Video: Meet the Guardians of the Peruvian Amazon

Deforestation is speeding up in the Amazon. But Peruvian communities are finding new ways to protect the wilderness.

Video: Meet the Guardians of the Peruvian Amazon

The highway that connects the Atlantic in Brazil to the Pacific in Peru brings economic benefit, but it also brings destruction, deforestation, and economic pressure on local people to give up their way of life. But, there's a third way - creating premium products in harmony with nature.

The Interoceanic Highway ploughs through the most remote parts of the Amazon basin, and along much of its 1,615 mi (2,600 km) length, the rainforest has been cleared and replaced with row after row of papaya. The plantations create income for the locals, but they also kill the rainforest. Nothing else will grow after papayas have taken all the goodness from the soil.

The highway also means the illegal miners can come, pillage the rivers for gold and tip their toxic waste into the pristine environment. They openly tout for workers in the frontier towns like Puerto Maldonado. The locals know they’re killing the forest – but the jobs pay so well, and there are families to feed!

Interoceanic Highway.

For your next trip, don’t ask “where will I go”, but “HOW will I go?”

The choices we make with the way we travel can make a huge difference to the world, and its people. After all, it’s the diversity, authenticity and originality of life which draws us to travel in the first place, so let's work to protect that.

At World Nomads we believe we have a responsibility to give back, but don’t wait until your adventure is over. Embrace the opportunities to take the third way through organizations such as Rainforest Expeditions. Travel has the power to change lives. Use that power wisely.

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