My first few weeks in Lobitos
I have been here for almost three weeks and the time has absolutely flown by. This is my first time in South America and I am loving every minute of it. Living at the beach is a dream, every sunset is beautiful, and the fruit is so fresh I can’t believe it. I have been very busy with the reforestation project, caring for our trees and seedlings. This includes regular watering and trimming as well as mulching, building support tudors for weaker plants, and general maintenance of protective barriers. I care for the plants in the gardens around the house (which are quite extensive and wonderful) in addition to the young forest that we planted on a site of degraded land several months ago. This site is called The Zion Sunset Forest and is now populated with over 200 native seedlings that are crucial to the habitat of the Peruvian Plantcutter, a species of bird endemic to the Northern coastal regions of Peru.
My favorite part of caring for the forest is when people from the community come up to me and ask what I’m doing. Although my Spanish isn’t perfect, I can usually communicate the goals of the project. Most people seem supportive of the project, saying how the local environment is severely degraded and how the world needs more projects like this one. The comments that I get from the locals are both humbling and rewarding.
One of the most labor-intensive aspects of the reforestation project is seedling production. This includes collecting native seeds, germinating them, and transferring them from the germination table to the nursery. This is an ongoing process with plants at all different stages of growth. We do a number of things with the seedlings we produce, including distributing them to other nurseries around Lobitos, planting them in public spaces around Lobitos, and giving them to families involved in the Lobitos Verde (Green Lobitos) project.
While caring for all these plants keeps me very busy during the work day, I have been able to enjoy Lobitos in my free time. I have been exploring the dry forest environment, getting to know the native plants and local geography, which I find very interesting. I have been learning how to surf along with some of the other volunteers, and although I am not very good yet, I have been having a blast.
I am looking forward to the rest of my time here in Lobitos, and I have a feeling that two months will pass far too quickly.
@EcoSwell is a for-impact, sustainable development organization based in Lobitos, Peru. Since 2014, we have been working everyday to help coastal communities thrive in unison with nature. If you would like to learn more, please visit our Facebook, website, and follow us on SteemIt!
Written by Daria Fortin
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