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From The Director: 2012 Letter | 2002 Letter


Guaria de Osa EcoLodge & Ethnobotanical Gardens is 11 Years Young!

A LETTER FROM
Ethnobotanist, Jonathon Sparrow Miller Weisberger,
founder and steward of Guaria de Osa, and
Director of CCBD (Council for Cultural & Biological Diversity)

 
 

Grupo Osanimi

Project Update

Letters from the Director

Golden Lines

 
 

March 2012

* * * *

Dear Friends and Supporters,

I take this moment to write to all of you this letter of gratitude being that Feb 19th, 2012 was the 11th anniversary of the inauguration of Guaria de Osa - Rainforest Ocean Discovery Centre and Ethnobotanical Gardens - on the sunny South Pacific Coast of the Osa Peninsula!

I am overjoyed to say that the lodge is more beautiful than ever. After 11 years of dedication, it is starting to show! Myriad trees are bearing fruit; the tropical gardens are fully blooming; an array of birds and their songs and the aromas of the diversity of flora flourishing in Guaria's campus fill the air! We have given birth to a paradise venue and she smiles upon us!

We have lovely new beach cabins with ocean view and our Gavilan Blanco (White Hawk Bungaloo) is looking really good! Moreover, we're just about to consolidate the addition of the back property that has been pending for years! We've also finished the trails and walkways and a really nice outdoor shower surrounded by flowering plants add to the tropical splendor!

Our good Secoya elders visiting from Ecuador just left after s month assisting us with our stellar Rainforest Council Gatherings .. amazing ... beyond one's imagination. Much gratitude for being in our lives, don Agustin "Tintin" Payaguaje, don Marcelo Payaguaje, and don Basilio Piaguaje (the first time he's ever left Ecuador!)

* * * *

To Our Rainforest & Turtle Supporters (click here for video)

Many many thanks go to the supporters of our rainforest and marine turtle conservation efforts. Our projects are moving forward because this past year over 25% of tuition funds generated at Guaria de Osa were channeled to ground level conservation endeavors. With these funds we are able to maintain continuity with the projects and feel happy our accomplishments, although small within the grand scheme of things, are large on a spiritual, personal and community level among the people we work with.

In Costa Rica this past rainy season 2011, with ardent challenges, we managed to protect 73 nests and over 6,000 baby turtles were released to the ocean! We have inspired almost all the local beach residents, including the children from the one-room schoolhouse, to participate in the protection of these at-risk and most noble beings!

Rainforest Achievements in Ecuador!

In Ecuador our rainforest conservation projects are also proceeding and many accomplishments have been undertaken this past year, despite our limited funding. Non-the-less, with steady and ongoing dedication, coupled with strategic planning and volunteers - we have been able to accomplish amazing steps forward towards conservation. Some of these are:

We are almost finished with the creation of a 3000-acre biological reserve called the "Purina Tambu" - symbolic translation "Ancestral University of Life" also known as "Eternal Rainforest of the Children." This project is with the Kichwa speaking Amazanga Community on the outskirts of the jungle town of Puyo in Pastaza Province.

In Napo Province and Orellana Province is Napo-Galeras - "The Sacred End of the World Jaguar Mountain." It is here, miraculously, we stopped an illegal road that was being pushed in along the eastern slopes of the Jaguar Mountain via an educational and informative magazine we produced and distributed high and low, both regionally and on an institutional level!

Our magazine had powerful and positive effects and was influential in discontinuing the illicit, potentially destructive to the environment road, along the eastern slopes of the sacred Napo-Galeras Mountain.

Reforesation and Guayusa Project in Ecuador

In the town of Tena we have also launched our Guayusa Tea House project and have set up a network that is paying above market average prices to Kichwa speaking families who are protecting their mega-diverse rainforest lands. Check out Guayusa Tea House on facebook.

We have also made significant advancements in our ongoing reforestation undertaking in the high Andes with the Agua Santa Community, a project under the leadership of Juan Patricio Pilco in collaboration with Tian Gong Foundation and The Living Bridges Foundation. Last year we were able to support the construction of a much needed water tank that will supply over 60 families with water for gardening. Now we are coordinating the installation of the piping to get the water to the homes of the families.

We continue our solidarity to the Secoya traditional elders in various ways since 1993, and most recently, donations received facilitated the building of a house for don Agustin "Tintin" a project overseen by our good ally.

Our projects in the Tropical Andes and Upper Amazon is number one mega-biological diversity hot spot, according to Conservation International. The most biologically diverse biome on the entire globe!! Needless to say, conservation responsibilities here are crucial! For more info and project updates you can visit our new web site: www.4biodiversity.org

All these amazing efforts have stemmed from Guaria de Osa Ecolodge and funds donated have been channeled via our sister foundation - Fundación OSA - a legally established non-profit organization in Ecuador and Costa Rica with United States based non-profit status via the Living Bridges Foundation. Fundación OSA is also CCBD - Council for Cultural and Biological Diversity.

Please feel free to contact me personally if you would like to join in solidarity or to read a project proposal. Volunteer grant writers are ever more necessary and there are positions available for ground level participation as well.

Tremendous thanks to everyone that has been a part of making this dream a reality. Thank you for your heavenly way; for not giving up when times are hard. Thank you for your support and understanding and most of all thank you for being who you are and for being a good friend on this trail we call LIFE.

