Jardìn Botànico Las Orquìdeas photos and text by Matt Bare and Omar Tello
forest in the reserve after approximately 25
Pasture surrounding the
orchid reserve. This was the state of
the land in the reserve before restoration.
In the year 1980 an Ecuadorian accountant bought 7 Hectares of
rainforest pasture land outside of the city of Puyo, Ecuador, and began
a lifelong project that would become a restoration
center of Amazonian flora.
Omar Tello and his wife began restoring the land by planting
trees, but they soon discovered that the land would not permit trees to
grow, as the soil was extremely sandy and lacking in nutrients,
characteristic of much of the Amazon basin. However, using organic
materials such as chicken manure and sawdust, soil conditions improved
and native plants began to grow. Over the years, Omar began to
collect orchids from logged forests in the region and transplanted them
to the reserve.
Tello and visitor
of these orchids initially failed to pollinate, as their
pollinating insects had lost their habitat when the trees
the orchids grew on were logged. However, as the forest began to grow
around the orchids, pollinating insects returned and the orchids began
to pollinate independently. As the trees grew larger the canopy created
shade and microclimates and springs and ponds have re-emerged from soil
that had previously been barren.
the orchid reserve sits on the outskirts of the growing city of Puyo.
Our neighbor's land, a potential corridor between the orchid reserve
and the lower Rio Puyo watershed, is currently for sale. Please donate
and help us purchase and restore this piece of land.
Jardìn Botànico Las Orquìdeas Donation Page