The logger, the man in front of us and who represents the conflicting character of the forest loss drama in Manu, is younger than Alexis, our videographer friend. And also younger than me.
It was the first day of filming an ambitious project in which we immersed ourselves for eleven days in the jungles and villages of southern Peru, to produce no less than nine documentary and promotional short films of the destination.
The rain that had fallen that day during the whole trip, from Cusco to Villa Salvación, had not deterred Fortunato from fulfilling his promise to give us a little of his time to know his truth. There he was, waiting for us, because we had a considerable delay due to the unforeseen events that the rainfall had put on the road of almost 230 km that separated us that same morning.
Fortunato’s simplicity and smile charmed Alexis from the first moment, who had the firm intention of becoming an instant friend of the ex-logger (worth the clarification), so that he could get to the bottom of the matter in a few hours of hurried recording.
It wasn’t until that night, having finished the work, after a shower and shortly before dinner, that Alexis told me how powerful the story he had in his camera and his sound recorder was. And I thought that time had played against us to capture what was necessary for the micro-documentary!
The idea of documenting this issue was raised by our friend Juan Carlos Cárdenas, general manager of crees, an allied foundation whose purpose is to help in the conservation of the Manu Biosphere Reserve *. And therefore we understand each other perfectly.
Juan Carlos, in previous meetings, told us about the interesting thing about “trochero” [trail] trucks, taken to the jungle by the Peruvian army and then sold to local people when they were discharged.
The “trocheros” used to transport illegal timber, we learned that shortly before arriving in the Manu jungle. Now, they transport crops typical of the land and other loads at the request of interested parties. So what were we doing recording an ex-logger and his banana transport truck?
To answer the question, I think there is no better answer than the 3:40 minutes of the video.
We were not really going to Salvación because of the threat of logging, I mean, not only because of that, but it is also the parallel but inseparable stories of the same drama that interested us. Nor were we looking to portray mining, or the loss of species, but rather the realities behind them.
We used our alliances to be able to connect topics of environmental interest with topics of social relevance in a natural way. So we could give each short film a name and turn it into something more human and tangible.
Fortunato – the truck driver, shows us one of the many stories behind illegal logging, you’ll see if the name that comes from the Latin fortunatus “the person who has fortune” applies.
The production of the videos involved “actors” whom we thank very much and who, like us, have the heart to dedicate time and effort to causes beyond our companies scope.
CÓRDOBA – ARGENTINA
He has a special sensitivity towards people and the environment. Always courteous, sympathetic, and with an excellent attitude and in a good mood, it was he who from the beginning, when our co-founder Alejandro saw a sample of his audiovisual work and was interested in working in society, set the focus that would be given to documentaries.
MANU BIOSPHERE RESERVE
It is a foundation and also a company that supports conservation and community projects through research and ecotourism experiences to create a secure future for people and nature.
crees and its staff gave all the facilities for the success of the production by also providing shelter in their lodge Manu Learning Center.
* The name of Manu National Park (by designation of the Peruvian State) exists parallel to that of Manu Biosphere Reserve (by international designation of UNESCO). The first was decreed in 1973, covering the entire homonymous river basin; while in 1977 UNESCO incorporated neighboring provinces, including settlers’ communities, in search of of achieving natural preservation through cultural integration as a whole. Then (2007) the park was expanded to total, today, an extension of 1,716,295.22 hectares and is also recognized as a Natural Heritage of Humanity.