Of course, the Amazon is more than exotic plants and animals. The ribereros, in villages large and small, make their lives along its banks. For a close up look, we visit San Francisco, a village National Geographic/Linblad Expeditions has been involved with for some time.
We stop to meet a mother, busy with her toddler, her baby and her weaving project.
The women here use local materials to make fanciful versions of Amazon wildlife. Of course, we can’t resist.
and the opportunity for Emma to cuddle a baby sloth. Neither wants to let go.
Our naturalists tell us that while villagers do without much of the stuff we consider essential, a couple of hours of spear fishing in the morning and a little farming provide their daily bread and a surplus to sell. The rest of the time is theirs to hang out with family and community.
Of course, not all is bliss. National Geographic and Lindblad work with Minga Peru to train local leaders in resource management (agro-forestry, crop cultivation, construction and management of fish ponds), conservation, and women’s empowerment. Some of the leaders give us a briefing. One of the focuses of Minga Peru’s twice-weekly radio program, “Bienvenida Salud!” (Welcome Health) is prevention of domestic violence.