5 Cultural Experiences at the Kichwa Añangu Community in Ecuador

Cultural-Experiences-at-the-Kichwa-Añangu-Community-in-Ecuador

Have you been curious about the ancient people of South America ever since you first heard about them in grade school? Come satiate your sense of wonder! Learn about the day-to-day traditions, customs, and practices of the Kichwa Añangu, a nation that has co-existed within this territory for hundreds of years. We are an Indigenous Amazonian group who believe that sustainable eco-tourism is one of the best ways to preserve the pristine Amazon in the 21st Century.

You will not only enjoy an incredible trip of a lifetime to the heart of the Ecuadorian Amazon, but can also feel good about helping support our community which has upwards of 180 members. The proceeds of our joint businesses, the Napo Wildlife Center & Napo Cultural Center, work to improve our way of life through funding investments in renewable energy, education, and community health projects. Activities within the Yasuní National Park are coordinated by members of the community in conjunction with experts promoting self-sufficiency and the ability to share our way of life with the wider international community. It is important that rules of conduct and ethics be respected when you visit, such as refraining from the illegal poaching of wildlife, pollution of any kind, or taking pictures of our members without their prior consent. There is much to learn from each other! We look forward to a cultural exchange to develop a greater understanding of our similarities as well as our differences, sharing our indigenous ways of life and worldviews.

1. Wayusada Ritual

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“Guayusa” is a traditional drink which has been used for centuries in our ancestral rites and daily life. We invite you to experience this early morning ritual led by the elderly members of our community. We will rise before the sun, drink “Guayusa” tea which will energize you for the rest of the day, listen to traditional songs, share our dreams, and have them interpreted by the wise “Mamakuna” elders.

2. “Kuri Muyo” Cultural Center

 

The-Añangu-Community-an-inspiration-for-other-communities

A visit to our Cultural Center will portray both the rich heritage and bright future of our community. A combination of ancestral knowledge, beliefs, values, culture, and ageless traditions are delivered by our esteemed women through music, song, and dance. Elaborate artwork, jewelry, pottery, and handicrafts made using eco-friendly and sustainable practices are available for purchase. All profits made from these sales are managed exclusively by the women.

3. “Huito” Traditional Vegetable Ink Tattoos

Traditional-Vegetable-Ink-Tattoos

The Genipa americana plant has been used by our ancestors for centuries. Cultivated from the Várzeas section of the Yasuní National Park, this plant and the fruit it bears provides many benefits and is used in a number of ways such as in traditional tattooing ceremonies. The safe, organic, natural semi-permanent dye is derived through traditional methods. Its initial blue-black color will fade to a sepia-brown before gradually disappearing within a week or so.

4. A Typical Dinner

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Whether your culinary tastes are tame or adventurous, we have something delicious in store for you! Enjoy only the best of our fresh and locally-grown organic foods. Some options include “Maito” fish prepared in a “Bijao” leaf, fried cacao, exquisite “Mayones”, and the “Chontacuros” from Palm trees. Wash it all down with our local “Chicha” beer made from manioc root and sweet potato. The fermentation process makes this a popular beverage and offers the perfect refreshment for your palate.

5. Ancestral Catamaran

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Dusk brings with it a whole new host of pleasures! Experience a breathtaking view of the Amazonian sunset on the Ancestral Kichwa Catamaran. This watercraft follows an ancient trade route along the Napo river between communities in this region. We will float along together and share our ancient legends and magical stories while you enjoy some delicious fire-roasted snacks.

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