Photo of the Week
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    [post_content] => After being in the amzon for a good four days, it is quite a shock to suddenly find yourelf in tourist central!  To get to Cusco we had to take a twenty one hour long bus ride (by far the longest bus ride ive ever been on) through the mountains, at some points we were driving at an altitude of thirteen thousand feet!  But the long bus ride was definitly worth it.  Although it is tourist central Cusco has been fun to explore and the saqsaywaman ruins were awesome.  But tommorow morning we will be saying good bye to the restraunts and tourist luxouries as we start our process of aclimatizing for our trek in the sacred Valley.  So good bye Cusco and hello Sacred valley mountain range.
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Peru 4-week, Summer 2008

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Cusco

Harry Rossman,Peru 4-week, Summer 2008

Description

After being in the amzon for a good four days, it is quite a shock to suddenly find yourelf in tourist central! To get to Cusco we had to take a twenty one hour long bus ride (by far the longest bus ride ive ever been on) through the mountains, at some points we were […]

Posted On

07/13/08

Author

Harry Rossman

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    [post_date] => 2008-07-11 00:00:00
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Today the Peru group travels via boat over one of the great highways of the Amazon Rainforest, to the Amazonian city of Puerto Maldonado. From there they will embark on one of the most epic busrides on the planet, traveling slowly up from the hot steamy rainforest through a broad spectrum of biological life-zones over a high Andes pass and down to one of the world's most sacred and fascinating cities, Cusco. From Cusco students will be able to hammer out their own reflections on and thoughts on the trip thus far. I wanted to pass along some information on their most recent desitation, Los Amigos Research Station:

The Los Amigos Biological Station is a research station in lowland Amazonian forest at the base of Peru's southern Andes, at 270 masl in Madre de Dios department. The station's official name in Spanish is Centro de Investigación y Capacitación Río Los Amigos (Los Amigos Research and Training Center). It is commonly known by its Spanish acronym, CICRA.

The station sits on a high terrace at the confluence of the Madre de Dios and Los Amigos rivers. CICRA's small private property is contiguous to the Los Amigos Conservation Concession (LACC), which protects a diversity of upland and lowland forest types and aquatic habitats in 1,450 km² of the lower Los Amigos watershed. Population density in a 5 km radius of the station is approximately 2 persons per square kilometer, mostly itinerant gold miners working concessions along the Madre de Dios River; the 30-person village of Boca Amigos is 2 km from the station. Within the LACC, population density is zero, with the exception of occasional visits by uncontacted indigenous groups. Research and training facilities at CICRA include lodging for 50 visitors, 250 m2 of laboratory space, a lecture hall, a >50-km trail system, a 60-m radio tower, satellite internet access, access to online scientific literature and databases, high-resolution digital aerial photos of >200,000 ha of surrounding forests, a digital flora of >2,500 plant species collected on-site, a 470-volume scientific library, a weather station dating to 2000, and field guides to fish, amphibians and reptiles, and plants. Off-site resources include two smaller satellite stations, each with their own laboratories and lodging, 3 and 25 km from the main station; a GIS laboratory in nearby Puerto Maldonado; and two additional 60-m radio towers inside the conservation concession.

The station was established in 2000 by two non-governmental organizations: the Peruvian NGO Asociación para la Conservación de la Cuenca Amazónica (ACCA) and the US-based Amazon Conservation Association (ACA). The station is administered by ACCA, in partnership with ACA and a third NGO, the Amazon Center for Environmental Education and Research (ACEER). The long-term vision of these groups is to make CICRA the leading field destination for researchers and students in Amazonia.

In 2005-2007, CICRA was the most active research station in the Amazon basin, hosting an average of 25 researchers and assistants per day. During the same period, it was likely also the most intensively studied site in the Amazon, hosting 145 different research projects spanning animal behavior, biogeochemistry, botany, conservation biology, geology, hydrology, zoology, as well as biological inventories of 25 different taxa, ranging from copepods to marsupials. These numbers place CICRA behind Panama's Barro Colorado Island and Costa Rica's La Selva Biological Station -- the leading Neotropical research stations -- but ahead of other field stations in the Amazon basin. Most research visitors are associated with universities in Peru or abroad, and many receive funding to visit the station through ACA and ACCA's grant programs. Los Amigos is also a leading training site for young Amazonian scientists and conservationists. From 2002 to 2007 the station hosted 19 field courses, ranging from introductory courses on Amazonia to specialized courses on plant identification, ornithology, and arthropod biology. More than 70% of the >300 students who participated in these courses were Latin American.

