Amazon & Huaorani
The Ecuadorian Amazon, or ‘Oriente’ as it is known locally, forms part of the largest tropical rainforest and river system on the planet, famous for its profusion and diversity of birds, plants and animals. The lush forests are a magnet for discriminating wild life experts, travelers and explorers from all over the world.
Getting to Know the Huaorani
Helping to protect a unique forest culture
Huaorani territory is pure Amazon, complete with wide slow moving rivers, blue skies and a multitude of lush green flowering plants and trees, many of which have still to recognised and classified.
The Huaorani are a timeless tribe. Their origins are unknown and their language (Huaorani translates as ‘The People’) has no relation to any other known tongue. For thousands of years they have made their home in the lush forests of the Amazon, moving silently through the jungle, living amongst the animals and plants, leaving little trace of their presence.
‘The People’ still maintain their traditional lifestyle. But unlike some closely related tribes, who shun outside influences and can be dangerous to approach, they are no longer nomadic hunters. The Huaorani now lead a more settled and open existence in the humid tropical forests of Ecuador.
Huaorani territory takes in some 1.7 million acres, but the presence of western life can be felt even here. The missionaries, the loggers and the oil companies have all had negative impacts on this isolated, but culturally significant people and the health and diversity of its tropical environment.
Faced with the destruction of their surroundings and the possible disappearance of their way of life, the Huaorani have chosen to resist. By inviting small numbers of people to share their world for short periods they intend to keep their culture alive. They have opted for sustainable tourism. This is Huaorani Ecolodge.
But Huaorani Ecolodge is not simple tourism. This community based project forms an essential part of a plan to protect a globally important environment and enable a people to defend their unique forest culture.