In 2003 we started an amazing journey, to see if through collaboration, hard work and a positive attitude we could help make the Manu Biosphere Reserve, in the Peruvian Amazon a more sustainable area.
Before CREES MANU existed, the CREES Foundation was already hard at work, researching and working with local communities. In fact the CREES Foundation was setup as an not for profit in 2003 and for two years worked diligently inviting field researchers and students from Cusco, around Peru and some international visitors.
Of course the Manu Learning Centre was still at this point under construction, so it was small tents and dugout toilets. In fact it was just a month after the Manu Learning Centre opened its doors in July 2005, the idea to create CREES MANU a for profit arm came about.
It all started when the local Inland Revenue office asked our non-profit was selling beers (it was and has always been very popular with field researchers - although it was natural cold in the first few years) and why we collecting money from visitors for transfers to the rainforest. After much discussion we decided to lean into the idea, that we needed to have a for profit (tax paying) business arm to run and manage the lodge, take payments from visitors and yes of course sell cold beer. We approached the Inland Revenue office, applied and setup the company with their support.
Since then the business has welcomed over 12,000 guests to the Manu Learning Centre, hopefully converting them into future ambassadors of the forest. The Foundation in the meantime thrived able to secure fantastic grants such as the Darwin Initiative and from the Innocent Foundation, but as the grant money came and went the CREES business arm was always there to support the foundation. In fact we got so close, that with our experiential learning and tourism business and grants helping fund the crees foundation's work, the start of 2020 looked like a new beginning full of optimism.
However COVID stole our story of success and instead we are now fighting for the Foundation's future. Our experiential learning business went into pause in April and the Manu Learning Centre has been closed until early next year. Peru is just beginning to re-open now and CREES is securing all the permits and COVID security certifications ahead of January the first. Our goal is to open first to fellow Peruvians and then by March be fully open to everyone again!! Can't wait for that.
We do need your help -
We have now a last chance to raise the money we need to continue our Foundation's work in 2021. It's a big ask, at a bad time.
I know there is so much "talk" about what we need to do to protect and look after nature, but with the Pandemic this year, everyone is taking personal hits and money isn't spare.
So i take great care and caution in asking you to help, either spread the word (thats just awesome) or if you can make a tiny donation (Super Awesome!).