PlantTeachers is proud to curate the One Acre Project!
We are protecting the Amazon Rainforest — One Acre at a time.
Our mission at the One Acre Project is to preserve 70 acres in the Amazon Rainforest of Peru. This conservation project protects an area of old-growth trees and maintains the delicate balance of native forest trees, plants, birds, animals, insects, reptiles, and waterways. As part of the One Acre Project, we support a family that lives on and cares for the land and we provide tuition and school fees so that their children can receive a good education. During the pandemic, there has been an increase in deforestation coming closer and closer to the land and some trees on the land itself have been felled. This potent forest will face deforestation without our help.
We need your help! Please donate.
One Acre of forest.
One Acre of our breath.
One Acre of life.
We are looking for $13,000 to save the 70 acres we are trying to protect. This amount will cover the costs needed to protect the Amazon until September.
We invite you to donate and join our One Acre Family.
Thank you, Chacruna, for being our fiscal sponsor. As a result, donations are tax deductible. Please check out Chacruna’s website to learn more about the amazing things they are up to and their profound contributions to a powerfully positive culture currently emerging on earth!
History of Fundo Sitaramaya
2004 – Sita was studying Traditional Amazonian Medicine near to the village of Varillal, located outside of Iquitos. She stayed in an encampment without running water and a couple of times per week, walked to the little river of the Fundo to bathe. During the walks she became acquainted with Renato, a campesino (settler) who lived in the jungle and made his home in the land of the Fundo.
Although the land –70 acres of old growth forest – had never been issued a title, Renato had a “Constancia” (certificate of possession – a right to stay in the land). It is important to remember that this is the forest, where there were no titles, per se.
2006 - Renato decided to leave the land and move to the city. He approached Sita and asked if she wanted to purchase the land. She was aware the land was not titled and knew it could be difficult to get one, if and when needed, however she acquired the land with the intention of conservation.
It had been custom throughout the years, that other campesinos cut trees to make money for their subsistence. They produced charcoal out of majestic trees, which sold for as little as one dollar for thirty to fifty pounds. Although it was heartbreaking to see the poverty that created this problem in the first place, it was concerning to see the deforestation that was taking place. And that’s where the conservation intention originated.
People continued to walk through the Fundo, but they stopped cutting trees for many years once they learned that it was a conservation land.
2012 – A fire in the Belén area near Iquitos displaced over a thousand people and over one hundred families.
2016 – The local government resettled families from Belén in the area near the Fundo
2018 – People again start coming onto the land, carving paths and cutting trees. With no other access, the new settlers were carving pathways to get to a nearby river, and people were felling trees.
2019 – Amidst divergent interests – the new settlers who wanted to get to the river to fish, capensinos again felling trees for charcoal, and conservation efforts to maintain the forestry, tensions grew which were subsequently resolved through community meetings. However, border areas of the Fundo now required more active oversight to prevent further encroachment. The rising population in the area required more diligent efforts in the care of the land. The added requirements exceeded the capacity of the caregivers. As more people moved into the area, the land became more vulnerable.
A fence was never required. Now, it is clear that the area, all 70 acres, must be fenced if the trees and ecosystem are to be preserved.
2020 – Although approximately 90% - 95% of the trees remain in the Fundo and the waterways are still clean, medicinal plants have been taken along with some important equipment used for the upkeep of the land.
2021 – As COVID-19 and the pandemic disproportionately impacts rural locals without access to adequate medical care, it has also meant that it has become more difficult to travel for supplies and to maintain the day to day conservation efforts.
In the midst of the challenges both land based and bureaucratically, we have initiated the opportunity to be a Privately Designated Conservation Project with the Peruvian government and have started the process of fulfilling those requirements, including the planting of local and heritage plants, fruits and trees.