Friday, May 30, 2008Dear friends,
We are so thankful for all the outpouring of support during the Volcan Chaiten eruption and just as thankful that our camp and the Futaleufu have been spared! The financial contributions that we have collected will still make life easier for the locals as many sold off cattle and sheep to get them out of the area. The money will also help them deal with fuel shortages and triple price hikes. We are also studying a way to get the rio Azul residents a web page to help visitors to the areas enlist their services in the future. Tourists can then book such things as a home cooked Asado, a home stay, a hike to hidden lakes, or horse rides etc. This will be a way to get passerby visitors in touch with the Futaleufu locals and will allow them to make money well into the future as soon as we all get the word out that the Futaleufu is every bit as beautiful as ever! It is true that the heavy winter rains have taken care of the ash fall. In many places the soil has been actually enriched and this will help grow even healthier vegetation.
The worst possible outcome for the locals now is that visitors stay away due to sensationalist press, which would make carving a living out of the wilderness even harder. They really are working hard to provide services to the growing number of tourists and this is for many the largest source of income. So, tell your friends how great the Futaleufu is and that they should visit soon as much as ever before!!
Again, thank you all for your concern, support and mindfulness!