicks

A collaborative story written during a creative writing workshop between the Forest Online and Wild Forest and Fauna’s Future Leaders program. Written by Jimmy, Jason, Sunshine, Elvis, and Tania.

En las copas

¡Pao!

El sonido del trueno hace temblar la tierra. Su estruendo continúa por toda la selva mientras la lluvia corre entre las hojas y el lodo. La luz del relámpago corta a través del oscuro cielo y revela cada rincón y cada espacio en donde las criaturas salvajes se protegen de la lluvia. La tormenta continúa con toda su furia, señalando el comienzo de la época de lluvia.

A pesar de la fuerza destructiva de la tormenta, la selva se mantiene serena, revelando el balance delicado entre el poder de la Madre Naturaleza y la fragilidad de la jungla. El ecosistema complejo de la selva necesita de este poder para calmar la insaciable sed de vida.

Entre la densidad de la vegetación, gotas de lluvia ruedan cuesta abajo en el caparazón de una tortuga concentrada en sí misma. La anciana tortuga abre sus ojos lenta y curiosamente, observando todo a su alrededor, enfocándose en cada mínimo detalle. Se percató de un detalle inusual, una hoja color turquesa que caía suavemente cerca de ella. El movimiento de la caída no era como el de otras hojas, sino que parecía danzar con la brisa. Después de un momento, la delicada mariposa, disfrazada de hoja, se posó en la espalda de la tortuga, de manera delicada y majestuosa, lo cual cautivó a la tortuga.

La mariposa volaba por la playa, buscando por sales y minerales esenciales para su dieta, tratando de evadir la fuerza pluvial.

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01/08/2016. Dear Diary…

A collaborative story written during a creative writing workshop between the Forest Online and Wild Forest and Fauna’s Future Leaders program. Written by Cris, Elizabeth, Lucy, and Antenor.

Dear Diary,

Today I felt so privileged to be here in the Amazon Rainforest. Not everyone has this amazing opportunity to be here in the jungle. To be here, see the sights, smell the scents, and experience the Las Piedras River.

Today we arrived in the Amazon at 9 am after traveling by peki-peki 40 miles up the river from Puerto Maldonado with my friends

I felt so blessed to travel with my friends and feed my adventurous spirit that has been confined for too long. I cannot wait to open my mind to the beauty of this jungle. I’ve lived in Perú all my life but have never explored this river. I have heard people speak of this place and now I get to actually see it for myself. I cannot wait to take a walk through the dense jungle and see the biodiversity of the animals, but I also am also excited to be in such a remote place that has a booming population of trees instead of people.

We woke up very early in the morning, took a lengthy trip across the vast river and journeyed for a long, muddy, hilly walk in the Biodiversity capital of the world. Our destination…the acclaimed Macaw claylick.

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Forest Protection Team–Field Update

Cris:

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.

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Photo taken by Dr. Jason Scullion

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.

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Community Team Field Update–Lessons from the Quechuan Caiman

The Community Team spent three days learning about how environmental and sociopolitical issues within Peru affect ARCAmazon and Lucerna. Both during that time and outside of it, they had the pleasure of expanding their knowledge and vocabulary, sometimes while interacting with dangerous critters. They each chose something that stuck out to them to share with all their lovely readers.

Photo by Luke Fisher
Photo by Luke Fisher

Swim Calmly
Luke

“I’m going to place it on the bank and it’s going to calmly swim into the water,” said Harry Turner, our intrepid badass wildlife expert as he clutched onto a hissing caiman. The caiman, a small crocodilian creature with razor sharp teeth and a snapping bite that could easily take off a human finger or hand, had scales so hard the only thing my imagination could compare it to was dragons I had seen in video games or movies.

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Ecotourism Team Field Update–Los lobos del agua, aka Adventure at Lake Soledad

On a steaming hot day in the middle jungle, our enthusiastic Eco-tourism group ventured three hours up the winding Las Piedras River to Lake Soledad. Our mission: to see and document the famous six foot river otters in their natural habitat. When we arrived at the Amazon River Conservation Center (ARCC) we were overwhelmed by the lavish accommodations and overwhelming natural beauty of this luxury tourist destination.

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After a brief lunch of chicken fried rice, we boarded a rickety catamaran and paddled out onto the lake. We were greeted by different species of birds and turtles, who curiously watched our make-shift boat float by.

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Wildlife Field Update

Redefining Impressive
Sami Wilson

When entering the Las Piedras, I was unsure of what to expect from the experience. In a location teeming with biodiversity and mystery, I felt like I should expect exquisite sights and sounds and stories—especially since my focus was on the wildlife.

Walking out of the rainforest, there is an important lesson that I am taking away with me: the definition of impressive. Honestly, I never saw a jaguar or an ocelot or a speckled caiman. I’m not disappointed by this; the sights I saw were by pure luck, and I am appreciative of that. I saw two species of monkeys, scarlet macaws, at least 15 species of butterfly, mammoth grasshoppers, numerous frogs, too many arachnids to handle, and endless amounts of other animals. Each experience with each species was like a personal milestone, marking a moment in which the window to the world was cracked open a little wider, letting in a little more light into my life.

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