Updated: Jan 4, 2022
We are very proud and happy to share with you that, in November, a team from the #BBCWorldService visited Ecuador and Humans for Abundance’s projects in the Amazon rainforest.
The team included Jo Mathys and Daniel Gordon from the program ‘People Fixing the World’, which tracks down people who are using innovative ways to make the world a better place.
First, they visited Omar Tello’s farm, close to the town of Puyo. They did a wonderful job of telling Omar’s story, both for the podcast and for the video of the program ‘People Fixing the World’: 40 years ago, Omar bought a piece of farmland with a very depleted soil, due to many years of having been used as pasture land for cattle. From that moment on, he made it his life’s mission to restore this land to a rainforest. His farm now has an abundance of plant and animal species native to the Amazon jungle, many of which are in danger of extinction.
After visiting Omar’s land, the team from the BBC travelled deeper into the Amazon, to the small community of Mushullakta, comprised of about 45 families, and part of the Kichwa tribe, in the province of Napo. There, they met with our founder, María José Iturralde, and interviewed her regarding her plans for Humans for Abundance. She explained how she’s trying to encourage the people in other parts of the Amazon, especially in Mushullakta, to do what Omar Tello has done with his land: her ambition is for indigenous people to earn a living from restoring the rainforest. The idea relies on ordinary people wanting to pay local people to repair the ecosystem.
The BBC also interviewed José and Mayra Shiguango, who were María José’s first recruits out of the few local families that have already joined Humans for Abundance. José explained that their goal is to stop relying on traditional farming for an income; they used to earn about 100 USD a month by selling naranijllas, bananas, peanuts and other such products, produced with pesticides and chemicals. As ecological restorers, they now make about 250 USD a month from their 13-hectare farm, by doing things like growing seedlings and restoring wetlands.
José told the BBC about what life in the jungle used to be like: “My parents ate what was in the forest: bananas, fava beans, they hunted armadillos, and caught fish from the rivers. In the last 35 years, it’s completely changed. The road came, and with it, the timber merchants, chainsaws, people selling beer… the animals have gone now. That’s why it’s my dream to repair the forest.”
You can see the video featuring Humans for Abundance’s projects here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/stories-52122285/the-man-who-grew-his-own-amazon-rainforest
And listen to the podcast here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p08853y8