Local guide Don Blas has been guiding in the Colombian Chocó for over ten years. He is happy and proud that his community has made it through the violence and has been at peace since 2006. He works with university UNISARC to help educate his community and protect the local flora and fauna. When I spent a day exploring the lowlands with Don Blas he said, "Local ecotourism has helped strengthen the forest and the people in the community are now benefiting and generating income from conserving the land through tourism."
Guides like Don Blas have turned to ecotourism and are helping amphibians like this beautiful Oophaga histronica survive in the wild. Endemic to the Colombian Chocó, they have a variety of color morphs, which differ from one site to the next. Due to their color variety they have become very popular in the pet trade and have had significant declines from illegal poaching and habitat loss. This morph is called "bullseye" and has been in the pet trade dating back to the 90's but has only been legally traded starting four years ago. Meeting people like Don Blas gives me great hope that the amazing flora and fauna that call the Colombian Chocó home has a chance to thrive in these modern times.
PC: James Muchmore, Save the Chocó