Creations from the forest

Peru’s northern coastline is home to some of the last remnants of Pacific dry forest. These forest fragments provide important refuges for wildlife and offer critical life support systems – but they are being drastically reduced in size, primarily due to agricultural and urban expansion as well as indiscriminate logging. So A Rocha Peru is mobilizing locals to help protect this precious habitat.

The Dry Forest Project teaches participants to make and sell traditional non-timber products which use the forest’s natural resources while promoting sustainable, ‘forest-friendly’ livelihoods.

In Tronco Prieto, sections of dry forest have become degraded, in part due to the illegal logging of trees for charcoal and firewood. A Rocha Peru is teaching members of the Muchick community group to produce Algarrobina syrup, a natural sweetener taken from the seeds of the native Algarrobo tree. The group has already produced 13 litres of syrup, which has been sold through local networks, Facebook and WhatsApp.

In the nearby Cañoncillo Forest, A Rocha Peru is running artisan workshops on how to make traditional handicrafts to sell to tourists. Milagros del Pilar Campos Garcia (pictured), one of the participants, is learning how to make baskets and viruli rugs from sugarcane. With the support of A Rocha Peru, Milagros is also making a difference in her home community of Tecapa. ‘I voluntarily protect a forested area that is adjacent to my farm and have planted Espino and Sapote seedlings in coordination with members of A Rocha Peru. I want my grandchildren to breathe clean air so, I will continue to conserve my forest.’

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