Thanks for joining us. This group is open to anyone who is interested in the project, so invite your friends!
I have invited people to this group who have been to Playa de Oro before, some who have volunteered there in the past, some still volunteer, and those who have been long time supporters. Please feel free to share your experiences of Playa de Oro with others, and let's get more people involved in the project by either traveling there or supporting from home. Share your experiences there, share your thoughts and suggestions to help the project, anything at all.
For those who may not already know me, I am the project director for Touch The Jungle, a Earthways sponsored conservation project. Touch The Jungle is the name of the overall proejct sponsored by the US based nonprofit, Earthways. http://earthways.org
The goal of the project is to protect & preserve the El Choco rainforest and wildlife of Ecuador by working hand in hand with the local communities, and actually emcompasses a variety of different projects at the field level. The center of this project is the Playa de Oro Reserva de Tigrillos, which is a 25,000 acre reserve we help protect with the community that owns it, Playa de Oro. This project provides a number of community benefits to Playa de Oro in return for their protecting the jungle and wildlife there. One of those being a EcoTourism project so that the community can earn an income long term from protecting their forests rather than having a one time profit from destroying it for logging or mining. I am also working on getting a new location set up for a wildlife rehabilitation center.
I have been working in this project since 2001, being mentoring by the proejct founder, Rosa Jordan since then. She retired from project work at the end of 2006, and in the beginning of 2007, I took her plece as the project director. ALthough she stays in touch with me and still actively offers her advise and support for the project. I have done various projects there since then, inlcuding a camera trap project, wildlife rescue & rehab, community wildlife education, and a number of other things. I live in Arkansas where I also run a wild feline sanctuary here for small species of wild cats like servals, bobcat, and lynx. I also am a licensed wildlife rehabilitator here. My faciilty is federal and state licensed. Obviously with my animal duties here at home, I can't be down in Ecuador all the time, so I rely on volunteers and local peopel in Ecuador to help run things while I am not there myself.
If you have been to Playa de Oro before, or worked on any projects there, please share your experiences with us and tell us a bit about yourself.
If you have any questions about the project, just ask! Also, the proejct website is http://touchthejungle.org