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Yasuni National Park–The Transcendant and the Terrible

While thumbing through an old spiral notebook I came upon a few sentences I’d scribbled about the Napo Wildlife Center in Yasuni National Park, which lies in the heart of the Amazon of Ecuador.

Gary and I had met a couple from Florida in the Quito airport who raved about their 4 nights there–“the birding was exquisite. . . our naturalist guide uncannily called the birds to him. . . the food was great.  We stayed in a gigantic thatched lodge with open sides and mosquito nets, impeccably run.”

I wanted to know more, thinking it would be a good subject for a Pro-Ecuador webpage. My research revealed that National Geographic devoted 40 pages of its January, 2013, 125th Anniversary edition to Ecuador’s wild places, highlighting Yasuni and the Napo Wildlife Center.

A kapok tree soars above the jungle landscape in Yasuni National Park.  Photo by Steve Winter.

Yasuni has been called the most biodiverse area in the world.

Yasuni has over 600 varieties of trees, 600 kinds of birds and 10 species of monkeys, including red howler monkeys, squirrel monkeys and long-armed spider monkeys.  There are jaguars, peccaries, deer, giant otters, flocks of stunning green and blue parakeets, anacondas, piranhas.


You’ll find the spectacular hoatzin, a plumed bird with rust, black and tan feathers that is so unusual scientists don’t know how to classify it.  If you don’t know what a golden mantled tamarin or an Equatorial saki or a red titi is, have a look at the photographs featured in the article.

The haunting eyes of tiny night monkeys on the National Geographic anniversary cover say it all. Yasuni National Park is a treasure trove of living things unique to our planet, life that must be honored and preserved lest we risk the quality of our own lives through our neglect.

None of us can afford to turn our backs on the economic and environmental dramas being played out in Yasuni and elsewhere in Ecuador’s jungles.  Warring tribes, a vulnerable ecosystem, a government that needs money and the temptation of untold wealth that lies beneath the jungle canopies of Ecuador.

Is this the sequel to Avatar, playing out right before our eyes?  Today it’s a riveting mystery.  The outcome is uncertain.


Will Correa obey his own Constitutional mandate to treat Mother Earth as a living entity to be respected or will he allow foreign concessions to drill for oil and mine for gold and copper?

Ecuadorians clean up toxic waste from 1976 oil drilling.  These men work in hazardous conditions for $450 a month.

Photo is by Karla Gachet for National Geographic.

As responsible, caring human beings, we have it in our power to write an ending that is either a triumph or a tragedy.

Read the full National Geographic article.

Bo Derek, Avaaz and many others are speaking out about the devastation of the pristine areas of Ecuador.  Join the discussion in any way you can.  For more about the problem and the solution and how you can help, go to www.SOSyasuni.com.

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3 Comments

  1. You are right! This is the big fight as I have posted at http://www.dailycensored.com.

    What is left out of the article is the facgt Correa asked countries accross the world to pony up 7.2 billion to save the park. He understands that estruction of the park would cause immeasureable damage not just to Ecuador, bbut to the world.

    The US pressured these coountries not to give Correa the monies needed to get off the petrol oil fix that is the ewconomy of Ecuador. They renigged. Now the ffight is on.

    The indigneous community is split on many issues but that of the park seems one where their is agreement: it must be saved. Cut flowers will not support Ecuador nor will ‘economic refugees’ from the US, for most are not tourists but those who cannot live in the Empire due to no jobs, no health care and no income.

    This is sad. Many Ecuadorians I have spoken tto called Correa’s attempt to get money out of the oil dependant west ‘blackmail’ and this is just lack of consciousness.

    If Correa is to continue to invest money in human rights, disability rights, the environmeent, infrastructure and the rest then there must be money.

    Lasso and the banksters will look ffor any opportunity to oerthrow Correa ass will the CIA.

    We must pressure oil dependant nations like the US and others to both get off oil and belly up money to protect Ecuador and the Yasuni Park.

    Chevron still owes 19 billion in court penalties but refuses to pay. They must be forced to pay.

    This is all about resource extraction and the race ffor it.

  2. One People Public Trust They have all the tools and legality to win this fight you need to become Familiar with them..
    This is World changing information