A trip to the heart of South America : 45 youngsters will cross the Amazonian region along 34 days
Students of the eight Country Members and from the French Guyana, together with professors and scientists, will have the opportunity to thoroughly know the Amazon. This trip begins in Quito and ends in Brasilia
The Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO) will take 45 students from Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela and also from French Guyana to follow the same route of the expedition commanded by the Spanish Francisco de Orellana along the Amazon river, in 1541 and 1542. The project "Getting to Know the Amazon - ACTO and the Youth - In the footsteps of Orellana" initiates the trip on the next June 24 in Quito , Ecuador , and ends on the July 27, in Brasilia.
The expedition, joined by 27 professors and professionals of the most various areas, will cross the road traveled by the Spanish explorer, from the Ecuadorian capital to Belém do Pará , Brazil . Besides Ecuador and Brazil , they will pass by Peru and Colombia .
Students between 15 and 18 years old from public and private schools or high schools which are attending intermediate educational level in 2006 are able to participate. In order to be selected, the candidate should elaborate a composition on a subject related to the Amazon and suggested by the educational institution. The five best works of each country will be selected by the respective Ministry of Education.
The objective of ACTO is to provide the youngsters with a human experience on the Amazon so that they will be able to know it closely, understand its problems and become involved with the future of the region. The lessons learned will be very useful in future tasks to those youngsters, who are potential communitarian leaders, businesses men and women, governors, technicians, public officers, among others.
The expedition will have on a daily basis seminars and conversations on matters like history of the region, its occupation, current problems of rural and urban population, the specificity of the Indigenous and riparian communities, ecological issues, culminating with discussions on the sustainability alternatives of the Amazon region. Aldenir Paraguassu, General Coordinator of the expedition and Sustainable Development and Eco-tourism Consultant of ACTO, explains that the students will use computer software in which they will be able to include their impressions on the trip. The students will also have notebooks to make remarks and equipment for image production, in addition to a library with books and videos about the Amazon. He says: "These will be the scenes that will provoke the students' curiosity. And for everything observed by them, there will always be a specialist to consult and to respond to their questions ".
At the end of the trip, all material produced by the students and professors will be converted into products such as video clips, television programs, CD-ROMs, books, articles etc. "According to the material produced we shall envisage the universe of products that we will have, but those are only some we foresee now", emphasizes Paraguassu.
Francisco de Orellana was the first navigator to cross the river which was denominated by him the Amazon, in reference to a town of warrior women known as Amazons, as he described at that time. The expedition coordinated by ACTO will pass by places visited by the Spanish.
The trip begins with a great celebration in Quito , from where the travelers start off by highway to Orellana Port , in Ecuador ; from there, the trip follows by boat until Manaus , in the Brazilian State of Amazon. During this trip the travelers will know Tena, Nuevo Rocafuerte and Panacocha, in Ecuador .
When entering Peru , they will pass by Iquitos , Angosteros and Caballococha.
In Colombia , the group of travelers will visit the city of Leticia and will enter Brazilian territory via Tabatinga. Soon, the route will be Tefé, Coari, Amaturá, Santo Antonio do Içá, Jutaí, Fonte Boa, Uairini, Alvarães, Codajás, Anori, Manacapuru, Iranduba and Manaus.
From there, students, professors, scientists and ACTO team leave using the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) airplanes to Belém, Tucuruí and Carajás, in the State of Pará , to finalize the trip in Brasilia .
Throughout the trip, the students will have medical care, food and lodging support, in addition to all didactic material and clothes offered by the organization.
How to participate
Schools must register in the Ministry of Education of each country in order to enable their students to participate in the project selection. Every educational institution will have to create a professors' council to judge the works which, obligatorily, must be produced in classroom with professor supervision. The main subject of writings will be the Amazon.
Works selected by the schools will be forward to the Ministry of Education of the respective country which will choose the five best writings of the country and will send them to ACTO, enclosing the following documents: photocopy of identity card, complete medical record, parents' or legal representative's authorization with public notarized signature; name of school, principal and teacher who took part in the project, specifying the function of each of them.
For specific information, please contact the Ministry of Education of your country:
Ministerio de Educación - Pasaje Esmeralda, 4 (Av. Arce) - La Paz - Bolivia
Ministério da Educação, Esplanada dos Ministérios, Bl. L, anexo II - Brasília DF
Ministerio de Educación Nacional - Centro Administrativo Nacional - CAN - Bogotá- Colombia
About the Expeditio n :
Ministerio de Educación Cultura, Deporte y Recreación - San Salvador E6-49 y Eloy Alfaro - Quito - Ecuador
Ministry of Education - 26 Brickdam Pallard Place, Georgetown, Guyana
Alta Dirección del Ministerio de Educación - Van de Verde 160, San Borja Lima-Perú
Ministry of Education and Community Development Indira dhi web 575 - Wanica -Suriname
Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deportes - Esquina de Sales - Edificio Sede - Caracas- Venezuela
Académie de la Guyane Rectorat: BP 9281,97392- Cayenne - Cedex 2
* The French Guyana shares the Amazonian biome.