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An educational experience that began nearly a year ago and logged thousands of miles over land, water and through the air came full circle Wednesday as Dean shared with students his adventures along the Mississippi River.
Dean spoke to Fremont students prior to his Wondrous Mississippi voyage focusing on his explorations of the Amazon and Nile rivers and compared those to what he might find on the Mississippi. While on his journey down the Mississippi, Jacobs Skyped with classes and now he’s making his way around to Fremont’s elementary schools presenting what he learned and experienced.
The students of Mrs. William's class at Highland Elementary in Denver, CO proudly display a drawing given to them by one of the Achuar kids in the Amazon rain forest of Ecuador. Highland Elementary also opened their hearts and gave $200 for the Achuar Education project!
During my trip on Enrichment Voyages' MV Explorer this December, I asked a few people to write down their dream for 2014.
It was a fun exercise that gave me the opportunity to connect with people and more importantly, a chance for them to express to the world something important.
With every passing minute, we left behind the noise of the so-called developed world as our plane flew deep into the Amazon Rainforest of Ecuador.
The loud sound of the plane engine began to fade as I pressed my face against the plastic window to get a better view of the endless rainforest below. The unceasing green was occasionally separated, only briefly, by a brown river winding its way toward the mother of all rivers – the Amazon.
There is no place like the Amazon Rainforest in the world. Thirty percent of all the living species in the world are said to call it home. Most of those have yet to be documented.
I was on my way to visit a couple of indigenous villages from the Achuar nation of Ecuador. They are a proud and distinct people who have lived in harmony with the rainforest long before the Spanish ever arrived.
My mission this day was to deliver three duffle bags stuffed with school supplies to remote village schools. There is no store down the river for the Achuar people who are dedicated to educating and empowering their children to be good stewards of the rainforest. Their lives are a balancing act between two worlds – a sustainable existence in the rainforest and the consuming demands from the so-called developed world for the natural resources that surround them.
The Achuar are a dream culture. In the darkness of the early morning, the Achuar wake at 4 a.m. to interpret their dreams to gain insight on the actions to take for the day and the future. About 15 years ago, a dream appeared to the Achuar to reach out to the west, to the very people they considered being a threat to their way of life. The intention was to build a bridge between these two worlds to help preserve the rainforest and the world.