tropical plant

Amazon Interactive
Coffee and Conservation

Forest panorama

 You chose the moderate income strategy:

  • 1 hectare of coffee on secondary forest
  • 1 hectare of cacao on primary forest
  • 1 hectare of maize on primary forest

Map of your 15 hectare plot of land

You earned $350. That's not quite enough to support your family. You have to borrow more from your brother, again promising to pay him back after next year's harvest.

You've still got five hectares of primary forest left, but you're beginning to realize that, at this rate, you'll soon run out of it. In a few years, you'll have to plant all your crops in secondary forest--or find another line of work besides farming. Some people in your Quichua community are talking about ecotourism. Instead of farming more land, the community can earn money by bringing in tourists and teaching them about the Quichua way of life. Do you think the community should consider ecotourism? Or would you like to start over with your cash crops?

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