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Iniciativas FUNAFU

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Los Silencios. Nature and Culture.

Sumampa, Santiago del Estero

Los Silencios Reserve occupies 500 hectares of protected dry forest in the hilly ranges of Sumampa  in the south of Santiago del Estero province.

Perfect example of what we know as Chaco Serrano, where we can find an ample variety of native flora and fauna.

A specific area, chosen for it’s landscape, is being prepared for the reception of visitors.

The monte, Argentina’s dry forest, is not an easy land. It is arid. Arid means dry, it means thorns, and when there is no more forest there is saltpetre.

At Los Silencios we try to make visible the natural and cultural elements belonging to one of the most ancient regions of our country. We try to boost a sense of identity that not only results in pride for its people, but also generates labour opportunities, jobs that may reduce the constant emigration to the suburban areas of distant cities.

When emigration happens, after the uprooting comes the land clearing. A great deal of knowledge is irretrievably lost. It is not only about stopping desertification; it is also about containing the emigration. Deforestation is sometimes the cause but it is largely the result of shortage of labour and opportunities in the region.

In the dry forest rain is scarce and it only rains during summertime. When it does and everything turns green, one must know how to make good use of the water. We are learning how to better preserve the limited rain water.

In Los Silencios we experience how to live in a dry forest. We use all we can of the xxi century technology but only when and if it can be made available to the local people.

Up to now we had no use for even the best computer for we had no electricity, but now we can have solar energy.

Meanwhile we are always discovering a wealth of knowledge hidden in the quechua way of living and blending in with this natural environment. This whole project is sustained by the artisanal expertise of monte creole inhabitants. All the land belonging to the Reserve has been acquired and is sustained by the results of selling the region’s arts and crafts, including antique and contemporary pieces.

In this way Nature is protected by means of the Culture it has inspired.

There are many ways to cooperate, but none like coming for a visit, listening to the stars and finding out why this Reserve is called Los Silencios.

Thanks to the generosity of different philanthropists and private donors, Los Silencios has been able to develop a series of educational and environmental activities.

RSE. Responsabilidad Social Empresaria