The last ten days appear to have shaken the world in general. News junkies will have been aware of COVID-19 since the beginning of the year. I made some long flights to and from in the US in late January, and I wore a face mask, even though only a couple of cases had been diagnosed in the US and none in Latin America. I was not the only one, perhaps 1 in 20 were doing it. However, the announcement of the World Health Organization on March 11 that there was an official pandemic coincided with the beginning of the drop in the stock markets worldwide. These came only a day or two after the first two positive cases were identified here in Bolivia. Bolivia announced the grounding of flights from Europe, with the last one arriving Friday the 13th in the morning.
My name is Shane Palkovitz. I am a socioenvironmental specialist for the Songs of Adaptation research project at Future Generations University. The core investigations of this project focus on establishing an international baseline for biodiversity, while at the same time gathering knowledge from community members about human adaptation to climate change.
In March, I had the joy of traveling to Bolivia to work with local partners to establish a new research location. Our goal was to install four monitoring stations that will later serve as the beginning point for a larger research project.
We spent the first few days trekking through the jungle, looking for sites and gathering information before installing instrumentation. Pictured below, Alejo follows as other team members venture up a stream bed on El Chocolatal, an eco-resort.