A tropical rain forest biologist and wildlife guide, Armando and his wife Aillen Mejia Valasquez recently sent me a plea for money for food and medicine for himself and their community of Los Guatuzos on the Rio Papaturro, in Nicaragua very near the Costa Rica border. Because of the downward political spiral and near collapse of Nicaragua, tourism has dropped 95 %. They have only had 2 groups of people in 2 years.
Armando is a rock solid person and it is sad to see his livelihood shrivel to nothing. A self taught biologist he has written a chapter and included his photos in the book, 'Orchids of Nicaragua' on his specialty, the miniature orchids of the rain forest. Armando, Aillen and the surrounding area are pictured in first 3 minutes of our travel film of 2015 in the first link below. It is clear that his business is a minimalist enterprise yet he is known as one of the leading wildlife guides in the country and many top officials have nevertheless enjoyed his services. Armando built all the outside furniture and cabins: simple but very nicely done. The soldiers you see are for the protection of the community. The second link is a comment on Armando's guiding service on The Trip Advisor. The last link has pictures by a Nicaraguan guide.
Armando plans to capitalize on his woodworking skills by building rustic furniture and selling them in the strong economy present in Costa Rica. I believe he can succeed. Raising chickens too would be a good enterprise. He needs to invest in tools, materials, labour and chickens. They and their community need food and medicine urgently. Any help would be greatly appreciated. This couple were so generous to us, helped us to appreciate their native birds, plants and animals and did everything they possible could for us. They even borrowed children's bikes for us to use and we peddled to Costa Rica!
I feel it is also important to support any one who teaches the importance of rain forest ecology.
Search: vimeo slideshows by murrough experiences in Nicaragua 2015https://www.tripadvisor.co.za/LocationPhotoDirectLink-g1200488-d3875127-i85791843-Cabanas_Caiman_Los_Guatuzo-San_Carlos_Rio_San_Juan_Department.html
search: Refugio de Vida Silvestre Los Guatuzos