The Odyssey

 
 
Basecamp
Trek Connect
Time Machine

 
 
Home  
Shawn Dispatch

The Mighty Amazon: Slipping Slowly Away Into Never-Neverland

Click image for larger view
The Amazon Jungle, one of the last great frontiers of wilderness, is slowly disappearing, maybe never to come back: the jungle, the native people, and the home to millions of species.

Click image for larger view
Life in the motorcycle capital of the world.
caption
Iquitos, a city that can only be reached by boat or plane, is home to more than 400,000 people. However, since no roads connect it to the rest of Peru, almost everyone gets around on motorcycles (Iquito is the motorcycle capital of the world!). While this may sound really cool and fun, the problem is that during peak traffic the streets here become so noisy that it can be impossible to hear the person standing next to you, or that you can't hardly breathe because of the black fumes in the air.

www.ran.org
Thousands of indigenous people call the rainforest home.
caption
Ashaninka, Huambisa, Machiguegna. These are the names of some of the tribes who live here. Many of them live deep in the wild, almost never having contact with people from the outside, not knowing what is Coca-Cola or the Internet. For them, contact with the outside world often means death.

Miners and loggers bring with them guns, alcohol and diseases from distant lands. These tribes have no modern medicines, like you and I, to fight against them. And what voice do they have to object? Without radio, television, newspapers...without even the ability to speak Spanish or English, how can these simple people tell anyone else in the world of their problems.

Click image for larger view
Where the amazon used to be.
caption
Shell, Occidental, Mitsubishi. These are the names of some of the corporations who have come here seeking spoils of this fragile land. For them, this place is not a large, mysterious forest, but simply a place to make money off the Amazon's resources.

You and I, we are the people who can make a difference. It is you and I that burn fossil fuels, use wood products and consume things like bananas and meat which require so much of this precious land to produce. The first step towards making a difference is wanting to.

The next step is to know how. Next time you buy a product, or get into your car, ask yourself if you know where what you are using came from. The things we consume do not appear at the store in the morning, and the costs of creating them do not disappear when we throw away the wrapper. At the current rate of destruction, the worlds rainforests will be a memory by the year 2030.

caption
Unless you and I do everything we can to make a difference, within our lifetimes we will not only witness the destruction of this incredibly rich and diverse ecosystem, we will see first hand our own species, human beings, join the list we have had such a part in creating - extinction.

Shawn

Monica - Goldilocks and the Three Incas
Making a Difference - Save the Rainforest from Your Own Backyard!

 
Meet Shawn
 
Meet Shawn
  Basecamp | Trek Connect | Time Machine
Home