ArcAmazon’s Conservation Center

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ARCAmazon has partnered with the company LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics to build a Conservation Center at the Las Piedras Amazon Center (LPAC). This was made possible thanks to a large donation which was generously awarded to ARCAmazon by LUSH. The goals of this construction were to improve the experiences of visitors to LPAC, provide a safe and dry space for researchers, tourists, and members of nearby communities, and reduce the use of fossil fuels by ARCAmazon. The design and construction of the Conservation Center was a collaboration by local community members and LPAC staff. Many of the builders who worked on the Conservation Center were from the nearby communities of Boca Pariamanu, Asociación Río Piedras and Lucerna. The building materials utilized for the construction of the Conservation Center included sustainably-harvested wood which had already been felled, as well as old billboard for the roof.

Overall, the Conservation Center has been very well-received. Surveys filled out by visitors and staff indicate a great improvement in overall experiences, as well as the ease with which research and other work can be conducted. For example, a staff member at LPAC who studies fungi reported that her experiments are now much easier to conduct due to the stable floor of the new Conservation Center. Additionally, the aesthetics, sanitation, and functionality of LPAC has been greatly improved. For example, the old dining area of LPAC could become very muddy after heavy rains. The new dining area, located on the second floor of the Conservation Center, offers greatly improved sanitation in addition to a spectacular aerial view of the surrounding rainforest.

The construction of our Conservation Center has led to a massive increase in the number of volunteers staying at LPAC. Additionally, the organizations Rustic Pathways and Field Projects International have formed partnerships with ARCAmazon. Rustic Pathways is planning to begin sending eight student groups to LPAC each year. LPAC has also hosted a field course run by McDaniel College called Forest Online, as well as a leadership program for young professionals from the Madre de Dios region. We are thrilled to be able to allow more people to experience the wonders of the rainforest than ever before. Although the construction of the new Conservation Center was a highly ambitious undertaking, but we are thrilled with the final result. In 2019 we hope to expand on this project by installing solar panels, with the eventual goal of completely eliminating the use of fossil fuels at LPAC.

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