Minnesota teacher brings attention to Amazon rainforest wildfires in Bolivia

More than 2.5 million acres of the Amazon rainforest has been destroyed due to wildfires raging through Brazil and Boliva.

The area that has been impacted is about the size of the state of Connecticut.

A Bolivia native who teaches at a school in St. Louis Park says while the media has focused on the fires burning in Brazil, she wants people to know that the fires are also destroying tropical forests in Bolivia.

“We are in need. The vastness of this fire is great. It’s affecting land, people, a ton of animals,” Ingrid Brown said.

She said family still living in Bolivia tells her there are protests across the country organized by people who are calling on the government to declare the fires a disaster rather than an emergency so the country can receive international aid.

“It feels super sad because they are people like you and me and this is one of the areas that provides oxygen for the world and 500 species of animals that are there,” Brown said.

Brown says while it can be hard to navigate how to keep up with the news in a foreign country, she recommends searching #SOSBolivia on social media to see what organizations on the ground there are posting about.

She also recommended checking out a nonprofit called CEPAD, following the account Rios de Pie on Facebook and Instagram or checking out El Deber, a local paper in the state of Santa Cruz where the fires are burning.