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The Sidewalk through the Treetops

Join Shawn over 100 feet above the ground in the middle of the rainforest! We have it in video and virtual reality!
Take a multimedia journey through one of the richest biodiversity zones in the world.
I am dangling on a tiny bridge, more than 100 feet above the ground. This bridge is the only thing to keep me from falling to the earth, and it shakes uneasily as I make my way across from treetop to treetop. I stop and look at the beautiful colors of the Amazon and listen to the animals chattering away below me. Then, I notice that a small green lizard has followed me out onto the walkway. It stops suddenly, gets scared and runs back to its home.

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It's a long way down! A birdseye view of the jungle.
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This sidewalk through the treetops was built about three years ago by the Amazon Center for Environmental Education and Research. It allows people to visit the treetops of the jungle. Life is business as usual for a wide variety of birds, insects, reptiles, amphibians and mammals. The walkway helps everyone to learn about the Amazon Jungle.

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This sidewalk in the sky connects about twelve tree platforms.
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ACEER is made up of a group of people who think of interesting projects to help teach people about the Amazon. One fun project they have is the "adopt a school" project. Schools in the United States, such as your own, can adopt a school in the Amazon and raise money to give Peruvian students so they can buy books and supplies. Students from the US can also visit the Amazon themselves, through ACEER's sister program The Jason Project. You can check it out at The Jason Project.

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From up here, we get a chance to see the treetops up close.
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Wandering through the Amazon, I visited a medicine garden where medicine is made from the plants of the jungle. I also saw over 300 kinds of trees in a tiny area near the ACEER building, and I was told that there were over 25,000 species of exotic plants in the upper Amazon basin. Even more amazing is that there are 2,000 species of fish in the Amazon River (more species than there are in the Atlantic Ocean)! Fish sticks would never be the same if we had that!

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Another strange and exotic jungle animal.
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Of course, the Amazon is dangerous and scary. There are deadly snakes, ants nearly as big as my thumb whose bite can cause blisters that last for weeks, and flesh-eating mosquitoes, whose bites can carry diseases. At night, it is even more scary, because in the pitch black night the sounds of the jungle really come alive. It seems that every type of noise imaginable can be heard coming out of this utter darkness. Cooing and chirping... thumping, rattling, scraping, pecking... rustling, thrashing, pounding, sometimes growling, and always my very least favorite, buzzing. This is definitely not a place to play hide and seek!

Shawn

Kevin - Sesame Street in Peru: Me and My Llama
 
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