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
The production and consumption of local agroecological products protect the ecosystems of the Andean Chocó
The agroecological transition promotes sustainable production models and responsible consumption that both improve people’s living conditions and contribute to the integral conservation of the Chocó Andino’s forests.
Across the planet, every continent has its own collection of plants and animals that are specific to each region. So, for example, in Africa we find rhinos, giraffes and hippos; in Australia koalas and kangaroos; in South America jaguars, pumas and llamas. On a smaller scale, these differences also exist, although they are less obvious and sometimes found in areas with much greater rates of biodiversity than others.
The classrooms of the schools and colleges of Ecuador are filling little by little after a period that, with frightening strength, reminded us of the importance of education in our society and the inequity of access to it in rural Ecuador. Both the COVID-19 pandemic and the climate emergency are unprecedented phenomena for modern society. These contexts require urgent actions that reflect our innovative and resilient human potential.