News

Amazon rainforest hit by surge in small-scale deforestation, study finds

by Center for Amazon Community Ecology February 05, 2018

Amazon rainforest hit by surge in small-scale deforestation, study finds https://news.mongabay.com/2018/02/amazon-rainforest-hit-by-surge-in-small-scale-deforestation-study-finds/?utm_source=Mongabay+Email+Alerts&utm_campaign=ab7ad60990-mailchimp_peru_daily&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e1ea8b5f35-ab7ad60990-77138285

Amazon rainforest hit by surge in small-scale deforestation, study finds
news.mongabay.com

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Amazon rainforest hit by surge in small-scale deforestation, study finds

by Center for Amazon Community Ecology February 05, 2018

Amazon rainforest hit by surge in small-scale deforestation, study finds

https://news.mongabay.com/2018/02/amazon-rainforest-hit-by-surge-in-small-scale-deforestation-study-finds/?utm_source=Mongabay+Email+Alerts&utm_campaign=ab7ad60990-mailchimp_peru_daily&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e1ea8b5f35-ab7ad60990-77138285

Amazon rainforest hit by surge in small-scale deforestation, study finds
news.mongabay.com

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Deadline approaching! Submit your organized session/workshop proposals to "Belém...

by Glenn Shepard January 28, 2018

Deadline approaching! Submit your organized session/workshop proposals to "Belém +30", XVI Congress of the International Society of Ethnobiology by February 20. Individual paper/poster submissions open March 1 and close April 5. Online submissions and more information https://www.ise2018belem.com

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BARRANQUERO BIRD LANDS AT THE BARRANQUERO CAFE (AND ONLINE)

by Center for Amazon Community Ecology January 24, 2018

BARRANQUERO BIRD LANDS AT THE BARRANQUERO CAFE (AND ONLINE)

Last year I walked into a new hip coffee shop in State College called the Barranquero Café and noticed photos and paintings of a long-tailed bird I recognized as the blue-crowned mot mot – an insect catching bird I’d seen in the Birds of Peru book I’d been perusing with some Amazonian artisans.

It was great to meet the Barranquero’s owner Susan Jermusyk and learn that she gave her shop the local name for this beautiful bird that frequents the Colombian highlands where her coffee comes from. Beyond inviting us to sell a variety of our crafts in the café two times last year, we agreed to commission our talented artisan partners in Peru to weave a model of this bird she could sell in her café year-round. \

On my next trip south, I gave photos of the bird to artisans from the village of San Francisco on the Marañon River, and six months later four artisans showed me their prototypes. Susan thought they were good, but the orange breast of the Amazonian type didn’t seem quite like the bird she knew. She gave me a few photos she had taken showing the yellow breast of the Colombian variety which I shared with our Peruvian artisan friends.

I was thrilled that Susan and her staff were excited to see the newest barrranqueros – especially the expression in their eyes and black spot below the neck. We are both happy that this trans-American fair-trade collaboration can benefit local people in Peru and Colombia.

Please visit the Barranquero Café at 324 E Calder Way in downtown State College to buy one of these unique ornaments and enjoy some tasty Colombian coffee and food.

You can also find a few barranquero ornaments online at: https://amazon-forest-store2.myshopify.com/products/fair-trade-christmas-tree-blue-crowned-mot-mot-ornament-orbp46c. See these and other fair-trade ornaments and crafts for sale at our online Amazon Forest Store at: www.amazonforeststore.org.

Learn more about the blue-crowned mot mot (Momotus coeruliceps) and hear its call at: https://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/Species-Account/nb/species/bucmot1/overview.

