The Arajuno Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity.

If you wish to donate to the Arajuno Foundation, you can do so by check or PayPal

If you wish to donate to the Arajuno Foundation, you can do so by check or PayPal

Mail your check to:

Arajuno Foundation - 11422 Miracle Hills Drive, Suite 208 - Omaha, NE 68154-4420

Arajuno Jungle Lodge (AJL) and the Arajuno Foundation (AF) represent a private forest reserve located on the banks of the Arajuno River. The reserve is adjacent to a scientific research station called Jatun Sacha in the foothills of the Andes mountains of eastern Ecuador, part of the headwaters of the Amazon basin.

Arajuno Foundation consists of seven volunteer members.

is general counsel and secretary of Insight Enterprises, Inc., a global provider of hardware, software and IT services. Over the course of his career, Mr. Andrews has served as the Chief Legal Officer of other publicly-traded companies, and has also served at various times as the head of human resources and as an interim CEO. Earlier in his career, he clerked for the Honorable Donald R. Ross, United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, and served as special assistant to the Honorable William H. Webster, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Mr. Andrews is a 1977 Graduate of the University of Nebraska and a 1979 Graduate of the University of Nebraska College of Law.

is President and Portfolio Manager for Footprints Asset Management & Research, Inc. (FAMR), managing individual, corporate, and employer-sponsored retirement accounts. He is the General Partner for Footprints Partners LP. His firm is located in Omaha, Nebraska, and was founded in June 2003. Prior to FAMR, Mr. Lococo worked under the brokerage firms Smith Hayes and Kirk Patrick Pettis. He earned a BSc in Finance and is a Level III candidate for the Charter Market Technician (CMT) designation. In 2003, Mr. Lococo graduated from the Wharton Executive Business School Security Industry Institute. He is a board member for Wegener Corporation (WGNR) and Acceptance Insurance Company (AIC). Mr. Lococo participates in local charity events, including Madonna’s School, Children’s Hospital, and the Nebraska Humane Society.

is Fulfillment Manager for the Society of Exploration Geophysicists, the international profession organization for more than 34,000 geoscientists in 130 countries, where he has been employed for the past 15 years. He earned a BSc. degree at the University of Nebraska and a Masters degree at the University of Iowa. He has been active in the Tulsa metropolitan area, working on special projects involving many organizations, such as Catholic Charities, Downtown Lions Club, Tulsa Cerebral Palsy Association, and the Little Lighthouse for Children

works for Chemonics International, providing technical and managerial support to USAID natural resources management projects. He is currently based in Guatemala, working as the Program Officer for USAID’s Conservation of Central American Watersheds Program, a regional program working to improve the management of the Gulf of Honduras and Bocas del Toro watersheds. Prior to this, he worked as a Habitat Conservation Peace Corps Volunteer in Ecuador, living and working within indigenous communities on the Arajuno River. John and Tom Larson have collaborated on several projects, including the Rio Arajuno Aquaculture Project and the Rio Arajuno Native Guides Course. John received his undergraduate degree from Middlebury College.

is originally from the United States and has dedicated his life to the protection and conservation of natural resources. His M.S. degree in Natural Resource management, coupled with 15 years of experience in the U.S. Forest Service and his service as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ecuador enabled him to serve in the following professional capacities: Chief of Environmental Education and Interpretation for the Charles Darwin Research Station in the Galapagos Islands, Training Director for Peace Corps-Ecuador’s volunteer program and his present activity as Owner and Director of the AJL Forest Reserve.

of Ecuador, Liaison, has been working in the Amazon Region of Ecuador since 1998. He has worked in education, environmental issues, eco-tourism and sustainable development with the Ecuadorian National Park Service, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Agriculture, as well as international oil companies. He has collaborated with Shaman Pharmaceuticals and The Healing Forest Conservancy to design and write a guide on sustainable cultivation of medicinal plants for commercialization. He has been involved with sustainable development projects in Permaculture, apiculture, reforestation, education and health. He was responsible for implementation of a solar-powered VHF/UHF radio network that connects 26 communities on the Upper Napo River with the Mondaña Clinic. He also provided cultural and linguistic interpretation for a variety of projects, including an Amazon Artesania program for the Department of Arts with Eastern Kentucky University. He is a fellow with the Kellogg Foundation-funded Partners of the Americas Fellowship program, and has traveled to the Caribbean, North and South America to participate in Fellowship programs. In September/October 2005 Mr. Castanel was selected to work in a documentary with the National Geographic because of his experience with the culture in the Amazon rainforest. While working in eco-tourism he was responsible for more than six years of preparing tours, programs and guiding of a variety of groups.

