The border region of Ecuador and Peru is one of the Earth's most biologically diverse areas, and thus a "hotspot of biodiversity" par excellence. Low passes in the Andean chain allow an easy exchange between the floras and faunas of the Amazon Basin and the Pacific lowlands. Additionally, the region shows a very fast transition between the humid mountain forests of the northern Andes and the dry, deciduous forests of the northern Peruvian lowlands.
The Chachapoyas, widely known as “warriors of the clouds” originally inhabited what is now the border region of the Departments Amazonas, San Martin and La Libertad in northern Peru, covering altitudes from 1500 – 4500m. Our project explores biologicalOur projrct explores the floristic diversity of the region, as well as conduct ethnobotanical surveys in the few settlements in the target area. As such the project has four goals: 1) discover and document the flora of the region, 2) produce a vegetation map of the area, 3) discover and document the post-conquest traditional knowledge, 4) produce a flora and a plant use guide for the region and make them available to the local population.
Traditional methods of healing have been beneficial in many countries with or without access to conventional allopathic medicine. In the United States, these traditional practices are increasingly being sought after for illnesses that cannot be easily treated by allopathic medicine. More and more people are becoming interested in the knowledge maintained by traditional healers and in the diversity of medicinal plants that flourish in areas like Northern Peru.