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680000 acres of Amazon rainforest may be lost to Peru’s new roads

by Center for Amazon Community Ecology January 22, 2018

680000 acres of Amazon rainforest may be lost to Peru’s new roads Check out this story from Mongabay News about two proposed roads that would threaten huge areas of the Peruvian Amazon. https://news.mongabay.com/2018/01/680000-acres-of-amazon-rainforest-may-be-lost-to-perus-new-roads/?utm_source=Mongabay+Email+Alerts&utm_campaign=d891496145-mailchimp_peru_daily&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e1ea8b5f35-d891496145-77138285

680000 acres of Amazon rainforest may be lost to Peru’s new roads
news.mongabay.com

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PERU DECLARES NEW NATIONAL PARK IN NORTHERN PERUVIAN AMAZON

by Center for Amazon Community Ecology January 15, 2018

PERU DECLARES NEW NATIONAL PARK IN NORTHERN PERUVIAN AMAZON Amazing news about the creation of a national park in Loreto near the area where CACE has been working with native communities in the Ampiyacu River region. https://news.mongabay.com/2018/01/peru-declares-a-huge-new-national-park-in-the-amazon/?utm_source=Mongabay+Email+Alerts&utm_campaign=25fd65a4fe-mailchimp_peru_daily&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e1ea8b5f35-25fd65a4fe-77138285

Peru declares a huge new national park in the Amazon

LORETO REGION, Peru — Starting yesterday, 868,927 hectares of forest in Peru’s Loreto Region will be protected through the creation of Yaguas National Park, comprising a mega-diverse ecosystem that, until…
news.mongabay.com

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MARVELOUS SPATULETAIL HUMMINGBIRD - ORNAMENT FOR SALE

by Center for Amazon Community Ecology January 14, 2018

MARVELOUS SPATULETAIL HUMMINGBIRD - ORNAMENT FOR SALE

The Center for Amazon Community Ecology (CACE) has just received a limited batch of colorful Marvelous Spatuletail Hummingbird ornaments for sale online in our online Amazon Forest Store at: https://amazon-forest-store2.myshopify.com/products/fair-trade-christmas-tree-hummingbird-woven-ornament-orbp43. Proceeds create sustainable livelihoods for native artisans and support health, education, and conservation in their communities.

These ornaments were hand-made from chambira palm fiber by 17-old artisan Heriberto Vela from the village of San Francisco on the Maranon River in association with CACE.

The marvelous spatuletail (Loddigesia mirabilis) lives in small regions of the northern Peruvian Andes. The male uses its tail feathers to court the female of his choice. This hummingbird is highly endangered due to destruction of its habitat, hunting, and its its inherently small population.

Read more about efforts to protect this and other rare birds at https://abcbirds.org/bird/marvelous-spatuletail/. Thanks to David Cook Wildlife Photography for permission to use his photo of this bird in the wild. See original at: https://i.pinimg.com/originals/5a/46/4c/5a464cb9a5fab1dbc46d9133e7b0a867.jpg

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AROMATIC SOAP AND AYAHUASCA AT BELLEFONTE VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS SHOW

by Center for Amazon Community Ecology December 10, 2017

AROMATIC SOAP AND AYAHUASCA AT BELLEFONTE VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS SHOW Sales of our Amazon handicrafts at the show yesterday were steady but slow. Down times gave me a chance to chat a bit with my vendor neighbors Bethany Carter and Heather Emminger who were selling their cold pressed soaps in their BelleNaturals line. I was impressed by their extensive knowledge and use of a variety of essential oils in their products. I was very happy that Heather bought and agreed to show off the necklace made by Peruvian artisan Damaris Esther Panaifo Coral that she got from the CACE booth that featured a round piece of moonstone, ayahuasca vine, and a pair of tiger eye stones. The moonstone looks clear when held to the light, but it beautifully reflects other colors behind it.

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ORNAMENT CRITTERS AT TAIT TREE FARM

by Center for Amazon Community Ecology December 02, 2017

ORNAMENT CRITTERS AT TAIT TREE FARM Here are four of the dozens of Christmas tree ornaments available at Tait Tree Farm in Centre Hall, PA. Come to the farm to cut your own tree and give a loving home to one of our unique animal ornaments made by artisans from the Peruvian Amazon. Critters in these pics are: Peruvian striped owl, hoatzin, chestnut eared aracari, and two-toed sloth.