Through 2006, the station received the majority of its funding from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Additional funds have come from ACEER, the Botanical Research Institute of Texas, the National Geographic Society, the U.S. National Science Foundation, and private donors. Since mid-2005, the station has covered its operating expenses with station fees from visiting researchers and courses. (from Wikipedia)

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Peru 4-week, Summer 2008

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The Amazon Rainforest

Simon C. Hart,Peru 4-week, Summer 2008

Description

Today the Peru group travels via boat over one of the great highways of the Amazon Rainforest, to the Amazonian city of Puerto Maldonado. From there they will embark on one of the most epic busrides on the planet, traveling slowly up from the hot steamy rainforest through a broad spectrum of biological life-zones over […]

Posted On

07/11/08

Author

Simon C. Hart

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Tales from Tamboya (a bit belated)

Last Saturday we returned to Lima after spending four exciting days in a small Andean village located in the tropical highlands in Northern Peru. Tamboya is a small village of 500 inhabitants in which I was blessed with the opportunity of spending two years while serving as a Peace Corps volunteer. It was warming to see the kindness and generosity with whichthe villagers once againwelcomed me and our Dragons group into their hearts and homes. Yet again it was humbling to be surroundedby those who lack material wealth but are filled with generosity and richness of heart.

During our short stay we visited schools, taught English classes, playedsoccer and volleyball,collaborated with youth on a mural project, visited coffee and tropical fruit farms, watched the processing of cane sugar, learned about local healing practices and medicinal plants, and drank fresh hot chocolate cultivated in town. We spent a morning hiking above the cloud line looking down on the picturesque mountainvillagesuuroundingby a sea of clouds.

The wonders and warmth of Tamboya have once again filled my heart and it was such a joy seeing this village through the youthfuleyes of Dragons students.

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Peru 4-week, Summer 2008

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Tales from Tamboya

Ashley Kaplan,Peru 4-week, Summer 2008

Description

Tales from Tamboya (a bit belated) Last Saturday we returned to Lima after spending four exciting days in a small Andean village located in the tropical highlands in Northern Peru. Tamboya is a small village of 500 inhabitants in which I was blessed with the opportunity of spending two years while serving as a Peace […]

Posted On

07/9/08

Author

Ashley Kaplan

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I write from the open-air dining room of the Los Amigos research station, Rio Madre de Dios, the Amazon. Rain continues to fall (rare for the month, typical for the forest).

This is the most active research station in all the Amazon. In the past few days we've woken up to monkey calls, searched trails for fallen orchid flowers, and played sunset soccer with local workers and researchers. This morning we went a kilometer or so by boat down river to visit a small gold mine, where four men work around the clock ona barge the size of small bedroom.

On clear days you can see the snow capped peaks from the banks of the Madre de Dios.In two days we will be there. The Andes!

Wehope to make time for students to write from Cusco,where we begin our few days in the Sacred Valley. In the meantime, everyone sends their love home! Manysaludos and abrazos from the most biodiverse placeon this earth...

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Peru 4-week, Summer 2008

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Quick saludos from the jungle

Ellie Happel,Peru 4-week, Summer 2008

Description

I write from the open-air dining room of the Los Amigos research station, Rio Madre de Dios, the Amazon. Rain continues to fall (rare for the month, typical for the forest). This is the most active research station in all the Amazon. In the past few days we’ve woken up to monkey calls, searched trails […]

Posted On

07/9/08

Author

Ellie Happel

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    [post_title] => More pics
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Peru 4-week, Summer 2008

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More pics

Ashley Kaplan,Peru 4-week, Summer 2008

Description

Posted On

07/5/08

Author

Ashley Kaplan

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Un Remedio Casero Para Diarrea:

Necesitas:

-La Cascara de Coco

-Te

-Hierba Luisa

-Miel de La Tierra

-Agua

-Limon

A drink is made with tea, cascara de coco, which is the hairy stuff from the shell of the coconut, hierba luisa, which is lemongrass, miel de la tierra (very strange- to get this one must follow a small bee until it goes into the ground, then dig where it goes into the earth, and extract the strong honey that they make.), lemons, and water.

This is known to cure diarrhea in the town of Tamboya, in the department of Piura, Nothern Peru.

*This was taught to us by a woman from Tamboya, who taught us all about traditional remedies and cures from the region.

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Peru 4-week, Summer 2008

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Un Remedio Para Diarrea

Zander Bernard Abranowicz,Peru 4-week, Summer 2008

Description

Un Remedio Casero Para Diarrea: Necesitas: -La Cascara de Coco -Te -Hierba Luisa -Miel de La Tierra -Agua -Limon A drink is made with tea, cascara de coco, which is the hairy stuff from the shell of the coconut, hierba luisa, which is lemongrass, miel de la tierra (very strange- to get this one must […]

Posted On

07/5/08

Author

Zander Bernard Abranowicz

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    [post_title] => Photos from Peru!!!
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Peru 4-week, Summer 2008

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Photos from Peru!!!

