Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Our plans for 2011

We are actively looking for new volunteers to vet for like minded AWA members. We have published 200 large posters this year to kick off our opening of this "world's best ecological trek". We have 100,000 feeding trees in our nursery to re-forest around our project, creating a food chain to preserve our endangered species in our private ecological reserve.
This is what we hope to accomplish this year:
* Have a FAM trip for agencies to promote our new trek.
* AWA is applying for grants to build a lodge half way along the path to make it a 2 day trek.
* To install thatch roof rest areas in scenic spots along the way, handy for the short showers.
* To install flush toilets at intervals.
* To widen the trail in places and place stone steps on slippery slopes.
* Install culverts leveling paths over streams, and thatch roofs over our log bridges.
* Perhaps make swinging bridges and zip lines over waterfall streams that flood with rains.
* With the trail income, increase education from 10 year olds to 16 or more in the villages.
* Install internet connection for village, AWA, schools, and village medical clinic.

Hopefully we can accomplish and complete this project so that AWA can move on to even more ambitious projects next year in this unfolding "best combination ecological AND archaeological zone of the Americas".

2010 update

In 2010 AD the serving AWA volunteers became members and picked up new volunteers. After accessing our previous work, and with a new vehicle road passing much closer to the waterfall's trek, we changed our construction to follow the dry ledge on a gigantic cliff face at the end of the road. On the other side of this same high plateau, the Gocta Waterfall was located with a discharge into the Utcabamba River along the road to Chachapoyas. Our teams worked at "warp speed" completing the 10 km path from Yumbilla to the Chanata Waterfalls. On one side of our path was a cliff soaring 300 meters above and off the ledge another 300 meter drop. The waterfalls break their fall on this ledge and then fall on the other side. This path passes 8 gigantic waterfalls as high as any of the continental USA. For Peru, this path was about as level as you could get with mainly dips around trees and rock outcrops. It is covered with a pristine un-cut forest that is rare in the Amazon. At the top of the waterfalls is the "cloud forest" and the "rainforest" is below, creating many mini-ecological zones and life adapted to each. Our project has 4 of the world's most endangered species. In August the village planted 15,000 trees to reforest areas below our waterfalls.
In 2009 the multi-national Amazon Waterfalls Association of Dr. Whittman, Tim, Mike, Christa, Charles and Bruno responded and hired a village team to build a path to the Pavillion waterfall and to go on later to the Yumbilla Waterfall. This 2 km path followed an existing path below the village water canal so the cattle's hooves, being run along this path, caused the mud to be knee deep. We had to quarry huge stones, split them, haul them by oxen sled, and place them in the mud to make a dry Inca style path. It was truly amazing how much work was done, and as one commented "it was like the work of Titans"!

Los Tambos Chachapoyanos weighs in

The village of Cuispis approached Los Tambos Chachapoyanos (LTC) in 2008 to create a sustainable infrastructure. LTC has been building lodges for the villages nearest its best archaeological sites for 25 years, giving the natives an incentive to protect their resources. Now retired Charles couldn't afford to continue donating a "yearly tithe" for these communities, so the Amazon Waterfalls Association was formed as an independent volunteer organization to work with the Cuispis Tourist Committee to build a tourist access to this waterfall.
The Gocta Waterfall (770m) was "discovered" near Chachapoyas in Peru's Dept. of Amazonas in 2005 and claimed to be the world's third highest waterfall. This made the world media and immediately started bringing visitors, so with government and Promartuc financed building a tourist trail to it. This followed an established path through mostly fields, past houses with many steep climbs and docents, requiring a horse for all but the most fit.

In 2007 the village of Cuispis claimed "discovery" of the Yumbilla waterfall and was measured by Peru's Geographic Dept. to be 895m or 125 meters higher than Gocta.
Charles M.