From “huasipungueros”, to “moon shine” traffickers, to charcoal makers, to successful ecotourism entrepreneurs; this is the story of the Yunguilla community.
Yunguillsa contains 60 families that own 6,400 acres neighboring the Maquipucuna Reserve on the east. Back in the early 90’s this community’s unsustainable productive practices were threatening the integrity of the Maquipucuna Reserve. Maquipucuna’s and Yunguilla’s attempts to curb deforestation and unsustainable practices started in 1995 and included reforestation projects, soil conservation practices and organic gardens. Those were useful activities that brought together Yunguilla and Maquipucuna, but they were not helping to curb the transformation of forests into charcoal.
In 1997, Maquipucuna helped Yunguilla initiate its ecotourism venture. Maquipucuna and the community raised the funds needed to develop a property for the community, which is now the community hostel, as well as the headquarters of a community run corporation that produces orchids, cheese, jams and crafts. Maquipucuna helped Yunguilla until the community had the capacity to run its projects independently.
Today, thanks to the vision and the support of Maquipucuna, and the trust and great leadership and social fabric of the community, Yunguilla has raised to become a model and independent community committed to sustainable development.