On the opposite side of Pico Bonito National Park to the Cuero valley and our new project center, is the Cangrejal river. We are currently working with around 40 families in a string of different communities along the river valley, and that number is growing every week.
First stop, our demo plots at CURLA University, where we began the day by discussing with the farmers the problems they faced, trying to grow enough to support their families on highly degraded soils, and explained how the Inga alley cropping can help solve these problems once and for all.
These A-frames allow farmers to work out where the contours lie on their land so they can plant their Inga alleys on contour to stop erosion. They are simple to use and easily made with materials every family has to hand. Here we're helping Don Pedro and his son to make one of their own.
Though still less than 6 months old, local farmer Paulino's Inga alleys are really starting to take shape. 18 months to go til they are ready and Paulino is free from the weeks and weeks of each year he previously had to spend weeding his plot.
Peruvian Shaman, Don Lucho, being shown round a recently planted Inga alley plot by a local farmer. Don Lucho works to tackle deforestation in the heart of the Amazon by spreading sustainable agriculture techniques. His visit convinced him that Inga alley cropping could be hugely important and he is going to help the technique take root back in his home region in the Amazon.
Five months ago Don Paulino's land was just bare scorched earth. Now it contains 5000 young Inga seedlings which are rapidly growing into alleys which will hold together and repair the damaged soil and provide Don Paulino with a good harvest year after year.
By the end of the day, every farmer present had decided to give up slash and burn and change to Inga alley cropping. And they left saying that they were sure that once their neighbours could see them using Inga and see all the benefits it brings, the rest of los limpios community would follow suit.
So with the aim of beginning to convince the families of los limpios that Inga alley cropping can allow them to reforest their community and still put food on the table, we brought representatives of 12 families to an open day at our project center.
We've just started working in a new community in the Cangrajal valley, called los limpios, which translates as 'the cleaned'. The name comes from the fact since the village was founded the inhabitants have entirely 'cleaned' this land of the thick, primary rainforest which used to cover this area. We are hoping we can start to reverse that process.
Meet the latest member of the Inga Foundation staff - Pablo Pinto proudly sports his new Guamero outfit on his plot in the Cangrejal river valley. A very calm, determined, impressive addition to what is an exciting period in the Inga Foundation's development