Testimonials

“I worked at Cocha Cashu yearly from 1979 to 1983 as a graduate student under John Terborgh from Princeton.  Because I worked at Cocha Cashu I have seen the world as it should be.  Not patches of wildness surrounded by people, but only little clusters of people surrounded by vast stretches of wildness.  The word diversity does not capture the extraordinary panoply of living things of all colors and sizes and sounds and habits that surrounds you, day and night, when you work at Cocha Cashu. I visited several other neotropical sites in those years, in Costa Rica and Brazil.  They were so disappointing.  The forests were damaged or secondary, the monkeys distant, the diversity lower.  Cocha Cashu was the ideal.  It was also the easiest to work in, with sleeping tents and the two little buildings right in the middle of the study site and the wonderful flat terrain and well-developed, well-marked and mapped trail system.”

Nina Pierpont
"Cocha Cashu gave me my first plunge into the Amazon, and it is here that I learned how nature should be, what it is like to expect to see multiple mammal species every day, and how real communities can in fact be explainable by theory, as long as one is working in an ecology that is largely in equilibrium, as Manu's is. This is what I hold onto as I start work now in China:  the intuition and learning about nature that only a place like Cashu can provide."

Douglas Yu
“From the many and varied wild areas in Peru I have been, I must say the forest surrounding Cocha Cashu is one of the most pristine and richest in biodiversity. It is a place most people want to come back to, including myself. Scientific research should be promoted in this area since the results will be very important for tropical science, and most, if not all researchers will remember the experience for years to come and feel the effort was worth it.”

Karim Ledesma
“I was at Cocha Cashu in 1989 or 1990 with a team working on a manakin project.   I would have to consider it one of the best experiences of my career in biology. Cocha Cashu was a paradise. The bird and animal life was spectacular, and I loved the time spent on the lake and river especially when the otters were around, and swimming in the same waters as the caiman. It was a great opportunity to work with Peruvian students. Visiting with the local natives was another highlight. Because many other scientists were there doing other projects, there was a good opportunity to participate in other activities - bat mistnetting, botany projects, etc. I would encourage anyone who has the chance to take the opportunity to spend some time there.”

Anonymous
“Cocha Cashu es una de las mejores cosas que me ha pasado en la vida. Mejor dicho cambio mi vida y me abrió muchas puertas. Siento que he ganado mucho al haber tenido la gran oportunidad de ir a este lugar maravilloso, he aprendido de la naturaleza y sobre todo de la gente que conocí y que hasta ahora son mis grandes amigos a quienes agradezco el haberme ensenado tanto, especialmente a JohnTerborgh, un gran científico, jefe y amigo. Conocer Cocha Cashu es una gran oportunidad para conocer de cerca la selva tropical, además la interacción con diferentes investigadores es una experiencia enriquecedora ya que se comparten conocimientos de manera mutua. De esta manera se pueden desarrollar muchos proyectos para el avance de la ciencia. Para mi Cocha Cashu es una gran familia y las experiencias que uno puede vivir ahí son únicas e inolvidables.”

Angelica Garcia
"No tendrán una mejor lección de vida por muchos años. Será la mejor terapia que puedan obtener. Abrirán los ojos. No se darán cuenta el primer ni el segundo año. Si no poco a poco. Una visita a Cocha Cashu es para toda la vida.”

Roberto Ruiz
“Una de las primeras veces que fui a la selva fue a Cocha Cashu. El primer día caminando en las trochas vi un Callimico goeldii. En ese momento me di cuenta que estaba en un lugar especial. Nunca vi tanta fauna en un solo sitio como en Cocha Cashu. Desde ese entonces, mis ganas de volver perduran y los recuerdos que tengo de este sitio, tanto por la maravillosa fauna y flora como por su gente, son imborrables.”

Fernando Angulo Pratolongo
“Cocha Cashu es un lugar muy especial para mí, porque es donde puedo sentir un contacto cercano con la naturaleza. Desde que uno despierta en su carpa, uno puede escuchar las vocalizaciones de las aves y de los monos, en especial del coto (mono aullador), y aunque parezca molesto a veces, en realidad para mí es muy agradable a pesar que a veces lo hagan a las cuatro de la mañana. Me gusta mucho la vida simple que uno lleva en la estación, sin muchas comodidades que uno tendría normalmente en la ciudad, sin el ruido de las ciudades sino solo el escuchar el sonido del viento, la lluvia y los animales, lo rudimentario de las construcciones, y quizás hasta el estar desconectada (o poco conectada) de lo que pasa en el resto del mundo. A veces me gusta caminar sola por el bosque, y el que este lugar sea a veces poco accesible lo siento de alguna manera como una ventaja, ya que cuando uno camina por el bosque es poco frecuente encontrarse con alguien en el camino que te desconcentre de tu trabajo o perturbe algún animal que podrías haber estado observando. Aunque no conozco muchas estaciones biológicas, este lugar es mi preferido en el Perú.”

 

Ines Nole
“Cocha Cashu is one of the most extraordinary wild places I’ve ever been, but the research station is also a place of adventure, camaraderie and community… I was on the cat project in 1984. Eye shine was everywhere at night on my cat-tracking shift. On the trail, a tiny shining necklace in the middle of the trail was a spider, unblinking red eyes coiling down a stem was a snake, unblinking eyes close to the ground belonged to an amphibian, probably a Bufo, and blinking eyes waist-high or lower revealed a mammal, maybe a deer or a cat. As I paddled out on the lake, silver eyes on the shore meant a jaguar, red eyes gliding just above the water were caiman.

One day we snared an angry, snarling jaguar. As we darted it, I remember feeling the fear and adrenaline as if I were prey. But holding the jaguar’s head on my lap as we measured and collared it, protecting its eyes because ketamine blocks the blink reflex, I felt more honored than any person alive…. We shared a family-style dinner every night. It was a special time of community, when stories were told of the day’s research.  The questions raised, the knowledge shared, were amazing conversations. There are many memories as clear today as if 26 years hadn’t intervened, stories I tell my young son and his friends, who -- wide-eyed -- can’t get enough of Cocha Cashu lore.”

Jeanne Panek
"I worked in Cocha Cashu I think in 1998, and most of my experience up until then was within Canada. I had imagined the jungle would be pretty intense, but Cocha Cashu absolutely blew me away. I had the impression that there were 10 ecosystems superimposed, simply more species than I thought were possible -- to leave camp was to have a series of intimate wildlife experiences.  Even so, I never knew at the time how closely my experiences from Cocha Cashu would travel along with me. I've since had the chance to work at a few tropical places around the globe and realize how unique the Amazon is for this dense biodiversity. As we watch  Amazonia shrink away I think it's great and extremely important that you folks are taking care of that research              site!”

Gwylim Blackburn