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Hi Everyone,

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

Have fun!
Tracy

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Helllloooooooooo??? Is anyone out there? Please introduce yourself to the rest of the group, and for those you of you that have traveled to Playa de Oro, feel free to share about your experiences there.

If you won't share yourself, then I will be forced to reveal with the group embarrasing secrets I learned about you while traveling to Playa de Oro with you....such as a certain person's panty night light.....how someone came to be known as Pwecious Kebin.....group co-ed baths in the river together.....a trip goer's fascination with my boobs......someone who took home an entire suitcase full of rocks from Playa de Oro.....someone whose bare butt was attacked by a big bug in the bathroom in the middle of the night (ok, ok, that was me)........someone who slid instead of walked down a jungle trail.........someone who an ocelot tried to snack on their ankle and butt.....someone who insisted a dead leaf in a bananna tree was a sloth....and just one last thing.....TORTILLA!!!!!!

Of course, there was the really unforgetable stuff too, like the singing late at night in the lodge accompanied by rhythms on pots and pans..........free floating down the river.......seeing the rare bush dogs.......finding fresh jaguar tracks........walking in the jungle with Little Chief the ocelot.....caring for and then releasing a monkey into the wild.....I know you guys have these great stories to tell, so let's hear them!

Grace is about to depart for her trip to Playa de Oro, so we will anxiously await to hear her adventures on this trip when she returns!

Tracy
Heelllooo!! :D I'm here!

Thanks for the laughs, Tracy!

For anyone who's thinking about heading to PDO, I highly, highly recommend it! My husband and I were down there in 2006 and in 2007 (and hopefully 2009!!)

Some of my best memories involve staying up at night with those little lanterns lit and watching all the rana y sapo (frogs and toads!) partake in the buggy buffet, dancing with the village children, the food (yum!) and of course, bathing in the river! (Hey! It's not as easy as it looks!) LoL

yup. I am here too!
Hi Sara, I saw your post and decided to join. I really like your cat photo! How did you find out about this site? anyway, glad to be here. Looks like it could be a good place to converse and meet some great people.
Cheers all,
Colleen
Crap, now I am going to have nightmares tonight after seeing that cat :O .. LOL

SaraServal said:

yup. I am here too!
Here kitty kitty kitty LOL
I want to hear about the ocelot trying to eat ankles and butt. lol
Hi I joined the list awhile back. I have never been to Playa de Oro, but would be interested in learning more about the trip. Maybe one day I can go. What is the cost?
Tina
The tour fee varies according to if we add additional days or locations to a particular trip, but on average we have had a 11 or 12 day trip for about $850 per person, which includes almost everything but your airfare to and from Quito, Ecuador. We haven't set exact dates for tours for the rest of the year yet, and we are just finishing up a tour right now. We will probably have another one in November. But the info for upcoming dates and costs can always be found at this link
http://touchthejungle.org/GroupTours.cfm?project=pdo
http://touchthejungle.org/GroupTours.cfm?project=pdo

"Upcoming 2009 Tours to Playa de Oro:

June 2009

November 2009"

With the recent flood disaster, it sure seems like June 2009 could be a toughy, but it sure would be cool to see that happen. Even if people can't get there any time soon themselves, they can help get the program on track by donating a little, and/or volunteering to help expand awareness of this truly awesome concept in rainforest preservation.



Tracy said:
The tour fee varies according to if we add additional days or locations to a particular trip, but on average we have had a 11 or 12 day trip for about $850 per person, which includes almost everything but your airfare to and from Quito, Ecuador. We haven't set exact dates for tours for the rest of the year yet, and we are just finishing up a tour right now. We will probably have another one in November. But the info for upcoming dates and costs can always be found at this link
http://touchthejungle.org/GroupTours.cfm?project=pdo
Yes, my name is Robert, I am a good friend of Patrick (El Tigre Hombre or Catman) .I just joined
this group a few moments ago and have been talking with him about doing something in the way
to help support or donate to PDO. I heard about the devastation that the area recently suffered
and thought that even a little bit of help on my part would be better than sitting here and doing
nothing at all. I'm not all that rich, but even a small donation seems to go quite a long ways
from what he said to me earlier. I'll do what I can, and I will surely spread the word about
this to those who are receptive and can help. :)
My name is Darla and I love the rainforest!!

Thank you for your efforts on saving our rainforests. I am also cousin to Catman, who has the National Wildlife Society, of whom I am also a member. This is just a quick intro and I'll chat later.

Darla

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