Author Archives: Guillermo Knell
It was December of 2017 when we were contacted by the Arab producer; Loay Alotaibi, for his documentary project; Discover Peru with recognized TV chain; Al Jazeera. Since then, and during the 2018 communications were taking body, and our search for locations and potential characters to build the budget of his documentary, were increasingly demanding. The complexity of the chapters and scenes desirable forced us to carry out several scouting trips between Loreto and Cusco mainly from october to november of this current year. In 2019, there was no turning back and our fixer structured a trip of up to 60 days of filming to cover 4 destinations in these 2 regions of the country.
The shooting journey was a constant challenge since the scoutings were made in dry season and the filming was during the rainy season. Many conditions on the ground had changed and not only the landscape, but the animals that we hoped to find, the activities of the people in rural areas to film, all affected transfers and timing to fit the shooting with reality on-site plan in every chosen area.
From the vast Amazon plains near the border with Brazil, in the Yaquerana River, the enormous Amazon river in the middle basin, the impressive Cordillera of Vilcabamba and the tributaries of the Urubamba river, to the icy mountains of the Ausangate mountains range, all demanding destinations on skills, experience and care, witnessed the effort and dedication of the filmmakers team and our fixer for 42 days in the jungle and 18 days in the Andes.
At the end, exhausted but happy with the product of so much effort, we say; Task accomplished! Total thanks to our friends Matses of the Chobayacu creek, to our super guide Llyacko in the Amazon, our Machiguengas friends; Ricardo and Rita, in Timpia and to all those who shared those 60 demanding days, without all of them, we would had not achieved this difficult goal. Will be until the next opportunity…
More used to travel along our Amazon jungle, this time the high Andes of Cuzco and the spectacular landscape of the Qeros territory were the goal of our third scouting trip for the 2019 production for the Arab TV chain; Al Jazeera.
In November, we looked for our friend and Andean expert; Antoine George, who has travelled along the Qeros territory since more than 20 years ago, together with our Fixer, we made a scouting trip of 8 days dealing with extremely cold weather and the lack of oxygen above 4500 masl but always overwhelmed with the unbelievable landscape and the warming companion of the Qeros and their Lamas and dogs.
The trip started in Cuzco, passing through Ocongate and finally reaching the Quiqo town; from there we visited several annexes and enjoyed the food and even Trouts from the high Andean Lagoons. Without doubt it was a hard test but finally we covered all the needs of the trip and we are sure that the shooting in May will be a total success … Thanks to the Gerilio family for their amazing support and hospitality.
If there is an area of our Amazon that always puts us into a test that is for sure the border with Brazil, for their difficult accessibility, lack of resources, and the long distances to travel. Last October we organize a new scouting trip to that area, this time for a 2019 Arab TV chain production; Al Jazeera.
In this trip we met again with our Matsés friends, who are experts in logistics in its territory and very necessary in the translation of their dialect. We crossed the Yavari River to the Chobayacu creek, to finally reach the annex of Santa Rosa. There, we evaluated during 5 days the production needs and most importantly, we reached an agreement with the families of this annex so that everyone is happy and confident with the future work.
We have to thank our friends and contacts in Colonia Angamos for helping us on the arrangements for returning flights to Iquitos and of course our insurmountable Matsés friends for their support during our journey of exploration that end up being a total success …See you in April!
Another of our Amazon areas that demand much responsibility and care is the Cordillera de Vilcabamba. The need to move from the upper Urubamba to the Lower Urubamba River crossing the amazing Pongo de Maynique, is always a risk and a challenge for good planning a trip and to find suitable people to cover all that route.
Last November, we made a scouting trip in that area for the same 2019 production for the Arab TV chain; Al-Jazeera. This time, the Ecologistica Peru staff, met again with our Machiguenga friends from COMARU (Native Federation) and the Timpia Native community, with whom we already have many years of friendship and shared projects.
The trip covered our expectations and much more important, the expectations of our new friends from Alto Timpia for the production of 11 days or so, planned by May. Our sincere thanks to Rita Semperi and Ricardo Metaki, without them this trip could not meet our schedule and ensure the success of the trip. See you in May.
Its been already two years and a half since we started to help and support this interesting Project in our country. The succesfull of the recoveries relays in the good relationship that we generate between teams and the good communication that we develop from the begining, with our partners – Loon team, the local people and local authorities.
The result of this success in the recovery operations its measure by the number of balloons that we managed to recover. Currently, we have a list of 110 balloons and dozens of adventures that happened not only in the desert coast areas, but also in the andean mountains, at sea and in the dense rainforest.
We want to thank all the people that collaborate and helped during the recoveries all along our country, and also to our local teams that still leading this amazing operations in very tough and hard terrain conditions.