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HANG A FRIENDLY SLOTH ONTO YOUR CHRISTMAS TREE

by Center for Amazon Community Ecology November 29, 2017

HANG A FRIENDLY SLOTH ONTO YOUR CHRISTMAS TREE FAIR TRADE SLOTH ORNAMENT NOW AVAILABLE FROM THE AMAZON FOREST STORE https://amazon-forest-store2.myshopify.com/admin/products/321163460637

It was a mystery to me why our sloth Christmas tree ornaments sold so well at music festivals this summer. They are undeniably a rather strange cuddly creature, but perhaps their popularity was partly due to a sloth playing a (slow) worker in motor vehicle department office in the movie Zootopia. thanks for supporting our artisan partners from the communities of San Francisco and Amazonas who make these cool ornaments out of chambira palm fiber

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IT'S GIVING TUESDAY - THANKS VERY MUCH FOR SUPPORTING OUR WORK TO SUPPORT...

by Center for Amazon Community Ecology November 28, 2017

IT'S GIVING TUESDAY - THANKS VERY MUCH FOR SUPPORTING OUR WORK TO SUPPORT ARTISANS AND FOREST CONSERVATION IN THE PERUVIAN Visit www.AmazonAlive.Net to make a donation to the Center for Amazon Community Ecology. We will receive matching funds from GlobalGving through midnight tonight. With sincere thanks, Campbell

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ARTISANS SEPARATING CHAMBIRA FIBER

by Center for Amazon Community Ecology November 21, 2017

ARTISANS SEPARATING CHAMBIRA FIBER After artisans strip leaflets from chambira "cogollos" in the forest. In the comfort of their homes (or in this case in the artisan house in Chino), they grab the bottom end in between their big and fourth toe, make a nick at the top with a little knife and then pull down on the long strong fiber. This is the prime part of the leaflet for making quality handicrafts. They also separate out the secondary part (carapa), palito (spine), and waste material (bagasso).

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HARVESTING AND WEIGHING CHAMBIRA PALM LEAVES

by Center for Amazon Community Ecology November 20, 2017

HARVESTING AND WEIGHING CHAMBIRA PALM LEAVES After morning introductions at the Artisan Leadership workshop in Chino, we took a large peque peque (motorized dugout canoe) about half an hour upriver to a path that took us to the forest fields of three artisans. Walter showed the group how he attaches a saw to a pole and then taught Francisca how to use this to harvest a chambira "cogollo" (leaf spear). While artisans have traditionally used a machete to harvest these, the women in Chino was one of the first groups to use a pruning saw since it allow the artisan to cut this leaf without damaging the ones next to it. Each of the three small groups harvested 3 cogollos and then weighed them whole before stripping off the leaflets that they brought back to the village to process. Note that Graciela is holding the upper end of the cogollo with a shirt to protect her hand from the spines on the main pole. As usual, Francisca showed how to do every task with a smile. I'll discuss how these measurements will help the artisans. I hope these photos can help other people realize the amount of work fand care involved in producing a woven handicraft even before the weaving begins.

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ARTISAN LEADERSHIP WORKSHOP - DAY 1

by Center for Amazon Community Ecology November 18, 2017

ARTISAN LEADERSHIP WORKSHOP - DAY 1 We began our most recent artisan leadership workshop in Chino by dividing participants from different communities into small mixed groups to share their knowledge about the best ways to harvest chambira. It was fascinating to hear about their approaches and identify important things they did not know - such as how many new leaf spears grow on one tree per year. We then went to the forest to do some harvesting. But before getting down to business, two artisans split open a mature macambo fruit and snacked on its seeds.

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MEET ESTELITA - CREATIVE ARTISAN, LEADER, MOM AND BODEGA OWNER

by Center for Amazon Community Ecology November 16, 2017

MEET ESTELITA - CREATIVE ARTISAN, LEADER, MOM AND BODEGA OWNER Meet Estelita Loayza Ihuma. I met her first as one of the artisans from the village of Chino on the Tahuayo River that makes the beautiful chambira palm fiber baskets. In recent years, though, I have gotten to know her better as the President of the artisan association from her community. Many artisan groups elect presidents, but I have never met anyone in this role who has done so much and earned so much trust from her fellow artisans as Estelita. When she joined our Artisan Leadership Program workshops last year, it was a marvel to watch how quickly she also earned the respect of artisans from all of the communities. She articulately discussed how the Chino artisans were in a similar position to other artisan groups ten years ago and how they have progressed since then. They were working primarily as individuals until an opportunity came along to sell more crafts to visitors from an eco-tourism lodge. Estelita helped her fellow artisans improve their craft making, brought them together as a cooperative group, helped figure out how to shift husbands from being adversaries to advocates for the women artisans, took on quality control for the group, and become a pioneer in improving management of chambira palm trees. As Estelita remains a positive force in her community, I hope that CACE can work with Estelita to strengthen artisan groups in other places. Oh yes, in addition to making crafts and guiding the artisan association, she is a mom to a cool grade-school boy and runs a little bodega (general store) on the ground floor of her house with her husband.

