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Pachijal: Our team’s setting for biodiversity and strengthening

Today on Earth Day, we share one of the most recent activities of the foundation focused on building a culture of sustainability.

The Andean Chocó of Pichincha, almost an hour from Quito, is an imposing system of protective forests, declared by the UNESCO as one of the 24 key territories of the Biosphere Reserve Network. The new focus of Fundación Futuro is to promote conservation and sustainable management in this impressive place. A new team has been formed to work on this ambitious goal; one of its first activities was to visit the territory. Together with their families, our group ratifies that the culture of sustainability begins to be experienced at home. Today, on Earth Day, we share this enriching experience.

Photograph: The Fundación Futuro Team and their families during their integration day

We, Carolina Proaño- Castro, Felipe Andrade, Carolina Dávalos, Mauricio Peña and our families, traveled from Quito to Pachijal, one of the conservation areas adjacent to the Mashpi Reserve. This forest is a biodiversity hub that has a system of rivers and waterfalls. Here, a group of six adults and four children were able to understand in depth the place we want to preserve. For many, it was their first time in the Andean Chocó, which is why discovering the abundance of this forest in its purest state was a transformative experience.

Photograph: Start of our integration activities

Working in one of the Biosphere Reserves is a huge privilege, but without a doubt, it is also a great responsibility. The biodiversity conservation task leads to a countless number of challenges. Hence, teamwork, both from home as well as with partner organizations, is essential. So explains Carolina Proaño-Castro, Executive Director of the foundation: “Working in an integrated and consolidated team is extremely important to meet our objectives. This activity allowed us to reflect the desired impact from within our organization.” The staff at the Martín Pescador camp, in Pachijal, was in charge of taking us on a series of day and night walks. Together we walked ecological trails around the Pachijal River and impressive waterfalls. Martín Caamaño, founder of the camp, was of great help in transmitting the essence of conservation work to the younger generations, all of whom were children of our collaborators.


Photograph: Sloth sighting during a walk

In these tours, we observed biodiversity in its maximum splendor. Our families and us saw sloths, frogs and otter tracks, we drank bamboo water and admired tropical plants of various sizes and shapes. It is striking to know that there is so much diversity so close to Quito. Martín drew upon these situations to talk with the children. Felipe Andrade, Carbon and Biodiversity Management Coordinator of Fundación Futuro, highlighted this work and mentioned: “Martín explains conservation, sustainability and environmental issues with a focus towards children and families who are not in contact with the countryside. It’s very interesting! ”

Photograph: Walk through the Pachijal Reserve paths, break to drink bamboo water

In addition to the walks, we did some recreational activities. These allowed us to get to know each other better, highlight our individual and team capacities, and have a moment of relaxation. Among them were board games, other outdoor games, campfires and assembling the camp. All these spaces were essential to strengthen our bonds as a team, a work that today pays off in our daily operations.

Photograph: Our team walking towards the future

Transporting ourselves from A to B requires efficiency and responsibility, but it must remain sustainable.

Transporting ourselves from A to B requires efficiency and responsibility, but it must remain sustainable.

Fortunately, there are alternatives to vehicle transport, but realistically we won’t be able to replace all vehicles in one shot. If we see this as a personal responsibility towards sustainability, understanding private vehicle transport can also contribute to reducing our environmental footprint. We just need to adjust our sails a bit.

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