This afternoon me a group of us from my work piled in a little cara and drove to Tena. Tena is a city a distance south of Quito that is located at the beginning of the rainforest. We went there because tomorrow there will be a premiere of the film Crude, a documentary about the devastation and pollution in the Amazon caused by ChevronTexaco failing to remediate toxic oil waste after Texaco stopped work there, which has caused serious injuries to the indigenous peoples there and polluted the water. As I’ve mentioned before, the reason I came to Quito this summer is to work as an intern in the Quito office of an environmental group that is assisting the indigenous people get justice, El Frente de Defensa de la Amazonia (the Amazon Defense Front).
I am so excited because, this is the closest I have been to the Amazon in my life, and because my work in supporting El Frente has brought me here. We left Quito late and got to Tena around eight. We are staying at this nifty hotel in the jungle in an orchid garden and an island full of monkeys! Such nature and beauty! We are staying for 2 nights and 3 days because as well as showing the film their will also be cultural events, dances and conferences.
After we arrived in the hotel we met up with the rest of our group and decided to go to town and eat fruit salad. We arrived in the middle of Tena, in the colonial plaza filled with colonial architecture, and ate fruit salad in the drizzling rain. This was the first time that when I breathed I could feel the rainforest!