Our History

Founded in California in 1990, Earth Train in its first decade became known for providing unforgettable learning experiences – from youth-led workshops to international conferences and youth-calling-youth-to-action train expeditions – for thousands of young people worldwide.

A multicultural team of Earth Train staff and volunteers began its work in 2001 to form the Mamoní Valley Preserve. Starting with 65 hectares, the goal was to establish a natural campus for youth leadership training, and ecological and cultural development. We soon realized, however, that we were in the midst of an ecological crisis that we could not ignore. Several large cattle ranchers in our valley were rushing to expand available pasture land at the expense of primary forest and fragile river zones. During the height of the dry season, the air was so full of smoke from the burning of felled trees that it hurt to breathe.

We set the ambitious goal of expanding our preserve to 4,000 hectares. Over a period of five years and in team with Rainforest Capital, a conservation Benefit Corporation, we expanded the Mamoní Valley Preserve, focusing mainly on buying out absentee cattle ranchers. By 2009, we had exceeded our goal, with much of the upper Mamoní and six tributaries under our management.

In several sections of the preserve, land protection has produced a regenerating forest on former logging, cattle and agricultural lands. We have also established a plantation of native tree species starting with the planting of 80,000 trees –a project now being greatly expanded in partnership with the socially responsible forestry company, Forest Finance.

Join our mailing list