Friday, March 9

Signing of Agreement between the Universidad Tecnica de Quevedo and the Pro-Forest Foundation

February 2012
On February 17th, Eric Horstman traveled to the city of Quevedo to sign an inter institutional agreement in representation of the Pro-Forest Foundation with the Dean of the Universidad Tecnica de Quevedo.  The signing of the agreement paves the way for future students from this university carry out internships and thesis projects in the Cerro Blanco Protected Forest with the Pro-Forest Foundation.

In addition, Eric Horstman made a presentation on the potential of ecotourism in dry tropical forest in the closing of an ecotourism seminar organized by the university.

Signing of Agreement between the Pro-Forest Foundation and The Nature Conservancy, Coca Cola Foundation.

February 2012
Sylvia Benitez, the Ecuador country director of The Nature Conservancy participated in the tree planting program and in representation of TNC, signed a interinstitutional agreement with Eric Horstman in representation of the Pro-Forest Foundation to coordinate future actions in favor of protection and restoration of the dry tropical forests of the Cordillera Chongon Colonche.

Carolina Martinez of the Coca Cola Foundation also participated in the tree planting.  Thanks to the support of the Coca Cola Foundation, five hectares of cutover land within the Cerro Blanco Protected Forest will be reforested this year, as part of their environmental programs related to protecting and/or restoring water sources.

4th Annual Reforestation Program in Cerro Blanco

February 2012
With the goal of involving the public in our reforestation program, on February 10th and 11th our 4th annual tree-planting program was carried out in the Tres Bocas area of the Cerro Blanco Protected Forest. 

A total of 140 volunteers participated, including representatives and participants of Fundacion Coca Cola, The Nature Conservancy, Concejo Provincial de Guayas, Holcim, Pronaca, Universidad Catolica, ESPOL, Tecnologico Espiritu Santo, Universidad de Guayaquil, Club Ecologico de Puerto Hondo, etc.

Before going to the tree-planting site, participants received information on the Ecuadorian Dry Tropical Forest Ecoregion from forester John Ayon as well as a demonstration on how to properly plant trees.  A total of 1,000 trees were planted as part of the program, which is supported by the World Land Trust.

Environmental Responsibility of private businesses of Guayaquil to restore dry tropical forest

January 2012
In conjunction with the annual rains, the 1sttree-planting program of the year “Wake up with Pure Air” organized by the Ecuadorian-German Chamber of Commerce and the Pro-Forest Foundation was carried out on Saturday, January 21st in the Cerro Blanco Protected Forest.

A total of 150 people from six businesses members of the chamber of commerce participated in the planting of native dry tropical forest trees in the area known as “Tres Bocas” in a recently purchased property, the “Predio Carbo”, with the financial support of the World Land Trust and Netherlands Committee of the World Conservation Union IUCN.  The participating businesses included Pro Credit, Panaderia California, DHL, Hamburgsud, Importadora Sucre and Café de Tere.  A total of 800 trees were planted in an area of secondary scrub vegetation in Cerro Blanco. 

Our goal is to restore the original (or a close proximity) Ecuadorian Dry Tropical Forest that was cut down before the Cerro Blanco Protected Forest was created.  The tree planting forms part of a tree-planting program supported by the World Land Trust.  A planned 45,000 trees are being planted in 2012.

CIDA Volunteers in Cerro Blanco

July 2011 to January 2012
Thanks to the long standing support of Jos Nolle of Niagara College, Canada, two CIDA volunteers, Cassandra Musungayi and Lindsay Corolis worked with the Pro-Forest Foundation from July, 2011 to January, 2012. The work of Cassandra focused on environmental education with school kids in surrounding communities adjacent to the Cerro Blanco Protected Forest.

Cassandra's efforts were focused in the village of Puerto Hondo, where she carried out weekly environmental education activities with kids from the Marianita de Rodas school and the youth environmental education club.

Cassandra also organized and put on a English course for staff of the Pro-Forest Foundation, which was well received. Lindsay's work focused on designing materials to be used in the EA activities as well as help  promoting the work of the Pro-Forest Foundation and Cerro Blanco Protected Forest through the internet. Thank you both for your help and support!

Christmas Bird Count in the Cerro Blanco Protected Forest and the Surrounding Areas

December 2011
With the objective of collecting information on the population of birds that live within the Cerro Blanco Protected Forest and the surrounding areas conservation.  A total of 11 staff and volunteers participated in the Audubom Society Christmas Bird Count, which has been held in Cerro Blanco and the freshwater lake at the Parque Lago and mangroves of Puerto Hondo for seven consecutive years.

Outstanding Visit

December 2011
The Pro-Bosque Foundation received a visit from two dear friends of the Cerro Blanco Protected Forest, Jane and Clifford Johnson. These citizens of the world have kindly offered their support to with environmental education have published children’s book called “Tangerine” based on their experiences with a Gray-cheeked parakeet Brotogeris Pyrropteros and mentions Cerro Blanco and the work of the Pro-Bosque Foundation (To obtain a copy, please contact the author Jane Johnson at or  The propose of Jane and Clifford visit was to research material for a new book in Spanish for use with Ecuadorian school kids with didactic information about conserving resources in dry the tropical forest, specifically the birds.  This book will include the same game and practical exercises for children to understand the best way to protect Dry tropical forest and other natural areas.  During their visit, Jane and Clifford had the opportunity of sharing their activities in the forest with the students of the Marianita Rodas School of Puerto Hondo.

