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Archive for July, 2009

Arajuno Foundation Education Coordinator Leads Team of U.S. Teachers to AJL

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

melissa-021_resized.jpgLast month, Melissa Tukey (right in photo), the Arajuno Foundation Education Coordinator, led a group of U.S. teachers to the indigenous community of Santa Barbara. They worked with the Professor of the school in Santa Barbara (left in photo) to help teach classes. The group of teachers also donated a large amount of books (in Spanish) and school supplies, which were greatly appreciated by the school children. The foundation is proud of Melissa’s work in Ecuador, which has been ongoing for a number of years. (Double click on the photo if you wish to see a larger version.) John

AJL boundary lines continue to be defined with a permanent line of giant bamboo

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

new-camera-photos-295_f9b17.jpgYesterday, with the help of a couple of British volunteers and a local native, we continued to plant the boundaries of our reserve with a giant bamboo every 10 meters.  The goal of this project is to clearly establish and permanently define our protected area boundaries to help prevent timber theft, illegal hunting and trespass.  We  now have about 80%  of the property boundary completely planted!  It is a lot of hard work, especially way back towards the upper end of the property where the terrain is very steep and slippery.  The bamboo are being propagated from our own plants down on the farm (see photo above; double click on the photo if you wish to see a larger version), established in our nursery, then packed up to where they are planted. Tom

Turtle rearing ponds in Mirador and Santa Barbara are completed!

Sunday, July 26th, 2009

turtle-pond-mirador.jpgHey there!  Well, after a week of hard work with 18 young female volunteers all from the same high school in London,  England, first of what will hopefully be many community turtle rearing ponds are installed (double click on thumbnail to see larger photo). The turtles will be presented to the communities this coming week!  We hope this will instill a sense of ownership and stewardship for these baby Yellow Spotted Turtles so that the Indigenous folks and others that live along the Arajuno River will insure the success of this program with the ultimate goal of repopulating the Arajuno River with these wonderful creatures, eventually another protein source for the locals! Tom

New Wave of Arajuno Foundation Donations

Friday, July 24th, 2009

Hola! As president of the Arajuno Foundation, I’m happy to report that when the foundation received official approval from the IRS as a 501(c)(3) public charity, a steady trickle of donations began. We hope this trickle becomes a wave. We, of course, appreciate any and all donations at any level. And, as you know, unlike many public charities, 100% of each donation goes directly into Arajuno Founation projects, because all administration costs are paid out-of-pocket by the founders and voting board members of the foundation. I hope all who have visited the Arajuno Jungle Lodge (AJL) and seen the foundation’s work up close and personal, will tell their family and friends about their experiences. And I hope all of those who have yet to visit AJL will have the opportunity to do so in the future. In the meantime: Saludos!

AF now a 501(c)(3)!

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

Friends of AJL: It’s taken us over a year and a half, but now, thanks to the long-suffering efforts of our accountant, Rob Crowder, the Arajuno Foundation is now officially a non-profit public charity. That’s right, your donations are now tax-deductible. On another front, thanks to 20 volunteers plus 2 energetic communities, Santa Barbara & Mirador, we will complete the 2 new turtle-rearing ponds ahead of schedule. We will also have time to begin planting Giant Bamboo along the eroded banks of the Arajuno river in front of both communities. Santa Barbara has also finished its new dining hall in time for the event.Looks Great!  Plus Santa Barbara will receive $300 from lunches sold to the group.   Do you have any idea how much money $300 is to a community such as Santa Barbra?  A LOT!