The project Forest of Interbeing was initiated at the beginning of 2014, when Christoph Neger from Austria proposed to Wake Up International to carry out a project to regenerate and protect the Los Tuxtlas rainforest in Mexico, where he had conducted field work for his Master’s thesis.
Together with Joana Chan and Brian Kimmel from the US as well as Aurelia Ellett from Germany, a small initial group emerged and met regularly on Skype beginning to shape the project. With DEMATAC (Defenders of Wildlife of Los Tuxtlas), a non-governmental organization from the region, a confident partner was found, which helped us navigate bureaucratic issues and lent their experience in working in environmental protection in the region.
Little by little, people in the region started to get interested and incorporated themselves into the project. The first event was carried out on April 13, 2014, when 14 people helped by collecting seeds in the Adolfo Ruiz Cortines community, in the municipality of San Andrés Tuxtla. On June 15 of the same year, we planted our first 40 trees on the land of Mauricio Vázquez, close to Adolfo Ruiz Cortines. The same day, a video was recorded for a crowd funding campaign on the platform Indiegogo. The Indiegogo campaign was a big success, so we were able to start working on many different projects. Later on we could obtain governmental resources to assist conservation projects in the local communities of the region (see What we do).
In March 2015 we organized the first meditation and reforestation retreat together with Wake Up Mexico at the ecotourism center Yambigapan, in San Andrés Tuxtla. The participants took part in the planting of 80 trees in our conservation area in Santa Rosa Abata, municipality San Andrés Tuxtla. In 2016 we did a new crowdfunding campaign on the platform Generosity and were able to buy one hectare of cloud forest in Santa Rosa Abata in order to protect it.
In June 2017 we participated in the organization of the tour “Conscious Revolution” of Wake Up Mexico and were visited by five monastics of the Buddhist monasteries Blue Cliff (New York) and Deer Park (California) and members of Wake Up in the US.