From under the yellow/green striped Guadua trees, I could see the sun peeking playfully through the redolent greenery that surrounded me at Reserva Cauquitá. I breathed in the deep rich smells of the forest and listened to the eager chirping of birds and the rhythm of crickets and tree frogs. Daniel squirms until I let him down to poke and touch the leave strewn carpet of the forest trail we had followed down and across the bubbling stream. He babbles happily and chases a beetle to the limits of the clearing where we rest during our hike. Johanna, the caretaker, and owner of Reserva Cauquitá points to the scratchings of an anteater and tells us stories about her encounters with the local wildlife, which includes sloths, red howler monkeys, and so much more, some which I can’t even name in English.
Once again I am at Reserva Cauquitá with a visitor showing them one of the secret places of Pereira that even many locals know nothing about. The land has been privately owned for several generations by Johanna’s family. She created the official reserve. One of the few uncut forests (of its type) in Pereira, the ecosystem is a dry tropical forest of which exists only in 2% of the total Earth surface area. This rare protected eco-system is a wonderful treat for the passing traveler. Even better, you will be able to see what the forests once were like and even be able to help support this project for future generations. in their own words, Reserva Cauquitá is “A sanctuary of life, the living seed of a native forest, that enriches the relationship of people with nature and their own inner spirit.
In their own words, Reserva Cauquitá is “A sanctuary of life, the living seed of a native forest, that enriches the relationship of people with nature and their own inner spirit.
Later after our hike I was able to interview Johanna a little bit more about her project with Reserva Cauquitá. Here is the interview transcript:
Open Minded Traveler: Johanna, tell me a little bit about your vision for Reserva Cauquitá.
Johanna: We care greatly about conservation and education. This is a mission of life, not like a business, it’s a way of life.
Open Minded Traveler: When was Cauquitá founded?
Johanna: I inherited the land but the reserve was founded in 2002.
Open Minded Traveler: What Inspired You to get Involved in Conservation?
Johanna: I think being in touch with nature since childhood. I always lived in an environment, very natural. I didn’t want to travel life without giving back.
Open Minded Traveler: What amenities do you have to offer guests?
Johanna: Guided visits, therapeutic experiences. Expansion of the spirit through sweat lodge ceremonies and ancestral traditions. We also take on volunteers who help us plant trees and build new additions. We have a mud house which architecturally is an example of traditional spaces which have a therapeutic effect. It was created to use when working with women’s health. We also offer massage and plant therapy.
For more information see this website: reservacauquita.wix.com Contact Johanna Drews via the previous website for information and to schedule your visit! firstname.lastname@example.org or WhatsApp: +57 313-732-0688
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