Time time time to catch up! Photography workshop 1

I can finally take a deep breath and share with you all about the last two months of Vivamos el Bosque! July and August have been very intense, busy and really great for the project!

As planned… Vivamos el Bosque team has organized and completed successfully its first photography workshop in collaboration with our friends from Tropical Herping. From July 24th to July 29th, 11 participants received 6 hours of theory in Quito about the basics of photography; and they spent two days in the Cloud Forest, where they discovered the magic of the Otonga Forest and had the chance to share a special time with the community of El Maltón. It was a pleasure for me to receive 9 participants from Quito and two special guests from Chile that were travelling in Ecuador when they found out about the workshop. Thank you very much to all the participants, the instructors and our friend and volunteer Celina Perez-Beck for getting involved with Vivamos el Bosque fundraising activities.

The photography workshop had three main objectives. To raise awareness about the importance of protecting the cloud forest in Ecuador; to engage more people in biodiversity conservation through Vivamos el Bosque and to fundraise for the project. I am glad that our 11 participants had the chance to learn from the experts about nature photography while getting to know about Vivamos el Bosque initiative and its close connection with the communities surrounding the otonga cloud forest.

Thank you to all of you for your support and keep in mind that more workshops are coming soon!!

Here, a picture taken by one of our participants, Alejandro Miranda.

One leaf at a time…

Live the Forest or “Vivamos el Bosque” started as a dream, became an idea and it is now a plan that is coming along little by little. Through a recently founded Roots & Shoots Group, I am working to develop a pilot non formal educational program for children and youth, in addition to a business plan that Otonga Foundation could use to sustain the program in the long run. I plan to raise 10 000 USD in the next 10 months to start running the program properly.

The project has no money now. Although raising money seems always difficult at first, I am positive that by thinking outside the box and working hard in what we are passionate about, we will find our way. The project’s fundraising plan includes activities such as:

– Photography workshops at the Otongachi Research and Educational Center.
– Orientation and survival workshops at the Otonga Forest.
– Scientific illustration workshops at the Otongachi Research and Educational Center.
– Bird Watching workshops at the Otongachi Research and Educational Center.
– Organize “Scientific discussion forum in Coffee shops” in Quito.
– Organize an awareness event: “The Web of Life World Tour: Ecuador” with the communities surrounding the Otonga Reserve.
– Crowd funding: betterplace.org
– Grant applications

We plan to raise money with each event while continuously applying for more money from bigger donors. I hope we can start running the educational program by January 2013.

Last week I presented “Vivamos el Bosque” to the board members of Otonga Foundation and some good friends of Otonga.

They are all really excited about the idea and are willing to help the project. I received great input and currently we have all their support!! 🙂 Thank you all for joining the dream!

Don´t hesitate to give me your inputs please!… The more we are, the stronger we get!