Thursday, March 8

Workshop “Introduction to the Use of Telemetry Teams and Ascent and Descent Techniques for Giant Trees”

December 2011
The Pro-Bosque Foundation organized and carried out this workshop with rangers of the Cerro Blanco Protected Forest, and biologists of the Guayas Provincial Council with the support of the Lapa Verde Project of Costa Rica who kindly loaned us the instructor Ulisses Alemán, as a resource for their monitoring work and search for the Great Green Macaw and active nests.

Fifth Mobilization Exercise of the Forest Fire Brigades

November 2011
From November 25-27, 2011 the city of Loja was host of the Fifth Mobilization Exercise of the Forest Fire Brigades organized by Ministry of the Environment and the municipality of the city of Loja. The event took place with the participation of different delegations from various provinces in the country including the group from the Pro-Forest Foundation. The participation in this process of competitions to test fire crews experience in cutting fire line, etc. and sharing experiences between different institutions has diminish the incidences of forest fires that each year affect Ecuadorian native forest.

First Summit for Latin American Leaders of the Roots and Shoots Clubs

November 2011
In representation of the Pro-Bosque Foundation and for Ecuador, Tania Rios participated in the First Summit for Latin American Leaders for Roots and Shoots with the participation of this founder and mentor Dr. Jane Goodall, held in Valle Marmoni, Panama from November 6-14, 2011.  In addition to conferences, workshops, hikes, and coexistence exercises with nature, the participants of 13 countries presented their projects from their countries and shared experiences to strengthen the group proposal. The objective of Roots and Shoots is to implement environmental change through the promotion of active learning and interaction with nature.

Visit to the Santa Elena Peninsula

November 2011
A group made up of some members of the Pro-Bosque Foundation, with the purpose of  learning about  the prehistoric megafauna that existed thousands of years ago on the Ecuadorian coast, visited the Palentological  Museum of the UPSE (Santa Elena University).  Archeologists have found evidence of the presence of megafauna that existed more than 20000 years ago like gigantic sloths and mastodons, and we will incorporate this information in our guide programs.

Palentological Museum UPSE

Pro-Bosque Staff in Palentological Museum UPSE

After the visit to the museum, the group went to Ben Haase’s Whale Museum. These exhibitions show giant whale bones and some specimens of preserved young cetaceans.

Ben Haase’s Whale Museum

We also had the opportunity to see the artificial salt pools of Ecuasal, recently declared a nature The Saltponds show how activities of man can coexist harmoniously with nature.  Haase has carefully studied and banded migratory shorebirds and water fowl and has recently published a book “Aves marinas del Ecuador continental y artificiales de las piscinas artificiales de Ecuasal”.  A highlight of our visit was seeing groups of the stunning Chilean Flamingos phoenicopterus chilensis.

Artificial salt pools of Ecuasal

World Bird Festival Activities in the Cerro Blanco Protected Forest 2011

October 2011
On October 30, 2011 activities celebrating the World Bird Festival of Birdlife International were held in Cerro Blanco Protected Forest.  The objective was to educate the general public, specifically the young visitors, about the importance of protecting birds. The event included practical and artisitic activities like: drawing contests, banner design contests, photography exhibits on birds of Cerro Blanco, educational talks, and hikes on the trails to observe the birds.

Wednesday, March 7

International Tourism Fair

September 2011
Through the Direction of Tourism in the municipality of Guayaquil, the Pro-Bosque Foundation was invited to participate in FITE 2011 that took place on the 22-25 of September in the Convention Centre of Guayaquil. The Pro-Bosque Foundation participated with exhibits and guides on hand to promote visits to Cerro Blanco.

Latest photo of the jaguar in Cerro Blanco

July 2011
July 25, 2911. With cameras traps were located in different points where it is presumed to be frequented by jaguars. Success was achieved and the latest photos along with those dating from 2008 confirm that at least two jaguars roam the forests of Cerro Blanco and adjacent forest remnants. A landowner has also confirmed the sighting of a female jaguar with two cubs in Cerro Blanco. This is a good sign and shows the conservation efforts of the Pro-Forest Foundation are paying off.

Visit to Rio Muchacho Organic Farm / The Nursery Planet Drum Foundation

June 2011
A group made up of the Director, nursery workers, rangers, and technical staff of the Foundation visited the Rio Muchacho Organic Farm located in the province of Manabi. The objective of this visit was to learn the experience and technical methods of the application of permacultura as well as other practices such as recycling and the optimization and generation of alternative energy. The Farm is an excellent example of the relation between nature and resources, and we thank Nicola Mears and Dario Proaño for making this visit possible.  In addition we visited the tree nursery of the Planet Drum Foundation in Bahia de Caraquez.

Tree nursery of the Planet Drum Foundation

World Environmental Day

June 2011
To celebrate World Environmental Day, a group of students from a high school in Guayaquil came to the Cerro Blanco Protected Forest to plant trees.  As part of a program organized by the Environmental Unit of the Ecuadorian National Police.

The Guayas Provincial Government, through its Direction of the Environment, organized an Environmental Fair. The Pro-Forest Foundation participated with an exposition of our projects in a stand on the Malecon of the city of Guayaquil. Our stand was very popular and in addition to learning about our work to conserve and restore Ecuadorian Dry Tropical Forest. We promoted visits to the Cerro Blanco Protected Forest.