Reflections on Pachamama,  Peru’s Mother Earth.

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Through climate and custom the Peruvian Amazon has sank into my blood, allowing my heart rhythm to resonate with the pace of life I enjoy. A lack of fast and cheap Internet access has been a major incentive for me to postpone any sort of updates from the field; hence you can begin to see e-spider webs being made on the corners of my blogs. Today is housecleaning day.

As I climb to 3800 metres above sea level, the city of Cusco welcomes us with its beautiful red roof tiles, colourful Andean dresses, a sea of tourists and a growing population that makes Pillcopata seem farther and more remote than it actually is. This country expands over a compact territory of oceans, desserts, rivers and forests where the Andean cordillera elevates into the sky from the heart of it all. Its seemingly omniscient presence gives rise to magical realities that are express through its cultural and ecological richness and diversity. Undoubtedly this is why the local indigenous peoples came to call it Pachamama, or Mother Earth.

Despite it’s humbling effect, the mountains themselves are only but a catalyst of it all. The region is a perfect place to study climate change as the rapid altitudinal change and it’s proximity to the equator presents us with vast micro ecosystems that continue to migrate up above as the earth warms. I am not an ecologist or a biologist but I understand that humans are as much a part of the forest system as the fungi that populate this valley and therefore, human population development is as much an ecological issue as it is an economic one. From sweating the heat long enough, one can begin to appreciate this valley as a parallel picture of our planet and the situation in which we find ourselves today. I think that that from our collaboration here we can learn valuable lessons for our future generations. Recognizing local populations throughout the process of conservation will teach us to see integral ecosystems for what they are, until then, we’ll only approximate in our attempt to develop sustainable solutions for the planet.


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