My Bolivia
Chalalan Eco-Lodge – Madidi Nat Park, Bolivia Chalalan Eco-Lodge – Madidi Nat Park, Bolivia
A successful story about a group of villagers in the jungles of Bolivia who came up with an idea and saw it to success.... Chalalan Eco-Lodge – Madidi Nat Park, Bolivia

A successful story about a group of villagers in the jungles of Bolivia who came up with an idea and saw it to success. This is a promotional video I did with my friend Amy Townsend, where we shot a brief spot for the people who own, run and came up with the idea of Chalalan Lodge located in the heart of Madidi National Park in Bolivia. The people of the village of San Jose de Uchupiamonas lived by farming, hunting, gathering and trading for centuries in the dense jungles of the Bolivian Amazon basin until ‘civilization began to encroach. During the period of un-controlled de-forestation in the region, great trees of Mahogany were cut up in situ and sent downriver to the frontier town of Rurrenabaque for dsale to the highest bidders. Once Madidi National Park was set up, the ilegal de-forestation continued unabated and even though the people of San Jose were part of that process they realized that they were destroying their home, literaly. With the help of outsiders and then NGO’s like Conservation International, the Josesanos decides they needed to make a dream come true, a lodge where peolpe would come and pay to see the animals as opposed to hunting and eating them. Thus Chalalan Lodge was born. It took about a decade of hard work but they are now owners, administrators and protectors of this lodge and the immediate surroundings. This is a true feel-good story about a band of villagers that were once predators and have now become protectors. You should visit Chalalan Lodge, it could change your life.

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