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BEE VISITING BLUE FLOWER

by Center for Amazon Community Ecology November 15, 2017

BEE VISITING BLUE FLOWER After I'd finished buying crafts from the Chino artisans in their new artisan house, I found a spot outside that I thought would make a nice natural backdrop to take pictures of the artisans with their crafts - this meant a place with interesting plants and even lighting. After I was done taking pics of Madita, I looked around a saw that a few bees were making the rounds of pretty blue flowers. I don't know what kind of bee or flower they were, but I always liike to take shots of pollinators in action. I like seeing how the blurr of the wings shows that the bee doesn't just flap them up and down - they can swirl them around to hover or go anywhere they want.

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MADITA AND HER CHAMBIRA CRAFTS

by Center for Amazon Community Ecology November 14, 2017

MADITA AND HER CHAMBIRA CRAFTS One of the first artisans I met in Chino ten years ago was Madita Sinarahua. She showed me how she harvests chambira palm leaves, prepares the fiber, and weaves them into beautiful baskets and other crafts. She is displaying three of the ones I bought at my visit to Chino in late September.

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ARTISANS IN CHINO - ONE VETERAN AND ONE NEW

by Center for Amazon Community Ecology November 13, 2017

ARTISANS IN CHINO - ONE VETERAN AND ONE NEW At the end of my meeting with the artisans in Chino, they all spread their crafts in front of them on a piece of plastic or cloth. As usual I went around to each one in turn and placed a little white tag on each craft that I wanted to buy. Afterward, I took a picture of every artisan with at least one of their crafts. Below are pics of Yermet - the veteran artisan who pioneered making woven frogs and Perla with one of her baskets. She is sister of Sarita Mendoza - another artisan who makes incredible woven chambira baskets. These will soon be available through our online store. Contact me if you'd like to get them sooner.

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NAIL BALANCE GAME IN CHINO - EVEN TOUGH CHALLENGES HAVE A SOLUTION

by Center for Amazon Community Ecology November 12, 2017

NAIL BALANCE GAME IN CHINO - EVEN TOUGH CHALLENGES HAVE A SOLUTION When I visit our artisan partners in Peru, the basic things that I almost always do are: 1) review and pay for products they have made for CACE as part of an order (Yully does this during visits to the Ampiyacu) 2) review other products they have available for sale - these may be items they've made for sale to tourists or new ideas they want to show us 3) talk about how the sales of their and other artisan group's products are doing in the U.S. This trip I shared how our sales of bird and sloth ornaments had been increasing. 4) talk about how our workshops have been helpful (or not) and how future CACE workshops might better address their needs to develop new products or improve their organization. These are interesting and sometimes tough conversations, so when possible I try to introduce some kind of fun activity or game that can lighten the energy and promote cooperation. This trip, I offered the nail balance challenge to the artisans at Chino and villages in the Ampiyacu. To make the "puzzle," I bought 15 nails at a hardware store and found a piece of scrap piece of wood in a house where some construction was going on. I asked one man in Brillo Nuevo to hammer one nail upright in the middle of the wood. Here's the challenge - balance 12 nails on top of the nail stuck in the wood. None of these nails can touch the wood or anything else (ie can't be held by someone's fingers). While I've seen as many as eight people (US students) trying to solve this puzzle together, it was interesting to find that when presented to these artisans, only a few of the women usually came forward to try. If young people were around, the older ones generally encouraged them to do it. The most common strategy that people tried was to try to balance one nail on top of another. A few intrepid ones tried to build a sort of box. I never rushed them, but at some point (usually 10 to 20 minutes), every group reached a point where they gave up. Even though they didn't solve the puzzle, though, they had fun trying to do it together. I will admit up front that I didn't figure this puzzle out myself. I got the solution off the internet. When I showed the artisans how to do it, they went "Oh, I see." A few of them then adopted this strategy and did it themselves. I usually followed up this demonstration with a simple debriefing. Basic questions were: How many of you thought that there really was no way to solve this puzzle? (some said yes, some said no). What did it take to solve this puzzle? (thinking about the problem in a different way) Are there any problems you are facing as artisans or in your life that seem unsolvable? How can you take a fresh look at this problem to find a creative solution. Just because a challenge seems hard doesn't mean you can't figure it out.