is a Literacy Coach at Frank Porter Graham Elementary School in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She teaches and supports both students and colleagues in a balanced literacy program, which involves blocks of instruction in reading, writing, and word study. She spent 14 years as a classroom teacher in grades 2, 3, and 4. She holds a BS in Elementary Education and an M.Ed. in Education with a concentration in reading. She has additional post-graduate training as a Literacy Coordinator and is a National Board Certified Teacher. Melissa has past experience in radio broadcasting, where she wrote commercial copy and was on the air as an announcer. In addition to her work with literacy in Ecuador, she is a volunteer tutor and will soon join a summer read-aloud program for children at low-income apartments in her community.


#1: Create an ambiance that permits visitors to have a profound and unique experience that will educate and motive them to take a greater and more active role in the conservation and protection of the Amazon Rainforest and the other environments in which AJL visitors live.

#2: Create a model of sustainable development and minimum impact that can be followed by others and serve to teach how to live in harmony with nature.

#3: Develop conservation programs that, through direct action, contribute to the conservation of natural resources while improving the quality of life of the local indigenous population.

#4: Promote the highest quality of Ecotourism possible with special emphasis on quality vs quantity.

#5: Protect the 65 hectares of primary forest of AJL/AF in perpetuity and expand the protected area to the maximum extent possible.


# 1: All activities of the AJL/AF ecotourism operation minimize possible impacts caused by the use of the local natural and human resources. AJL/AF will respect, observe and enforce all existing laws related to protected areas within the realm of its operations.

#2: Respect for local indigenous populations.
a. All visits to local indigenous populations as part of the operations of AJL/AF will be to support and appreciate the local culture and way of life. No activities of AJL/AF will allow the interference or alternation of local traditions.
b. AJL/AF will hire personnel from the local area to the greatest extent possible. c. Respect for historical and archeology sites. AJL/AF activities will not contribute to the damage or destruction of local historical and archeology sites. AJL/AF will incorporate local communities in the presentation and exhibition of traditional practices such as Shamanism, medicinal plants use, and local handicrafts and art.

#3: Reproduction of native and other appropriate species.
a. AJL/AF will investigate and promote the reproduction of native plant and animal species with the objective of recuperating local populations of certain species that are heavily exploited by the local population.
b. AJL/AF will not support the commercial exploitation of plants and animals that cannot be accomplished in a sustainable manner and in compliance with Ecuadorian laws.
c. AJL/AF will promote the proper use and management of both native and non-native species where their use and management serve to relieve the pressure of exploitation on native species.

#4: Direct support of conservation
AJL/AF will actively cooperate with and support conservation efforts by other environmental and governmental organizations through donations, use of AJL/AF facilities, logistical support and promotional activities to the greatest extent possible.

#5: Coordination with the scientific community.
AJL/AF will support scientific investigation and monitoring within its forest reserve

#6. Support of educational activities
AJL/AF will organize and promote training and other educational activities with both national and international educational institutions and acadamies as well as with the local community.

#7: Guides and Environmental Interpretation/Education
a. All guides will incorporate a conservation theme into all guided activities for groups visiting AJL.
b. All visitors, upon arrival at AJL will recieve a general orientation concerning the conservations issues in the general area, conservation practices of AJL/AF and expected behavior of guests during their stay at AJL.

#8: Group size
AJL/AF will maintain a maximum group size of 25 visitors at any given time. Groups larger than 12 will require dividing the groups in half. Each group will have its own guide and different activities planned so as to not adversely affect their experience or impact on any given site.

#9: Norms for lodging
All lodging will be constructed to the greatest extent possible from local materials, in a safe and secure manner that allows for maximum comfort, health and security of visitors.

#10: Waste treatment
a. All waste, organic, inorganic and waste waters will be managed with appropriate technology to minimize their impact on the environment.
b. AJL/AF will follow a strict policy and practice of reducing, reusing and recycling its wastes to the greatest extent possible within local conditions.
c. AJL/AF will promote and support the development of alterative and appropriate technology for waste management in local indigenous communities.

#11: Energy management
a. AJL/AF will operate to the greatest extent possible with alternative energy sources such as solar electric and micro/hydro electirc.
b. AJL/AF will promote and support the development of alterative and appropriate technology sources in local indigenous communities that are currently without energy.