In 2011, Jana Bell travelled to Peru for 12 days and spent three nights at an ecolodge exploring the Amazon rainforest. Jana was awe struck by the magic and mystery of the jungle and knew she had to return to explore it more. Two months later, when Jana returned, her jungle guide, Jhin Solis showed her the gritty realities of what was occurring in the Peruvian Amazon.
Jhin showed Jana the places where deforestation was occurring. They saw first hand ancient primary rainforests being cut down and rivers being poisoned by the use of mercury by illegal gold miners. Roads sliced through the rainforest and the territories of indigenous tribes.
Jana returned to Canada with an overwhelming sense of responsibility to do something. She looked for a Canadian organization doing conservation work in the area where she’d travelled; not finding one, she decided to start her own. Jhin Solis was instrumental in aiding Jana in convincing the Canadian government to issue ARC charitable status. Jana and Jhin recruited the rest of the team – Canadians and Peruvians who now work together to acquire land, plan and execute conservation strategies and manage the properties in ARC’s care.