Ashley Kaplan,Peru 4-week, Summer 2008

Description

Posted On

07/5/08

Author

Ashley Kaplan

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Finalmente en Peru,

today was our first day in Peru and it was a full one. We came off the plane with maximum five hours and five minutes of sleep and headed to Hotel espana. Once there we slept (I on the floor on my mat) for a couple of hours before heading out to explore. We learned quickly that the cars came before our lives and that the use of horns is widely practiced. This is a fascinating city. On one side we met a five year old girl who informed us she began working selling gum at five that morning and would work until it was dark. Then on the other side there was a mall with a Hooters. We had an awesome dinner with an all you can eat buffet. We finished off our day by visiting the Peruvian gold museum.

I learned many things today. During group activities, we each wrote down a fear that we are carrying around. The crazy thing is someone wrote, change and someone else wrote the fear that they won´t change at all. This made me feel better by helping me realise that these fears are as Fer would say simple "ghosts". They are not real results like death or breaking a bone. They come from inside and we do not even need to carry them anymore if we decide that we don´t want to. So that´s what I am trying to do, just let them go.

I miss all my friends and family! I love you ALL!!!

Until next time, Amanda

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Peru 4-week, Summer 2008

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Hoy

Amanda Bronner,Peru 4-week, Summer 2008

Description

Finalmente en Peru, today was our first day in Peru and it was a full one. We came off the plane with maximum five hours and five minutes of sleep and headed to Hotel espana. Once there we slept (I on the floor on my mat) for a couple of hours before heading out to […]

Posted On

06/29/08

Author

Amanda Bronner

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I am sitting in a hostel in the historic district of Lima. We arrived early this morning (6:00 am) after a night of little sleep, primary bonding, and a few ice-breaking activities that required creativity, good humor, and feats of physical balance as well as strength.

A short walk down the street are buildings built by the Spanish; Cathedrals, palaces, and structures detailed with lavish, religious detail, all symbols of Lima´s historical significance as the center/ crown of the Spanish Empire.

After a deep nap on the floor of our room, (I was too late to "call" a bed), we left for some site seeing in the surrounding historic district, then to a huge lunch in a fancy Peruvian buffet. After two plates heaped with rice, beef, a sauce that was suprisingly spicy, and a few cups of a strange corn drink (tasted like flat rootbeer), I was ready to go back to sleep. Instead we walked along the coast, in a very wealthy, modernist area, until we reached an outdoor mall that brought us back to American culture with a Starbucks and Burger King. We saw an exhibit of ancient Peruano gold works; Masks, axes used for human sacrifice, and instruments. Also, funny English translations that would read such lines as : "Blow tubes is true, but other objects misamerican presented untrue of artist, who had never been to America," that needed to be read a few times until it was decided that they just didn't make sense.

It has been a full day, but only a preview of what is to come. Tommorow we depart for the town in which we do our homestays, a 14 hr. bus ride from here. I already "misplaced" my sketchbook, filled with only a few portraits of large sleeping Americans at the Laguardia. Maybe its better that I left them on the plane.

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Peru 4-week, Summer 2008

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El Viaje Empieza

Zander B. Abranowicz,Peru 4-week, Summer 2008

Description

I am sitting in a hostel in the historic district of Lima. We arrived early this morning (6:00 am) after a night of little sleep, primary bonding, and a few ice-breaking activities that required creativity, good humor, and feats of physical balance as well as strength. A short walk down the street are buildings built […]

Posted On

06/29/08

Author

Zander B. Abranowicz

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    [post_date] => 2008-06-29 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

We are in Peru. We are in Peru? We are in Peru! Lima is a beautiful city. This morning after an exhaustingly comfortable 6 hour plane ride we strode in to the cobbled streets to discover a congregation of armed men outside a plaza. El dia de Papa is the name of the celebration we stumbled upon. After acquanting our tired eyes with sites, sounds and smells of the run down streetsFer lead us in a group activity. Paulie played the part of a samuriin a fight. Each of the fears that may have arisen for this Samuri were represented by anothergroup member.Brave Paulie had to decifer which fears were relevant and which weredisposable.

This city has a lot to offer. You just have to look around.

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Peru 4-week, Summer 2008

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to fear or not to fear

Margarita Harburg,Peru 4-week, Summer 2008

Description

We are in Peru. We are in Peru? We are in Peru! Lima is a beautiful city. This morning after an exhaustingly comfortable 6 hour plane ride we strode in to the cobbled streets to discover a congregation of armed men outside a plaza. El dia de Papa is the name of the celebration we […]

Posted On

06/29/08

Author

Margarita Harburg

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