Landing in Tarapoto, the gateway town and airport to the northern Peruvian Upper Amazon, is always a shock for me as I recall the area covered with forest thirty years ago. Now it looks more like Austria, with lots of deforested slopes. In the Huallaga river valley, the rice paddies that have displaced the indigenous people to search for ‘free’ forest areas further away seem out of place. Is this really the promised ‘bread basket’ of the Peruvian Amazon?
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