Today I’m joining in with the Friday photo at Delicious Baby to bring you a photo from my travels with a story behind it.
With election fever gripping the US (election, what election?) I thought I’d share with you a little grass roots politics from my trip last year to Ecuador.
You see, we were lucky enough to be accompanied on our river journey by Luis Hernandez, who was not only our guide, but an aspiring politician who a week previously had been elected to the National Assembly of Ecuador. When we arrived by canoe in the rainforest village of Sarayaku on the Rio Bobonaza, the community invited Luis to address their college students about the new constitution for Ecuador that the Assembly was to write. While we were worrying about anacondas and canoes capsizing, Luis spent his spare time on the river bank reading the constitutions of other South American states, in preparation for his new role as an Asambleísta.
Like teenagers the world over, some listened politely while others looked a bit bored. What will the future be, we wondered, for these children of the rainforest? So far the community of Sarayaku can only be reached by canoe or light aircraft, but they have had to fight hard to keep the oil companies from encroaching into their territory. Will they find a way to preserve their culture based on their rainforest surroundings, and still tap into the benefits of the modern world?
Take a look at my photos from Ecuador on my Flickr site.
You can see all the other Friday photos over at Delicious Baby here.
Luis Hernandez can be contacted through his travel company, Neotropic Travel, based in Quito. I recommend a stay at his Cuyabeno lodge in the Cuyabeno nature reserve. If your Spanish is up to it, you can read the political blog Luis wrote on the Ecuadorian National Assembly website.