Blog written by Shruthi
Back in highschool, I loved playing football for my school. Here in the Amazon, it has been such fun playing football and kicking a ball around with the local children. However, something I still fail to comprehend is the fact that every 11 seconds, a piece of land the size of a football field is cut down in the Amazon forest.
We’ve just begun sailing down the mighty Amazon river, and already we can see a stark difference in the density of the forest compared to that surrounding the Rio Negro. Patches of deforested land look completely out of place, unnatural, and what we’ve seen is barely the tip of the iceberg.
Today however, we had an opportunity to make a small difference to the huge problem of deforestation that the Amazon faces. We journeyed to a nearby farm where we learnt about the difficulties Brazilian people face. Balancing the need to secure a source of income and not deforest the Amazon can be a tricky trade-off, however we were able to contribute to a sustainable solution. We planted Guarana trees in land that had been previously been logged. These trees will be used to produce several consumables and produce income for the locals, without them having to cut down further forest. Between these trees we planted various native trees such as rubber and fruit trees, which further contribute to a sustainable source of income for the local people.
It was a beautiful experience feeling the roots hugging our fingers, having mud caked over hands and knowing that these seedlings that we held in our hands would soon grow into mighty trees. Much in the same way, Pangaea has nurtured us over the last 20 days and provided us with such incredible experiences to grow as people.
I feel so grateful for everything we’ve experienced thus far, the journey has truly opened my eyes, mind and heart to a new level, and I hope one day we can play football, without any worry of deforestation.