Ben and Ana Teresa met on the Marañon in June 2014. Ana Teresa is helping enormously through her local contacts, knowledge of Peru, ideas and helping to get things done in Spanish:
I am a Forestry Engineer working for Peruvian NGO ProNaturaleza; I work in projects which involve topics like Climate Change, conservation, social and environmental issues about dams, outdoor education and Greenhouse Effects. Also, I work on initiatives which impact environmental and social issues in Peru, especially issues involving local and indigenous people.
I love travelling; for work and fun. I know most of Peru; I really want to go to places that I had never been, outside or inside my country. The world is a stunning place, full of outstanding works of art. I really encourage people to travel, because nobody loves what they do not know. I really like riding my bike (the traffic in Lima is a mess, you must do it) and taking photos. I have just started to practice yoga because I am trying to train my mind to see good in everything.
I am an outdoor person. Nowadays I am working in Lima because it is the place to work with civil society, but I frequently go on trips outside the city. I really like the highlands and the jungle; people are really friendly and very kind. They have a simple, happy, beautiful way of living which is close to nature, and close to incredible landscapes. In many of my trips I was in a boat on the river, rivers like Amazonas, Yanayacu Pucate, Madre de Dios, Ucayali, etc. But in one of my last trips I was on a raft through the Marañon River (it was really awesome!) and I finally saw the places which I am protecting. The experience was incredible, I understood that many people are connecting with the rivers, and they really need them.
I am passionate about sustainable development, but the real one, which involves workshops, working with local communities, environmental strategies and long term goals, in order to make projects that benefit all the people who are involved. I think that If we motivate young people and they build the capacity to better understand environmental and social issues, we will have a better world, focused on conservation.