Greetings from Interns and Volunteers

 By Maria Rocio Fernandez

 

This upcoming spring semester I will be embarking as the second intern for Great Wilderness volunteering with FONMSOEAM, “Federation of Black, Mestizos Organization of small scale cacao farmers from the South Western Esmeraldas, Atacames y Muisne,” in Ecuador. In small rural towns where a simple yet creative lifestyle is key, Great Wilderness has taken immense strides in organizing a community of cacao farmers and initiating environmental, educational, and community-wide projects. As a Forestry undergraduate, I will be implementing a data-collecting program enabling farmers to monitor their own plants’ growth and phenology, in time creating a reservoir of observations from which to gather production and climate change information.

 

Such an endeavor is similar to the Citizen’s Science Projects taking place worldwide: programs which encourage others to observe the world around them and contribute to its preservation by volunteering to record bird sightings, monitor vernal pools, and more. In FONMSOEAM, this will be another step in the process of “helping others help themselves” by providing the small farmer with more tools to improve his crop within the shade canopy and thereby promoting reforestation efforts and fostering profits for community improvement. If you would like to be informed of the work taking place throughout this five to eight month field experience, I will be writing weekly posts on the UMaine School of Forest Resources student blog.

 

My personal fundraising goal is $5,000 to split between the 450 family FONMSOEAM farmers association and Bunche rural district of northwest Ecuador where I will be spending the majority of my time living and working. Both of these communities are part of Esmeraldas, one of the most impoverished regions of Ecuador where the GNP is 48% below the national average and most lack access to clean water, education and healthcare. Still, the people have united and are motivated to hold regular meetings, discuss issues, set up community projects, and follow through with solutions. Although in such a rural tropical area natural resources abound, money is a rare commodity which, placed in the right hands, has the potential to have a far-reaching impact.

 

Thank you for considering this request for your support and please be aware that 100% of all donations will directly fund FONMSOEAM and Bunche community-wide projects. If you have any questions about the upcoming internship in Ecuador, or would like to learn more about Great Wilderness, please do not hesitate to call me or visit their website at http://greatwilderness.org/.

 

 

 

 

 

Sincerely,

 

Maria Rocío Fernández

University of Maine undergraduate, Forestry

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Carta y Saludos

de Maria Rocio Fernandez

Este semestre próximo me embarcaré como el segundo interno para Great Wilderness que colabora voluntariamente con FONMSOEAM, la Federación de Organizaciones Negras, Mestizas, Del Sur Occidente de Esmeraldas, Atacames, y Muisne, en Ecuador. En pequeñas ciudades rurales donde uno vive simplemente pero con imaginación, Great Wilderness ha tomado pasos inmensos en la organización de una comunidad de granjeros del cacao y la iniciación de proyectos ambientales, educativos, y a nivel comunitario. Como estudiante de la silvicultura, ejecutaré un programa para la reunión de datos permitiendo que granjeros supervisen su propio crecimiento y la fenología de sus plantas, al mismo tiempo creando un depósito de las observaciones de las cuales recopilar la información del cambio de la producción y de clima.

 

Tal esfuerzo es similar a proyectos de “Citizen’s Science” que ocurren por todo el mundo: programas que animan a otros que observen el mundo alrededor de ellos y contribuyan a su preservación ofreciéndose voluntariamente para registrar vistas de pájaros, observar piscinas vernales, y más. En FONMSOEAM, éste será otro paso para “ayudar a otros saber como ayudarse” proveyendo al granjero con más herramientas para mejorar su cosecha bajo la sombra del bosque y de tal modo promover esfuerzos reforéstales y dar incentivo beneficial para la mejoría de la comunidad. Si usted quisiera ser informado del trabajo que ocurre a través de tal experiencia de campo estos cinco a ocho meses, escribiré postes semanales en el UMaine blog de la Escuela de Recursos del Bosque.

 

Estoy recaudando fondos y mi meta personal es $5.000 para dividir entre la asociación de 450 familias de granjeros de FONMSOEAM y el districto rural de Bunche al noroeste de Ecuador donde pasaré la mayoría de mi tiempo trabajando y viviendo. Ambas comunidades son parte de Esmeraldas, una de las regiones más empobrecidas de Ecuador donde el 48% del PIB esta bajo del medio nacional y la mayoría no tienen acceso para agua potable, educación, ni cuidado médico. Todavía, la gente se ha unido y se motiva para tener reuniones regulares y discutir las ediciones, proyectos de la comunidad de la disposición, y para seguir a través con las soluciones. Aunque en un área tropical tan rural los recursos naturales abunden, el dinero es una materia rara que, colocada en las manos derechas, tiene el potencial para tener un impacto de gran envergadura.

 

Gracias por considerar este pedido para su ayuda y sea por favor consciente que 100% de todas las donaciones financiaran directamente proyectos a nivel comunitario de FONMSOEAM y de Bunche. Si usted tiene cualesquiera preguntas sobre el puesto de interno próximo en Ecuador, o quisiera aprender más sobre la organización Great Wilderness, no vacile por favor llamarme o visitar su Web site http://greatwilderness.org/.

 

 

Sinceramente,

 

 

Maria Rocío Fernández

Universidad de Maine

Estudiante de Bachillerato de Silvicultura

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Welcome, Everyone

 


 Greetings! - Great Wilderness continues to work on biodiversity preservation in both Ecuador and Venezuela. We are succeeding in our mission to "Help People Help Nature."

 Please consider donating to Great Wilderness. It is easy to go to our website and donate. Thanks in advance for any help you can give to our organization.


 Volunteer and Internship Program

Our goal is to support, strengthen and enhance our partners conservation program by sending individuals interested in working and supporting the protection of Ecuador and Venezuela native forest and ecosystems. (Read more)

 


 NEWS AND EVENTS

1. On September 2015,  the Parrolet Project was featured in the segment Bird Note that airs every morning in National Public Radio. Congratulations to our Research Director, Dr. Karl Berg!  Follow this link to hear the segment:   (Bird Note)

2. Great Wilderness would like to welcome both, Dr. Vernon Andrews to our Board of Directors and Ing. Estefani Izurieta (our very first Ecuadorian intern), to our team. (Read more)


GW ON THE GO!

sora ninos vicki ninos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Parrotlet Project


 

Do Parrots Name Their Babies?

While studying Green-rumplet Parrolets in Venezuela, National Geographic Explorer and Great Wilderness Board member, Dr. Karl Berg, discovered an incredibly rare behavior.

 

read more


 

Forest Fund

Dear Family and Friends,

 

Earth Day 2016 marks the launch of a new partnership with Forest Fund. Forest Fund supports conservation of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil with the help of Great Wilderness and donors worldwide. Together we are turning landowners into forest protectors by providing opportunity cost payments to the landowner to keep the forest standing in one of the most ecologically important and threatened areas of the world. Read more     

 

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