In 1967, Texaco-Gulf announced the discovery of oil reserves in the Ecuadorian Amazon. However, this event marked the beginning of a series of serious environmental disasters that have unfortunately never been remedied, causing irreparable damage to local communities.
The provinces of Orellana and Sucumbíos are located in the main area of influence of this oil activity. Despite several agreements in which PetroEcuador and transnational corporations committed to using the safest technologies available at the time, these promises never materialized. Over the past 20 years, Petroecuador has continued to use division strategies and generate internal conflicts in indigenous and settler communities to obtain concessions for new oil wells, which has resulted in continued forest degradation and the spread of catastrophic diseases due to the pollution of soils and rivers.
The introduction of hydrocarbon activity in the Kichua, Shuar, Waorani, Cofan indigenous communities and in the intangible areas of the Yasuní National Park represents a threat to the future of future generations and contravenes human rights and the right to a good life.
Despite these challenges, communities and indigenous peoples are resisting and proposing sustainable alternatives to preserve the health of our soils, rivers and the rich biodiversity that inhabits our ancestral territories.
Tourism and the production of organic products represent a great opportunity to unite our communities and raise awareness for resistance, while generating more responsible economies that respect our ancestral culture and biodiversity.
In the canton ‘La Joya de los Sachas’ in the province of Orellana, there is the Kichua community of San Carlos. The members of this community have made the decision to revitalize their customs and traditions, incorporating them into cultural heritage tourism.
Panga Wassi is a cultural center that promotes the conservation of its lands through sustainable practices, such as permaculture, reforestation and ecotourism.
Today, they face resistance from their territory, which is being tempted by oil activity in search of exploitation opportunities
The Parutu Yaku community members are the administrators of the Ila Kucha Community Tourism Center. Through this initiative, they have assumed the role of official guardians of the jungle, protecting the biodiversity that inhabits this area. The region is home to a rich variety of wildlife, including tapirs, jaguars, ocelots, agoutis, peccaries, armadillos, as well as a wide range of birds, such as toucans, tanagers, hummingbirds, guans, owls and herons, as well as numerous species of amphibians and reptiles, such as alligators, giant lizards and boas.
Patricio, one of the experienced local tour guides, specializes in identifying native fauna. With his binoculars in hand, he stands in the canoe as he paddles and zigzags along the shores of the lagoon in search of wildlife. You don’t have to wait long to find entire flocks of birds crossing the sky between one tree and another, or even a woolly monkey that carefully observes visitors from the top of a tree, showing its red tones under the sun’s rays.
Approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes of navigation towards the southeast along the river, is Illa Kucha, Fco canton of Orellana- province of Orellana
The community members of Pompeii have created a lodge – Pashpanchu Lodge is located in the Yasuni national park. This lodging site allows you to spend your nights in a silence of harmony with nature.
To reach the El Pilchi community, it takes around two hours of navigation through the jungle along the Napo River. Before reaching one of the hearts of the jungle, the boat passes through Puerto Providencia, an Amazonian port where ships loaded with oil leave.
The El Pilchi community is located in the province of Sucumbíos, very close to the Yasuní National Park, considered one of the spaces that houses the greatest megadiversity on the planet. Its natural wealth is notable. Driven by the community members who have decided to conserve and preserve their territory by promoting tourism as a strong resistance towards oil activities which are tempted to come for exploitation.
The Waorani Ñoneno Commune is located about 2 hours by boat along the Shiripuno River from the control station of the Ministry of the Environment in Shiripuno, in the province of Orellana. This community is home to rich biodiversity in both fauna and flora. Its deep cultural wealth will give you an authentic experience.
Ñoneno has chosen to preserve its territory and has completely based its economy on tourism based on experiential experiences, adventures and immersion in the jungle. This allows visitors to enjoy a true connection with nature and local culture.
The 150 Huaorani that make up the Bameno community play a fundamental role as protectors of the Amazon rainforest in the Ome Yasuni region. They are guardians not only of the rich fauna and flora of the jungle, but also of the ancestral traditions that they have inherited from ancient Amazonian civilizations.
The wisdom of the elders, the knowledge of herbs, the art of hunting and fishing are essential components of their heritage. These aspects are valuable to the Bameno community, as they wish to not only preserve and protect them, but also share them with those who have an interest in the rich Amazonian cultures.
Visiting the community of Bameno on a ten-hour canoe trip is not only a sporting adventure, but also a discovery of an ancient reality in which human beings and nature have remained closely united.