In these times, I personally feel, that it is ever more necessary to return to the basics and to care well for what ever we are doing. For those who it is within your reach, you can extend support and join in solidarity. To give more than we receive fills us with celestial energy that in turn, attracts multitude of terrestrial blessings. Join us in the adventure of networking all that is good in a conscientious and whole-hearted way.

Many thanks from...

The critters that live at Guaria, who, thanks to the bounty of Nature in our area, no one hunts them anymore. These forest neighbors can take care of themselves from forest fruits, flowers and leaves. Thanks also come, on behalf of the clan of White Faced Capuchin Monkeys who visit daily; the flock of Chachalacas that live surrounding Guaria de Osa; of the group of Wood Rails - Kukalecas - who sing with total joy all throughout dawn and run around the grounds at sunrise; and from the Squirrel friends, who with their new-born babies, hop around in total glee.

The thankfulness continues from the majestic Macaws and Scarlet Rumped Tanagers that flutter around; from the Summer Tanagers that visit for the time being; from old Raw Maneyetis, the King Howler Monkey who lives with his troop behind the lodge and howls daily to greet the rising sun in the wee hours of the morning.

On behalf of the ancient trees that grow near Guaria de Osa, come gratitude from the giant Purple Heart; the Nazareno Tree that over-looks us from the hill behind the lodge; from the grandmother and grandfather protector Fig Trees that grow on each end of the beach; and from the fruit trees that we are caring for in our gardens.

I wish to take the great joy and liberty to thank you all on behalf of all our friends mentioned here, and on behalf of the great Rainforest herself and the mighty Ocean who caresses the shores and cleans the beach in front of Guaria de Osa EcoLodge.

May the Great Spirit never fail to inspire, enliven and renew us all so we may be more present every day in service to Mother Earth and all the myriad creatures that are our sisters and brothers.

In love, gratitude and respect,

Jonathon Sparrow Miller Weisberger, Ethnobotanist
and the Guaria de Osa Ecolodge crew from Costa Rica, Ecuador, and United States.

June, 2002

A letter from the director

Dear Friends,

Jonathon Miller WeisbergerThe years 2001 and 2002 have been a healthy challenge indeed for us and for many all over the world. Much work is underway and many kinds of changes are in store. In our little tiny reality, we are proud to say that, thanks to what we would believe to be a great stoke of good fortune coupled with a heavy load of responsibility, we have purchased an amazing little rainforest beach property in Costa Rica on the Osa Peninsula. The place is pristine and beautiful and very wild, full of wildlife, just North of the Corcovado National Park. Here we have undertaken the construction of the Guaria de Osa Retreat Centre.

We hope and aspire that this centre will serve many people to reawaken a love for Nature, and that it be a place to let Nature do her healing work. In this time and age, we believe that to retreat into Nature is of crucial importance for the human spirit and for our very own health. For these reasons and many more we have created Guaria de Osa. We aspire simultaneously that it will be a profitable venture and that we will be able to donate healthy percentage, after recovering from some debts, to our non profit work among indigenous and rainforest communities in Central and South America.

We have finally legalized a non-profit organization here in Costa Rica, in the name of Fundación OSA or Grupo Osanimi. OSA stands for "Organización Social y Ambiental" – translated to "Social and Environmental Organization." So, in a sense, we are shifting from the name Group Osanimi to Grupo Osanimi.

We still have great ideas on how to put into play an intact social and political infrastructure which we have established from our experiences over the past decade, working in megadiverse, remote, and forgotten wilderness areas - territories much talked about, yet at ground level for indigenous ethnic minorities, quite forgotten. We do need volunteer grant writer(s) and researchers to help us receive funds for our projects, so please step forth, adventuresome and tireless grant writer(s), and join us in these adventures.

On another note, we share more good news. Thanks to our friends and colleagues in Ecuador for their ground-level work, and to the generous donations made from private individuals and the Tropical Rainforest Coalition in the United States, Group Osanimi was able to assist the Amazanga Community and their foundation, the Huanduk Yachai Foundation. In Pastaza Province of the Ecuadorian Amazon, another 125 acre parcel bordering Sangay National Park in the pristine Llushin River Valley was purchased for the purpose of conservation.

For us, this is a great victory and for the Amazanga Community as well because they have been struggling for decades now to strengthen their peoples' traditional ways and respect for Nature.

Funds have also been secured and sent to Ecuador to administer among the Secoya People so that they may continue the work in the Ethnobotanical Gardens in the village of San Pablo with Alfredo Payaguaje. A workshop is being planned to bring together the elders and the youth to create a forum where traditional knowledge can be transferred from one generation to the next.

Well, these are just a few of the adventures we've been up to in our neck of the woods. In this time and age, it is a true challenge to create alternatives to the dominant paradigm; and to seek ways to protect Nature and assist in the transmission of vital cultures is even more challenging. This task is even greater in the remote and forgotten regions we work in.

We wholeheartedly extend our utmost appreciation to the people who have supported our work, and to those who are, in their own unique ways, working towards the necessary transformation needed to awaken humanity to a vision of respect and sincerity in harmony with Nature and with our fellow human beings. Let us cherish these moments as we live on this Earth and make the most of our vitality.

Thank you again for your interest in our work, and may the flight of the birds not be detained.

Sincerely,

Jonathon M. Weisberger
Ethnobotanist
Director, Grupo Osanimi

 

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