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Christian Aid supports eco-lodge made famous by new Daniel Radcliffe film

by Tola Mbakwe

'Jungle', which debuts this week, is based on the real-life story of Yossi Ghinsberg who survived getting lost in the Amazon Jungle.

Ten years after Ghinsberg escaped, he set up an eco-lodge with the indigenous community of San José de Uchupiamonas that helped rescue him.

The lodge, Chalalan, is supported by Christian Aid through its collaboration in ACRE (Access to Capital for Rural Enterprises).

The group supports small and medium sized enterprises and helps them to become investment-ready and to access the long-term capital they need to grow.

Rodrigo Mariaca

Made using local materials and solar-powered electricity, the lodge employs 40 people and invests in health and education projects that benefit the 750 people living in San José.

Its visitors are taken on jungle treks by indigenous guides who share their knowledge about the wild life and stress the importance of protecting the forest that is threatened by deforestation and the effects of climate change.

Ghinsberg said: "Chalalan is a beautiful, sustainable and profitable project made by and for the local people. I wanted to give something back and this was the best way I knew how. It is an enchanting place and anyone who wants to experience the Amazon is in good hands here. "

Ghinsberg said working with the film's director and Radcliffe has been 'overwhelming'.

He added: "I never imagined that my story would be told in this way. Any attention that Chalalan receives as a result of this, is just fantastic."

Christian Aid said it hopes the film will "help shine a light on Ghinsberg's humanitarian efforts in Bolivia and on the importance of supporting enterprises in poor rural settings."

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