ECUADORIAN AVATAR - PART II "IN THE JUNGLE" – MY TRIP TO ECUADOR

in travel •  last month

 The link to first part of the relation of my Ecuadorian trip is here: https://steemit.com/travel/@katrinagr/ecuadorian-avatar-part-i-in-andes-my-trip-to-ecuador


 PART II


IN THE JUNGLE
 

We were going slowly down the Andes to the town of Puyo, where a small avionette was waiting to take us to Sarayaku - an indigenous village located in the Amazonian jungle. After 25 minutes of flight by a retro-styled machine, we eventually safely landed in Sarayaku, where we stayed whole week.
 

The time was passing slowly, and as a matter of fact, it seemed like time stood still - first because no one used watches there, and secondly, because the village of Sarayaku seemed an incredible fairyland to us, functioning beyond our time and space. I went to bed when I was tired and got up with the “first rooster sound” ... Luckily, I had no idea which time it was, so I felt very fresh...



 Apart from jungle hikings, we also took part in the everyday activities of the locals. Both the landscape and the organization of social life in the village of Sarayaku is a picture taken from AVATAR movie. People and nature live together in organic and spiritual harmony. Let's take a look at the organization of work. In the village of SARAYAKU, if someone has a job to do, he will ask others for help, and at the end of the day, everyone is invited to eat and drink chicha (chicha is a fermented yucca drink). Below is a photo of a local herbalist



 In the evening the plans for the next day are discussed. In the morning before work begins, everyone talks and interprets their dreams. If someone had an unusually bad dream, the plan might change ... But it happens very rarely - they do not go away from work as we - the people of the west - do. Each of them is aware that working on one farm serves the entire village and community. Everyone works on their own and free will, and work goes very smoothly.  

I meantime children are in school. It turned out that there was even a local “university” in Sarayaku, where not only the knowledge of ancestors is taught, but also the knowledge of the modern world and Western culture.  On the other hand, children who do not go to school have time to play. Actually, they are raised in stress-free environment, because nothing is forbidden... But I have to say that I have not seen better and more polite children in my life !!! They play together, but do not force one another to do anything. They behave quietly, no rules need to be explained or taught them, as they feel them naturally. They just simply adapt to the situation - they know when and how to deal with younger siblings, they understand when someone does not want to have fun or company ...




  Sunday is a day off. From the very morning you can hear the drums sound coming from near houses. This means that the hosts invite everyone for a drink. - chicha - yucca beverage. Its production is very simple. The housewife chews the pieces of yucca and spits it into a special container, which after filling is closed and set aside for several days for fermentation. Each chicha tastes a little differently - probably it depends on the saliva of the person who chews...





  
  Chicha is served in a round bowl, which all the guests drink in turn. It should be emphasized that the guest has no right to refuse such a treat. If someone refuses to try, the host is standing upon him/her so long as at least the guest wets his/her lips ... In the beginning it was difficult for me, but after a third visit, I could not wait for my turn ... 



 Sarayaku Indians sometimes benefit from civilization facilities, but ecologically and only in the extent they need – they do not waste! There is electricity from solar batteries. Sometimes satellite internet is available. Apart from these inventions, everything takes place naturally. Moreover the food is so delicious, because it is not contaminated. For the whole week we were feeding on what the jungle gave us - when I got home and looked at what is being sold in the grocery stores and what is called "food" - I was about to cry ...
 

However, it can not be forgotten that there were also negative characters in AVATAR movie. Similar people also reached the village of SARAYAKU. In life, as in the movie, an oil company appeared, which wanted to start drilling in the area, thus tried to get rid of the inhabitants at all costs. When the negotiations did not work, they tried more violent solutions, such as blocking access to the river for Sarayaku people, or cutting down trees (including the Sarayaku Sacred Tree).


 However, as in AVATAR movie the invaders where total strangers, the situation of the SARAYAKU is totally different. A corrupt government in Ecuador a few years ago sent troops against its own citizens. Fortunately, Sarayaku  are aware of their freedom and, at the same time, they remain strong, united and well organized, and so far have been able to stay within their territory. However, the negotiations are still being conducted between SARAYAKU on one hand, and the victims of civilization - an oil company and a corrupt Ecuadorian government on the other hand.
And they ... , as AVATAR’s poet, Jake Sully said: "They’re not gonna give up their home. They’re not gonna make a deal. For-for a light beer and blue jeans? There’s nothing that we have that they want" 



 PS. If anyone wants to go to these areas or help SARAYAKU people in any other way, you can contact Karen Marrero in English or Spanish at karennana@yahoo.com.
 
 

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Sarayaku sounds like a lot of fun adventure. I will look up more about the Ecuadorians now. Thank you for sharing.

Terrific post @katrinagr. The children sound delightful. I enjoyed your writing and the photos were really good. Upvoted, resteemed and followed.

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Thank you so much for kind words and resteeming. More my travel reports coming soon:)

This is supercool! @katrinagr Thanks! Followed...

Wow.. thanks for introducing such new place.

Thankyou for sharing your adventures

Thank you for sharing @katringr

I think it is a great experience get to know "the simple life" in the nature.

Have a great day,
Thomas

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Indeed, such experience is really refreshing - both mentally and physically. Recommended :)

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