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Bioparque Móncora

A Community Forest and Beacon of Hope

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The Story

Bioparque Móncora is a powerful symbol of peace for this region whose history of violence is a constant reminder that regeneration begins with culture and moves from there into the land.

It is roughly 6 hectares of land owned by Associación Aquileo Parra -- with 40 members of this non-profit organization, all of whom reside in the local community. The founders of this beautiful project are Camila Encinales and Vicky Camacho. They started planting trees in 2009 in the desolation that remained after half a century of monoculture crops.

Now the bioparque is a gathering place for youth from local schools to learn the native ecology of the tropical dry forest. It is on its way toward flourishing as a seed bank and gathering place to learn how forests grow in this unique landscape.

With majestic views of the town, it is a popular destination for tourists and a quiet sanctuary for locals. The bioparque is directly above Barichara and is easily accessible for a walk among the trees or to take in the incredible views of the canyon below.

Researchers and university students come to learn the native plants of our region's "High Andes" tropical dry forest -- the majority of which exist nowhere else on Earth. Bioparque Móncora is a sanctuary space for these plants and a living seed bank for their propagation in other reforestation efforts.

People visit from all over the world to experience this special community forest on the edge of town.

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People of all ages come to enjoy the bioparque. Children from local schools can regularly be seen lending a hand.

The bonds that form with this special place truly last a lifetime.

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