Traveling with Family & Friends
Usually the best recommendations come from personal experiences. We’re lucky that Patch writer Phyllis has recommended Gondwana’s Ecuador Amazon Adventure based on her life-changing encounter. Her essay, Lessons from the Achuar Tribe is a beautiful tribute to the tribe’s environment and way of life. Additionally, traveling with 3 generations of her family created a memorable vacation for the entire crew. She writes, “We all have a personal narrative, and listening to the stories of others helps us learn more about ourselves.” Sharing a new experience is a beautiful way to connect with others, especially while traveling.
The Achuar Tribe & Family Life
In that same vein, a big insight for these travelers was how closely the Achuar tribe’s familial lifestyle mirrored their own. By preserving their way of life, the 6,000 Achuar tribe live in a similar way to their ancestors, while preserving their culture. Personally, the writer draws many parallels between her family and the Achuar’s familial structure. She remembers, “When the Shaman asked how we would feel if our grandsons wanted to work with the tribe, we agreed that would make us very proud.” In a modern world where everyone seems to be looking for what’s next, the author is impressed by the opportunity to step back and put family and nature first.
Nature & Conservation in the Amazon
Known as custodians of the rainforest, the Achuar use their knowledge of the Amazon’s environment to teach visitors about her resources. Kapawi Ecolodge is their vehicle (or rather, hotel), for sharing this information. “The United Nations named Kapawi one of the top five outstanding environmental conservation projects in the world.” Green initiatives like solar power naturally filtered water and biodegradable soaps (plus many others) ensure that the ecolodge has a positive impact on the Amazon’s ecosystem. Even nighttime lighting is limited so that it doesn’t impact the nocturnal animals. It’s these little details that make the ecolodge a haven for the Amazon’s biodiverse fauna while preserving it for the future.
Learning from the Achuar
When comparing the Achuar lifestyle to modern culture, it seems like there are many differences at first glance. But perhaps, it’s our modern amenities that take us farther away from where we should be. Part of the beauty of the Achuar culture is that they are preserving their lifestyle, culture, and current green initiatives while being mindful of their environment. Perhaps the author sums up her experience best, “Being in a world entirely different from ours provides insight into familiar life. And instead of virtual texting with family, I prefer to cross the communication divide through shared real adventures.”