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ARRIVING IN CHINO

by Center for Amazon Community Ecology November 11, 2017

ARRIVING IN CHINO After spending most the day fishing with Exiles, we got back to the village of Chino just before sunset. I only had a few smallish pirana to show for the fishing, but as previous posts show, it was an awesome day for bird watching and photography. One landmark of Chino is the thatch dome building at the top of the bluff where the community gathers for some meetings and greeting visitors. One of our artisan friends Darli del Aguila was washing her clothes down on one of the floating docks in the river. Note that the river was way down, but during the rainy season, it will often rise to the point where it floods the village soccer field.

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TWO KINDS OF VULTURES IN THE AMAZON

by Center for Amazon Community Ecology November 11, 2017

TWO KINDS OF VULTURES IN THE AMAZON The Amazon has many kinds of vultures that bat clean up in the parlance of baseball. While some birds go after live fish in the river, I saw numerous black vultures by the side of the river that were helping themselves to dead ones that had washed ashore on the mudflats while turkey vultures (the kind with a red head) soared above looking for similar opportunities. In the Spanish, vultures are called "gallinaso". While considered repulsive creatures by some, the Ocaina people have one of the clans named after this majestic looking bird. See example of chambira woven bag with a vulture design made by artisan Rosa Andrade.

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TWO DIFFERENT BIRDS OR ONE? TUQUI TUQUI VS TIMELO

by Center for Amazon Community Ecology November 10, 2017

TWO DIFFERENT BIRDS OR ONE? TUQUI TUQUI VS TIMELO As Exiles and I arrived at the lake (Cocha Charo), we saw lots of birds feeding on the mudflats. He pointed out one bird with a brown rust colored body with a yellow and red beak that was sort of chirping and called it the Tuqui Tuqui He then pointed to another very similar looking bird (white under wings, similar colors on its beak) that he called the Timelo. When I looked in my bird book, however, I only found one bird that seemed to match both of these - the Whattled Jacana. What he called the Tuqui Tuqui was the adult form; the Timelo was the immature form. It's certainly not uncommon for juvenile birds to have more muted colors than the more mature form of their species (sometimes males have brighter colors than the females).

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BLACK CARACARA WITH CATERPILLAR

by Center for Amazon Community Ecology November 09, 2017

BLACK CARACARA WITH CATERPILLAR At first glance, I thought this bird perched on a branch by the side of the Tahuayo River was a vulture, but looking more closely, I realized it was something a bit more exotic - a Black Caracara - close relative to another caracara that locals call "tatatáo" based on the cadence of its crow-like screechy call. Now that I'm home and looking at the photo up close in the computer, I can see that it's holding a large wriggling caterpillar in its beak. Any bug people out there care to guess what kind?

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NEOTROPIC CORMORANT TAKING OFF FROM RIVER

by Center for Amazon Community Ecology November 09, 2017

NEOTROPIC CORMORANT TAKING OFF FROM RIVER As my guide Exiles (pronounced Ex-see-les) and I turned off the main channel of the Tahuayo River to seek a better fishing spot, we encountered one cormorant after another in the channel leading to a lake. When we got too close for their comfort, they would start to run across the water with their webbed feet and madly beat their wings churning up the water until they glided off. One time I saw one had a good sized fish in its hooked beak - clearly more proficient at catching fish than me.

See more about the Neotropic Cormorant at: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Neotropic_Cormorant/id?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIkfXAj-ex1wIVFLbACh01mwR9EAAYASAAEgI4sPD_BwE

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