Feeding the chickens and the donkey and picking fruits
In may and june 2017 I've been working at the Cerro Seco nature reserve. I had a great time there with Michaela and Marcello and the other Ecuadorians who worked at the project. Together with Jaime, a guy from Argentina who knew a lot about medical plants, I worked in de garden the first two weeks. We cleaned all the weeds and grass and planted new trees, like lemon, papaya and dragonfruit. I really had to get used to the heat we worked in and to the fact that the workingmentality is totally different from what I know in the Netherlands. I slept in a really nice, basic cabin, there was wifi on the project and the food we got for breakfast, lunch and diner were amazing, thanks to Michaela. At night we sometimes watched movies, went out into town or I helped Michaela with making fruitwines. Other things I did on the project include painting the signs for the trail in the forest, selling our homemade products at a local market, feeding the chickens and the donkey and picking fruits. Furthermore, there were two little chicks when I came to Cerro Seco, which I cared for. They even slept in my cabin.
The dry forest is extremely impressive, with a lot of different kinds of trees. Especially the ceibo's were great. The project could really use help after the earthquake in april 2016. A lot of the buildings on the project are being rebuild and with small steps the project is being put back on its feet again. I had an amazing time at Cerro Seco and can't wait to come back in a few years to see how far they have come.
Annoek Reitsema, Netherlands, 2017