Mashpi is found almost in the middle of the bio-region of the Chocó and also is bathed each day with water that has appeared from the Pacific Ocean, whether in the form of drizzle – fine drops of water immersed within the clouds and mist – or in the form of tropical storms, torrential showers accompanied by wind and thunder.
Between December and May every year, although sometimes before and sometimes after, the Warm Panama Current forcefully seizes the Ecuadorian coast. In this season it rains in Mashpi, and it rains a lot. Between June and November, the Cold Humboldt Current pushes against its opposite and the rain reduces in Mashpi, but it never ceases.
This season is called “dry”, ironically as Mashpi never dries out, and is characterised by a fine humid breeze, drizzle and mist that is trapped by the forest in order to stay permanently humidified. In Mashpi it usually rains up to 3,000 mm a year, bringing the pristine rivers and waterfalls and immense biodiversity like a gift; thanks to the humidity and rain there is such a variety of species and great levels of endemism in Mashpi.
The forests of Mashpi also make offerings to the Pacific Ocean and return the water that gives them life in the form of crystalline rivers, so that the cycle may continue. The places in the Chocó that have lost their important forests have a direct impact on the ocean; the high levels of rainfall in the deforested mountains generate soil erosion and deterioration, which in turn generates catastrophic landslides and excessive sedimentation that ends up in the rivers, contaminating and killing all life, and finally reaches the sea covering the reefs in mud, depriving them of light – which is what sustains them – and therefore suffocates them.
The hand of man divorces and ruins the accord adhered to be the Pacific with the Chocó. It is for this reason, among others, that the Mashpi Reserve is a jewel, 1,200 hectares bathed in water from the Oriental Pacific that shelters life, as much in the forest as in the rivers, and finally in the sea.