Posts Categorized: Life in the Amazon

Meet the Amazon Tribespeople Who Beat Chevron in Court—but Are Still Fighting for Clean Water

(Photo: Alexander Zaitchik)   This article has been reposted. Original content for the publication can be found at Find the link at: By Alexander Zaitchik Alexander Zaitchik is a freelance writer based in New Orleans. He has written for The New Republic, The Nation, Salon, Rolling Stone, Mother Jones, and many others. With the judgment […]

The Yoco Hunters: The Secoya People and the Yoco Vine

By Alex Goff Delfin squats low over a large clay bowl, delicately scraping the orange inner bark of a thick, woody yoco vine. It’s before dawn. The light of a small fire illuminates his sharp features, carved like stone over 85 years of life in the forest. He mixes the pulp with water in a […]

Community Profile: Mauricio Mendua

Sábalo, Cofán Territory Where were you born? I was born near the community of Cofán Dureno. At that time there were no cucamas (white people), there was no oil company, just us Cofán living in the forest. Why did you move to Sábalo? Once the company came life changed for us. The noise, the pollution, […]

Both Sides of the River: Life in Transition for the Siona of the Putumayo

By Alex Goff The vast Putumayo River divides the modern nations of Ecuador and Colombia. The river also defines a geographic region of the Amazon: El Putumayo. The Siona people have inhabited both sides of the river since before either of these two countries existed. They continue to move freely between the two sides, visiting […]

Supporting Community Led Environmental Monitoring in the Wake of An Oil Spill

It started as a rainbow sheen on the surface of the turbid waters of the mighty Aguarico River, but within hours it turned into a thick layer of crude oil that stuck to the bottom of canoes, accumulated in stagnant inlets, and smeared the rocky shores of indigenous villages for miles downriver. It was July […]

Community Profile – Emilio Lucitande

Norma Payaguaje and Emilio Lucitande: Husband and Wife San Pablo, Secoya territory Where were you born? I was born in Puerto Asis, Colombia. My father was Cofán and my mother was Siona. I grew up speaking A’ingae and Pai’ coca. Tell me about your childhood. When I was little we lived in a small community […]

In The Time of Chonta

By Alex Goff, Field Coordinator The fruit from the chonta palm is so important to the peoples of the Amazon that in the past the annual harvest would mark the passing of each year for many tribes. Chonta, Bactris gasipeas, or peach palm in English, grows throughout the Amazon basin and is used by most indigenous […]