EXTINGUISHING THE FIRE IN RURRENABAQUE: A Detailed Account of Solidarity and Challenges

In October, the KPN Foundation embarked on a humanitarian mission to Rurrenabaque, Beni, Bolivia, where voracious fires consumed millions of hectares of vegetation.  This documentary article provides a detailed look at the experience during this challenging visit.

The story begins when the KPN Foundation trained the  rangers of the Pilón Lajas Reserve.  This training revealed the wonderful biodiversity of the region, contrasting with the extreme poverty of the surrounding communities, lacking even basic services and affected by devastating mining. 

Faced with the fires that ravaged the region this year, the KPN Foundation responded by traveling to support the rangers, community members and brave volunteer firefighters who faced an unrelenting fire for two months. Sabrina Cuéllar Rodríguez recounted how, upon arrival, they were greeted by Álvaro Segovia, director of the Pilón Lajas Rangers, who described the exhausting struggle of his team  and the frustration at the intensity of the fire.

During the visit, the courage of those who ventured to fight the flames was highlighted, despite lacking proper equipment to do so effectively. The lack of resources became apparent, but so did the determination of those who risked their lives to save their homes and natural environment.

The impact of the drought was evident during this visit, turning the region into a favorable ground for the spread of the fire.  The following day, they headed to an Indigenous community, 02 de agosto, where the population had worked tirelessly to protect their homes and school during the night. 

The boat journey to Carmen Florida reveals the commitment of Luz, a local nurse who coordinated donations and joined the fight against the fire in her community.  The path to Carmen Florida, with its residents affected by crop loss and food shortages, highlights the harsh reality they face.

The heroic efforts of Mrs. Maritza are also emphasized. Along with various foundations like Alas Chiquitanas, Ríos de Pie, and Tunari sin Fuego, she ensured the constant distribution of food to the communities in need.  These initiatives were crucial in countering food scarcity amid the tragedy.

As we left the Carmen Florida community, the Vice President left us with a task, emphasizing the need to collect 2,100 pairs of sandals for the 23 Indigenous communities along the Beni River.  The KPN Foundation invites everyone to join this noble cause, reminding that every contribution, no matter how small, can make a difference in the lives of these affected communities.

We can all be part of this beautiful campaign; we can all contribute a little and achieve great things on Earth. From the KPN Foundation, we invite you to join the campaign and support us in bringing sandals to the communities of Bolivia.

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