The past few months has been a real roller coaster ride for me!
Sadly, the presence of illegal miners in our remote area has increased substantially. This fact partnered with the reality that the Peruvian government does not have the resources to deal with miners in our remote area, has put real pressure on ARC. It is even more critical that we protect the flora and fauna species of this area.
Plus, the miners are getting bolder. On our last visit we found equipment that some of them had dropped off on our land, in preparation to mine! This clearly demonstrated that ARC needs to have a constant presence on our land by hiring local people to live on our land and act as wardens patrolling it and protecting it. But to do so, we need to have accommodation for them.
As we were trying to figure out where to find the money for this, an anonymous supporter donated $5000.00 to ARC! This donation helped cover a good portion of the costs. We are now just finishing up the construction of a two- story platform and roof. We still need to raise money for the screen walls, composting toilet, and outdoor kitchen. Once the house is complete and we have people living there full time, I will feel very relieved.
Theft in Peru is always a problem and it hit us directly this Spring. I flew down to Puerto Maldonado in April with the intention of spending some time on our land. Two nights before we were to leave, we got the news that the 60 HP motor from our boat had been stolen. No motor meant no trip to the land. After some detective work and help from the police, we found the pawnshop that had bought our stolen motor. But we were too late. He had already sold it to someone else. The police gave him 72 hours to return it to us but this did not happen.
This is a big loss as these motors are very expensive, especially in Puerto Maldonado. We are now in the process of suing the pawnshop owner for damages as he knowingly bought and resold our motor knowing it was stolen goods.
Then we received some much-needed great news! Tribe Chocolate is a new Canadian company that sells sustainably produced artisanal chocolate and cacao. They have decided they will donate 5 percent of their future earnings to ARC! Read all about Tribe Chocolate at tribechocolate.ca
In more good news, Neil Kirwan from Love, Heal, Forgive (lovehealforgive.com) continues to donate a good portion of his income from hosting retreats in Portugal to ARC. Neil is planning on visiting our land in 2019 and we can’t wait to show him what he is helping to protect!
ARC may be a small charity but that also means we don’t have the executive salaries and overhead of some other conservation groups. Our supporters are like friends to me as donations mean more than just the dollar value. Knowing I have people who care about the natural world and who support ARC’s projects propels me to keep going no matter the obstacles put in my way!