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Helping the local community
Para La Tierra works in the communities close to the reserve, providing environmental education to adults and children. In 2011, we received part-funding from United States Wildlife and Fish Service, through their Wildlife Without Borders program, to train and employ two park guards to protect the reserve and to carry out a series of workshops in the local area. In 2012 we received further funding from the Rolex Awards for Enterprise to continue the project. The park guards spend their time looking after the reserve and improving tourist access to its beautiful forests and cerrado through creation of a trail system. Both guards (Jorge Ayala and Concepcion Gomez) are from the local area themselves and so understand local customs and culture. Perhaps most importantly, they also speak Guarani, the local dialect, strengthening links between the reserve and the people who are most affected by it.
Through the funding from Rolex Awards for Enterprise, we have also built three chicken coops in communities close to the reserve. The coops are run by women and provide a source of income and meat for them and their families. In addition, we’ll be able to begin a more formal relationship and environmental education program with two primary schools and one high school in the local area.
Since the deployment of the park guards, we have seen an increase in the number of large animals, particularly deer and feline species, which inhabit the reserve. You can contribute to the amazing work of the guards and to our children’s environmental education projects by donating on the support us page.