Last fall Jordan Gantz and I told the story of how the U.S. Forest Service helped Peru develop an information system for tracking wood harvested from the Amazon. The trip included my first visit to a saw mill, interaction with many hardworking and inspiring people and lots of mosquito bites.
I spent Earth Day in the Amazon, documenting four Amazonian manatees as they were released back into their natural habitat. As our boat was pulling back into Iquitos I turned around and saw this. I felt the awe of nature and an overwhelming gratefulness for being there at that very moment.
Back in November I traveled to Iquitos in the Peruvian Amazon to film for the Center for International Forestry Research. A fruit called aguaje grows on palms in the swamps near the city. In Iquitos alone 20 tons are consumed daily. Aguaje is a yellowish-orange fruit with a bit of a gritty texture. It’s eaten alone or used to make juices and ice cream and is rumored to boost libido and fertility. Others will tell you that it contains “feminine hormones that turn men gay.” The project took me from the swamps where it grows to aguaje wholesalers and the market. Here are a few images I made along the way.
If you’ve never heard of Mistura, you should Google it. Mistura is an enormous food festival in Lima, Peru, in its 6th year. This year about 350,000 people attended, setting a new record. My favorite part of the fair is being able to try food that’s not from Lima. At Gonzalette the Arequipeños were cooking up alpaca and beef.