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The Green Cotton Sea

I always imagined that going to the Amazon was an encounter with wild animals and biodiversity, which can be defined very simply: the number of species in a square kilometer. Naturally, the higher the biodiversity index, the fewer each species has. So, the higher the diversity, the lower the chance of seeing a particular animal. In contrast, a cattle farm has many cows that can be easily seen but a very low biodiversity index.

That said, it is worth mentioning that going to the Amazon is completely welcoming. The magnitude of the jungle is infinite, and the feeling of being part of life itself makes the trip an unforgettable experience for any traveler.

The first recommendation for getting to the Amazon is to take a window seat and travel during the day. When the pilot announces the descent to 10,000 feet, the sight begins. You see a giant green sea that gets lost into the horizon. It’s a very still sea, no waves or movement are visible. The plane continues its descent, and now it’s a sea of cotton, with different shades of green and a slight undulation of swells, that barely can be perceptible.

As you descend further, you start to notice small ripples, like clusters of cotton together, as if someone had taken the time to arrange each tone into an infinite carpet. It no longer looks like a sea; it’s more like a carpet now.

The descent is accompanied by a decrease in speed, making the spectacle even more moving. Some clusters are grayer, others greener, and you begin to discover that the clusters are the treetops. The carpet is dense, with only a few circles of the communities clearings visible, not a single house, not a single person. You keep descending, and now it seems like you’re going to land on the treetops. Nothing is visible except the infinite horizon and the textures of many tree species.

Finally, as you near landing, you realize that each cotton ball is the top of a tree that can measure 30, 40, or 50 meters. You realize how insignificant we are, the grandeur of nature, and the power of the Amazon. Majestic and helpless trees, yet at the same time, so vulnerable and fragile. Beneath them, thousands of species of flora and fauna, which we probably won’t see, but in one night, in a treehouse, you can feel the sound of all of them.

We could return on the same plane we arrived on, and the trip to Leticia in the Colombian Amazon would have been worthwhile. We would have felt the strength of the world’s largest jungle and undoubtedly been moved by the immensity of a unique space that deserves our respect for Mother Earth like Grandfather Jitoma would say sitting in his giant indian village just minutes from Leticia.

Ricardo Ramirez.

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