Friday Photo – Washday on the Rio Pastaza – in Ecuador

March 6, 2009 by  
Filed under Ecuador, Peru, World

In October 2007 I took a trip to Ecuador with a couple of friends, down the River Bobonaza as far as the Peruvian border, where the river meets the much larger River Pastaza. Although this isn’t an open border between the two countries, we were given permission to cross over to the Peruvian town of Andaos, just for a few hours.

This is where I took the photo of these children on the banks of the river. At first I thought they were just having some fun splashing around in the water, but on looking closer I realised that they were also doing the laundry. The wooden struts of the old wooden boat made a great place for hanging out the washing. I can’t imagine my kids having so much fun loading the washing machine, can you?

See all the other Friday Photos over at Delicious Baby

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Friday Photo – A pet monkey in the rainforest – in Ecuador

February 27, 2009 by  
Filed under Ecuador, Leisure, Nature, World

What do you keep as a pet if you live in the rainforest?  Not a pet snake, that’s for sure. We saw this little girl and her pet monkey in the village of Pacayaku, on our river journey down the Rio Bobonaza in Ecuador.

Normally these little creatures are adopted as pets when their mother has been killed in a hunt and brought back to the village as food. Although it seems unthinkable to us to kill a species with features so close to our own, as a meat eater I can’t deny the villagers one of the few local sources of meat in their diet. At least the babies get lots of cuddles as their parents are roasted over the fire.

If you’re in the US and have been enjoying Mark and Olly on the Travel Channel in their experiences with the Machigenga tribe in the Amazon basin of Peru, you may like to see some videos of Mark falling in love with a pet monkey of his very own. You can see how irresistable these little monkeys are as pets.

You can see all the other Friday photos on Delicious Baby here

See my Ecuador photos on Flickr here

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Friday photo – Defending the rainforest in Sarayaku – in Ecuador

January 16, 2009 by  
Filed under Ecuador, World, World Issues

When I was in the Ecuadorian rainforest community of Sarayaku we met a young film-maker named Heriberto Gualinga. He was the brother of our two local guides, Ingaro and Gerado who made the week-long river journey with us from Puyo down to Kapawi near the Peruvian border.

In his traditionally built family home made of wood and palm thatch, Heriberto set up his laptop (powered by solar panels) and gave us an impromptu viewing of his film Soy Defensor de la Selva (I am the defender of the rainforest). He had been sponsored to make his film by Accion Creativa, an organisation which supports social change through the use of film and other creative media.

The film shows the struggle in Sarayaku against the incursions of the oil companies who had been granted exploration rights by the Ecuadorian government. The community at Sarayaku strongly oppose this exploration which would destroy the rainforest and when oil workers moved into their territory, Heriberto was there to film their resistance.

Heriberto gave us a copy of the film, which I’d shown to friends, but now I see it’s up on Youtube, so I’d love you to watch it. The version above is 3 minutes long, but if you’d like to see the full 15 min film, the links are also below.

Soy Defensor de la Selva (I am the defender of the rainforest) Part 1
Soy Defensor de la Selva (I am the defender of the rainforest) Part 2
Soy Defensor de la Selva (I am the defender of the rainforest) Part 3

It was a lesson for me in how the use of media is crucial in allowing remote communities to have a voice and take their message to the wider world. And I hope that we bloggers can also use our web-voice in a positive way on issues that affect our world – so spread the word!

This is posted as part of the Friday Photo from Delicious Baby - see all the other Friday photos here.

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