Glad to find a group of likeminded folks.
The purpose of my quest is the result of two facts, one good, one bad.
On with the good; a month ago had the incredible opportunity to visit and and trepidate with awe at one marvellous waterfall in the eastern (upper amazonian plateaus)region of Ecuador, the Cascada San Rafael on the river Quijos.
Cannot express strongly enough how awesome it is and how grateful one can feel of witnessing such miracles of nature.
Hope to manage to share images of it for all to see, but for the moment would say the view is mesmerizing, magnetic and to a point dizzing even though the closest point of view is quite safely hundreds of meters away on the opposite side of the river's gorge.
The power of its tumbling waters has carved huge crater of solid rock under it which causes an inmense whirlpool and a misty shroud many meters high.
Without specific measurement data but following sensible common sense estimation, could say it has about a 200 to 300 meter fall, a 50 or so meters crater bellow and a huge cloud of bursting water along with the strong roaring noise of the crashing water.
Reflecting the naivete in sharing such wonders, could say the country has not developed a meaningful interest to visit one of the largest waterfalls, in fact the trail to the view point is quite a hike in fact, fortunatelly not too long, which in turn has the added benefit of watching the rainforest vegetation, tall canopy trees and exhuberant bird population overhead.
A single, modest but adequatel Hosteria in the main road offers the visitor a place to either prepare for the visit or rest and reminise the experience afterwards.
An interesting note can be added regarding the tour guide in charge of taking the visito/s down the trail, a most modest entry fee of $2.00 dollars per person plus whatever a tip the visitor wants to share with him, but the unique fact is, that the guide is a full blood cofanes tribe man with infinite knowledge of the rainforest life. His afable attitude and easy sharing of the place and the region is a welcome tidbit of the overall experience.
Life as we know it is not fair and it was a heartbreaking shock to hear that this marvellous waterfall is been lined up for destruction by a misguided governamental plan to build a power plant using the huge power of the fall. Such crime to a marvel of nature is what brings me to look for help on who may have ideas to save this bonafide wonder of the nature world.
Conservation International came to mind at first but doubt they would have the interest beyond what they already have in their busy agenda.
One american family that had also visited the fall recently and had a minute to share in the hectic runabouts of airport chores, commented quite accuratelly: "If that fall was anywhere in the US, there was no way anyone would get awat with a crime like that, to obliterate a beautiful and awesome waterfall."
This brings me to the point of asking wether someone can share an opinion of what could be done. An open letter to the Ecuadorean Government comes to mind as well, perhaps getting signatures and such.
Understandably, aware of the fact that pictures speak volumes and much more than a thousand words, I promise to bring a few images once manage the corresponding files.
Please, let me know if a "Save San Rafael Waterfall movement "is a viable effort.
In a final note, comes to mind to mention that one canadian visitor who got overly impressed by the sight, had fallen too dizzy by the experience while not safely standing at the site and fell down to his death in the deep precipice across the very waterfall he was so excited to have witnessed, as a remivder plaque tells the story on one siide of the scenic spot. It would seem fitting to honor his memory by working to save that wonderful place.
With no shortage of despair, trepidation and hope, will wait to see if any possitive response comes along.