On November 15th, representatives of the Conservation Association of “Golden Bear of Hierba Buena Allpayacu” (Asociación de Conservación Oso Dorado de Hierba Buena Allpayacu) from the campesino (peasant) community of Corosha, located in the Amazon region, traveled through the Andes of Peru to visit the Association of Agroforestry Producers “La Puerta del Pui Pui” (Asociación de Productores Agroforestales La Puerta de Pui Pui) annex of San Antonio, located in the district of Pampa Hermosa, province of Satipo, Junín region. The two associations are part of Rainforest Partnership’s community-based integrated conservation projects in the Tropical Andes of Peru.
The community leaders of Corosha, Lizeth Arista and Maribel Benavides, traveled by van, plane, and bus to reach the annex of San Antonio. On the day of their arrival, the association of San Antonio welcomed them by organizing a visit to the Gallito de Las Rocas waterfall, the touristic emblem of San Antonio. Afterwards, they met with the population of San Antonio and gave a presentation about the eleven years of community-based conservation success in the campesino community of Corosha, focusing on the touristic activities related to wildlife observation and homestays. Also present during this visit was our tourism consultant Liliana Nureña, who is working on the tourism development plan for the annex of San Antonio, together with the municipality of Pampa Hermosa. Liliana framed the presentation about the Corosha conservation initiative with the goals of the association for the management of their waterfall and other touristic resources.
The representatives of Corosha had two main goals during their visit, (1) to hold a weaving workshop teaching the women of San Antonio to weave the emblematic yellow-tailed woolly monkey, and (2) to observe and learn about the community-development experiences in San Antonio.
The weaving workshop took place over two full days during which the population of San Antonio was trained in the creation of a crochet-based model of the yellow-tailed woolly monkey. As a result, the attendees made twelve woven toys.
On the last day of the visit, the San Antonio hosts organized a fellowship lunch with a fried trout main course. During lunch, we all discussed the lessons learned during the workshops and the stay of the representatives of Corosha. The meal concluded with a thank you from the San Antonio authorities and a final photo as a memento of the four days of shared experiences.
During their stay in San Antonio, the representatives of Corosha were invited by different families to share food, experiences, and work as an association. The people of San Antonio emphasized the importance of their association and highlighted everything they learned from the visit of the delegation of Corosha. They deemed it a significant event for the growth and improvement of their association.
This community exchange, in addition to allowing an exchange of experiences, has strengthened the capacities of the members of the Corosha and San Antonio associations and has opened a new communication process with emphasis on activities that both communities are developing regarding tourism. It has also motivated the participants to carry out more activities to improve their skills and knowledge by holding more workshops and developing a training for next year. The expectation and commitment of the San Antonio population to continue developing tourism work are growing.