(R Reports) – It almost looks like a painting.
Bright yellow petals of the guayacan tree saturate the terrain of Ecuador’s Mangahurco region.
They come into bloom just once a year.
The guayacan forest is the largest of its kind in the country.
Though this area is largely arid, the trees come into bloom following the first rainfall of the year.
In tough economic times, the trees cut down and used for their durable wood.
Now, locals are more concerned with preserving the breathtaking bloom.
HERNAN RUIZ, FARMER IN MANGAHURCO REGION,
“It is emotional – before we didn’t really appreciate them – but today, starting about three years ago, we began to look after this protective forest, not like before when we destroyed it. In my parent’s time they cut them down [for commercial use of the wood] because there weren’t other jobs.”
Tourists from all over make the trek to catch a glimpse for themselves.
ALEXANDER PINKWART, GERMAN TOURIST,
“It’s really beautiful, I think that the color is amazing, when you drive from Zapotillo here to come through the dry forest where everything is grey and maybe a little bit of ochre as well and suddenly you just have this yellow flowers is very beautiful.”
Not only beautiful — but the trees mark the beginning of the planting season offering hope to farmers for the year.