Thanks to the dedicated work of the Andean Condor Conservation Project, hundreds of the world’s largest flying birds have been successfully reintroduced to their natural habitats after receiving assistance and care.
This project consistently underscores the importance of its two pillars, or two wings: the scientific and the spiritual.
The Condor, being a scavenger, faces an invisible and often deadly adversary in the form of toxic baits due to its dietary habits.
Moreover, through innovative fertilization techniques, the PCCA has managed to reintroduce specimens in areas where the species had become extinct due to indiscriminate hunting. Ancestral records and the voices of Native American elders played a pivotal role in the condor’s return to the skies of the Sierras de Paileman and its journey to the Atlantic Ocean coasts.
For Native American citizens, the condor serves as a spiritual messenger. The spiritual person does not communicate directly with the gods; rather, they do so through the condor, which carries their prayers skyward.
Before the releases, educational and awareness campaigns are conducted. Students from local schools and representatives of the Original Communities officiate ceremonies to ensure the condor’s protection and a safe return to their natural skies.
In gratitude and memory of my friend and teacher, Hernán Canuti.
The photos were taken at different liberation ceremonies in the Argentine provinces of San Luis and San Juan.
© Nicolás Preci