In 2011, Canadian Jana Bell travelled to Peru where she visited an ecolodge and trekked in the Amazon rainforest. Jana was struck by the magic and mystery of the jungle and knew she had to return and explore some more. When Jana returned two months later, in place of tourist experiences she set out with a guide to see first-hand the gritty reality of rainforest destruction. She witnessed vast areas of ancient primary forest devastated by illegal logging. She visited illegal gold mining camps that had transformed pristine wilderness into a mercury-polluted moonscape. She walked on new roads slicing through previously remote and inaccessible areas where indigenous people live in voluntary isolation.
Jana returned to Canada with an overwhelming sense of responsibility to take action. She searched for a Canadian organization working to protect the area she’d visited; finding none, Jana launched ARC, which received charitable status from the Canadian government in 2014.