Ecuador: Ethnotourism – Meeting the locals

February 3rd, 2007

Later that same day, after lunch and a rest in a hammock, we headed out on a 3 hour walk to a nearby indigenous community.
First we had to cross the River Napo so we could get to the trail through the forest that would lead us there.
After a long walk and a great picture of a butterfly the size of my hand, we arrived in a small village. It’s was not as interesting as you might have thought – the buildings were functional not traditional – but we were here to talk to the people and drink their chicha not discuss architecture.
We were in the village for a while – but it was pretty deserted. Each village is made of of a large extended family headed by a matriarch – but our matriarch was out visiting more distant parts of her family in another nearby village leaving only children behind.

We sat in the village’s little plaza for a while, watching the chickens. Our guide, Byron, was giving the children sweets every now and then. Then Byron, who we had spent the entire day talking to, offered to take us to the village of his brother about half a kilometre down another trail. We agreed and off we went.
When we arrived we were introduced to a family and offered some chicha. The kids were laughing at the funny photo I took of their dog and wanted me to take a photo of them too.
When leaving we stopped by the house of Byron’s brother, where unexpectedly for us, we met Byron’s wife and two children who stay there while he works nearby as a guide half the week, which was a great experience.
We managed to get back to the lodge through a very difficult and unwalked trail before the sun went down. Back at the lodge we were given another meal before led by Byron to our awaiting car back to Tena.
Photos –

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