Suddenly we received the call of the Rainforest Trust institution to request a service of logistical assistance and field translation for an institutional documentary and at the same time, some interviews to leaders of an indigenous Federation of the Tapiche and Blanco rivers, near Requena, in Loreto. Without hesitation and being that basin still unknown to us, we assume the challenge immediately and we started working on search the best contacts and know everything we would need to provide the service. Coincidentally, our friends at CEDIA, worked with Rainforest Trust from the 90s and that helped a lot to generate information to present our quote in time.
The date arrived and we met the two members of the team at the airport in Lima and from there began the adventure. They were 10-day trip to the Tapiche and Blanco rivers basin and we also took part in the Congress of the friends of the FECORYTAIB and then 4 days of filming, interviews and meetings in Iquitos, where we cover all the vicissitudes of 3 leaders when they come out of their communities and faced the city and regional authorities.
With no doubt, it was a journey through spectacular landscapes, magical lagoons and we met wonderful people, identified with its forest and its resources and we could know a new zone of our Amazon missing us. Thanks to the friends of CEDIA for the logistical facilities in the area, our friends of Rainforest Trust for their confidence and to our great new friends from the FECORITAYB who made us feel like at home, during our stay. See you next time!!!
How Project Loon has helped connect people in flood zones around Lima, Chimbote and Piura
For the last few months, Peru has been battered by extreme rains and flooding. Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced and the Peruvian government has declared more than 800 provinces to be in a state of emergency. In situations like these, the ability to communicate with loved ones and access basic information becomes paramount — yet communications infrastructure on the ground is often one of the first things to be knocked out by natural disasters like floods and landslides.
For more information, visit: Helping out in Peru – The Team at X
In October we had an order to organize a trip of nearly 20 people between musicians, environmental activists and Peruvian indigenous leaders, a quite mixed and interesting group. Among the musicians were famous members of some bands recognized worldwide.
Illegal timber trafficking from our Amazonia, passing by corrupt authorities and to the countries of destination, even up to the factories of instruments of the most famous artists, generated this current travel and find out the facts from the same places where you started this chain. For this, the group requested to visit a native community and interact with the community members to receive their opinions and thus to bring the message to consumers around the world.
Between November the 26th and December the 3rd , we traveled to Madre de Dios in aircraft and hence a road an hour to then cross the Las Piedras river and finally reach the community of Boca Pariamanu. Days earlier, our camp fixer helped by locals, they armed and conditioned an area to receive and cater to all the travellers.
For Ecologistica Peru, it was not easy to overcome all the preparations and arrangements required by this mixed group but finally and in record time, we were all involved in this cause. Thanks to our friend chef; Roy Riquelme and our new friends from Boca Pariamanu by the enthusiasm and the willingness to make the visitors stay an experience like no other. See you in our next adventure!!!
From midyear 2017, we were contacted by our friends of the BBC Natural History Unit, but on this occasion it was a director with whom we worked in 1997 in another fascinating wildlife documentary; Mark Flowers. This time the theme was “water” and we had 3 priority destinations for filming in Peru; the Mayantuyacu boiling River, in Huanuco and humid forests of Wayquecha and Manu, in Cuzco.
Between October the 1st and the 15th , we were at these places, waking up sometimes from 3 am and passing through the most impressive landscapes of these regions, at low temperatures but with the mood and desire to achieve the quality on audiovisual material that the BBC has us used to
For Ecologistica Peru it was a taste to meet our friend Mark and meet Richard, a cameraman with over 30 years of experience, of both, without a doubt, we learned a little more about how to assist and attend a production of this level and for large TV’s nature programs.
Thanks to our friend and collaborator in Drones; David Segurado and our logistics in transport; Manolo Figueroa, without them our team had not been full. See you next time!!!
At the beginning of 2016 we were contacted by members of the “Project Loon”, another hightech project and idea of Google X, a branch of the main Google Inc. This project uses high altitude balloons placed in the stratosphere to create an aerial wireless network with up to 4G-LTE speeds. The purpose of these flying devices is to bring internet access to remote and rural areas worldwide.
Many pilots experiments have been done around the world and finally Peru was also on their country list. They looked for us because we were recommended by field logistical expert supporters in Chile and Argentina.
Our requested job was to participate and help in the field logistical matters of the first steps of this pilot project in Peru, which in summary refers mainly in the recovering of all the testing balloons flying above our country.
Balloons last about 90 to 100 days at the stratosphere level before they come back to land on a semi-controlled way. Until now, Ecologistica Peru has successfully recovered 50 balloons.
We still have more challenges ahead of us, the project is moving towards the second stage and our participation is getting strong with very good results.
Welcome 2017 -18!