Since its inception in 2006, the Finca Bellavista neighborhood has evolved into a sanctuary for humans to enjoy the biodiversity and ambiance of the rainforest, while becoming a world-renowned arboreal paradise.
However, even paradise can have its problems. In the finca’s neck of the woods, those problems come in many forms and have complicated impacts that take innovation and delicacy to confront. Illegal wildlife poaching and resources harvesting, permanent habitat conversion and the use of damaging chemicals have obvious and mounting ecological impacts. For five years, we’ve observed the progressive deterioration of the environs surrounding our community, which has also helped to develop our understanding of the social, economic and political forces at play on the outer fringes of civilization. Though the general consensus seems to be that many of the activities we observe on a regular basis – slash and burn agriculture, endangered species poaching, deforestation, industrial and governmental corruption of communities – are relics of the past, those of us living in these wilder frontiers realize that threats to the environment and its inhabitants are imminent and
ongoing. Daily reminders come in the form of contaminated water sources, naked swaths of newly deforested mountainsides, obvious pockets of human birth defects and slaughtered wildlife.
In an effort to be proactive in confronting some of these issues, members of our community banded together to create The Bellavista Initiative in 2012.