The foundation of Tamandua is making travel mean something. That has never been more relevant than for this trip.
Illegal gold mining in Peru is a major problem. Just Google it. The devastation can be seen from space as a scar across the Amazon – over 350,000 acres have been lost. And because the gold in this part of Peru comes mixed in with the sediment, miners have to cut down forest, burn it, suck up the earth, and then use mercury to separate the gold from the soil. It’s a horrendous process that completely annihilates forest, wildlife, and poisons the land forever in the process.
One year ago I traveled to the Malinowski River to better understand what was happening. What he found is that the miners killing the forest weren’t doing it because they were ‘bad guys’, but because there were no other options for work. This began the collaboration (see the video below) that lead to this trip. All around the mining camp I saw incredible and unexplored lakes. Streams that wound through the jungle. There were signs of anacondas, jaguars, and macaws in the air. All of this could be lost if the forest was cut. And so began the process of talking to the miners. I spoke to them, showed them photos, and got some friends to vouch for me.
A year later, the miners have shut down their operation. What have they been doing since? Building accommodations for visitors. That’s right. These miners, who were about to destroy an entire river, stopped and went for ecotourism because we asked them to...
Because they believe in a better future for themselves.
Because even illegal gold miners care about the earth and will do the right thing if given the chance.
So this trip has become the most exciting new addition to the Tamandua schedule. This is your chance to actively take part in Rainforest Conservation. Come explore the lakes and streams, help us compile a species list! This is a whole new river, whole new chapter, and the chance to do something positive for the local people. In the process, you joining this trip will help to protect hundreds of acres of wild, primary forest that is packed with wildlife!
Arrive in Puerto Maldonado. Tamandua guides will welcome you into the jungle town and make sure you are settled in your hotel. We’ll all go out for dinner and an orientation before getting a good night of rest before tomorrow.