Sometimes the wondrous nature in special places bears the mark of neglect and conflict, but also that of wonder, history and resilience. There, in the midst of these landscapes, hope springs forth like plants and water, like biodiversity and the strength of ancestral communities.
Wonderful news from Colombia: in the scenic landscapes of andean forest, tropical andean forest and grasslands of Nariño, 41 residents from native american ‘resguardos’ are being trained as FTHub Forest Bathing Guides. They belong to Pastos or Awa resguardos (native people of Nariño), or to Campesino communities, peasant people from Sande, Piedrablanca, Santa Cruz de Guachavez, Providencia, Ricaurte and Guaitarilla. These ‘resguardos’ grant land ownership to specific native American groups.
FTHub supports their passion for conservation, enhancing environmental education and community empowerment. This project thrived thanks to crucial partnerships, including the Italian Agency of Cooperation, OIKOS ONLUS, CEVI Onlus, and the Instituto Sur Alexander Von Humboldt ISAIS.
“They know everything about nature, but they were very interested in training. All of them. To rescue their tradition and focus on hope despite suffering from conflicts in the area. We met with the representatives of these villages to propose the training,” explains Marta Battaini, italian FTHub Forest Therapy Practitioner and trainer now based in Colombia.
“They have beautiful trails that will have greater tourism value to what already has. Forest Bathing is very much linked to how they live, how they experience nature. And to be able to offer it with the scientific basis is very encouraging for them,” she added.
Marta is offering the training along with Alex Gesse, FTHub trainer and Executive Director: “I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to contribute to such a meaningful project. It’s a privilege to witness the positive impact that can be made and to be part of this initiative”, he said.
Ph: Courtesy Marta Battaini, FTHub