We have liftoff! 4 locals from the village of Esperanza are hired and housed at the lodge in addition to our regular Tapiche Reserve staff. Preliminary plan:
Collect and cultivate 500 açaí saplings - 1 week
Prepare previously cleared land, plant 500 saplings - 1 week
Repeat 2 week work rotations, returning to tend completed plantings and ensure new plants are healthy and strong
Goal: plant 5000 açaí saplings by December 2015
Açaí palms begin fruiting in January, so the next round of work for locals would be eco-harvesting the fruit (common practice is to cut whole trees just to get the fruit, but we definitely won't allow that!). Profits from the harvested fruit would hopefully be enough to pay workers for the next 6-8 months after that.