The Tourist Gaze: Unrealistic Expectations

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http://www.nathab.com/central-america/costa-rica-adventure/

Lucy and Elizabeth write about their thoughts on the benefits and concerns associated with Ecotourism, a rapidly expanding industry, which ARCAmazon will utilize in order to conserve the Peruvian Rainforest.

As government officials construct the Estrada de Pacifico, an extensive highway plan which extends from Brazil through the rainforest to the coast of Peru, many environmentalists are concerned about the effects the road will have on the Amazon. Constructing such a road will lead to higher rates of deforestation, which already destroys more than 150 acres lost every minute of every day. The highway could also increase the threat of gold mining illegal logging extraction of the forest resources there is also the threat of farmers entering the forest and using slash and burn agriculture, to destroy mass amounts of trees and natural habitats, to create nutrient rich soil for farming.

Without a plan for conservation and protection the future of the Amazon rainforest remains in jeopardy. By utilizing the resources of scientific experts, and collaborating with community members organizations like ARC Amazon can play an effective and significant role in the protection of the rainforest. It is crucial that ARC Amazon is aligning themselves in the best way possible both ethically and environmentally as they introduce tourists to the Peruvian jungle. Ecotourism provides ARC Amazon the credentials to be an environmentally friendly tourist destination, which will appeal to both environmentally concerned enthusiasts and explorers alike. To advertise as an ecotourist destination, It is essential that ARC Amazon creates sustainable profit while educating and promoting the values of conservation and research.  Fortunately the Amazon rainforest provides numerous opportunities for  ARC Amazon to fulfill the criteria of being an ecotourist friendly centre.

Continue reading “The Tourist Gaze: Unrealistic Expectations”

Our Planet, Our Future: the Promise of Singleton-Mathews Farm

As preparation for our January trip to Peru, our class has been visiting a large property a few miles off campus owned by McDaniel College. Below, Casey, Elizabeth, Ian, and Becca share what they found.

One of the two ponds on the Singleton-Mathews farm. Photo credit: Elizabeth Mann
One of the two ponds on the Singleton-Mathews farm. Photo credit: Elizabeth Mann

“The acquisition of the Charles S. Singleton farm in 1988 [by McDaniel College] makes possible the fulfillment of a desire by Dr. Singleton and Marthiel Mathews as well as being a challenge to a college community–a challenge to move toward a new venture in which success can be measured in some very unusual instructional and agricultural terms.”

[George A. Grier]

If you are reading this post, you most likely belong to one of two groups:

Group A: The group of people who already know about Singleton-Mathews farm and are currently thinking something along the lines of: “Wow, those are some inspirational words, Mr. Grier! And what a challenge it is!”

Group B: The somewhat larger group of people who know little to nothing about Singleton-Mathews farm. In which case, you may be thinking something like: “What? McDaniel has a farm?? I’ve been here for (insert number of years that you’ve been here) years and I didn’t know that McDaniel was in possession of an entire farm?

To those in the second group: don’t panic! We, the Forest Online class, are here to clear up any confusion. If you haven’t already read the blog posts from other groups about the history and the natural history of the space, you can check them out here and here, respectively. In this post, you’ll be learning all about the future of the farm (So if you belong to the group with some prior knowledge– don’t leave just yet! There will still be some great information in here for you.)!  

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