Helping the Shuar Community

Dear Friends,

We hope that you and your families have been safe, healthy, and blessed during this year.

Amazon Travel Tours has managed to stay operational and safe during the pandemic so that we can continue to offer fantastic tours of our beloved Amazon and culture once international travel is safe for everyone again.

Beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 has seen many devastating events across the globe. Many of the indigenous communities of the Yasuní Biosphere depend on tourism for economic support, support which the pandemic has severely limited for the safety of all. However, in the spring the Yasuní Biosphere and Napo River have suffered two major oil spills and intense flooding and left many communities without access to clean water and transportation to main ports for basic necessities or medical needs.

We are writing to you on behalf of the Shuar Community that we work with on several of our tours and asking for your help and support. The Shuar community is a small community made up of about 8 families. A few years ago the community created the Shuar Cultural Center with the aim of rescuing and sharing the heritage of the Shuar culture and creating a stable income for the community. As part of your tour with Amazon Travel, you may have had the opportunity to visit the Shuar Cultural Center and interact with the families that maintain it.

Today, the global pandemic has left the Shuar community isolated from the rest of the world for more than nine months as they try to self quarantine and stay safe. The community has been fortunate to not have suffered any losses from the pandemic, yet they are struggling to support themselves. Normally, the community would rely on the rivers, jungle, and small farms for their food and water. However, the two oil spills in the Coca and Napo rivers have left the surrounding lands contaminated as the flooding brought the petroleum contaminated waters deeper inland. The fish, the wild plants, and crops the Shuar people rely on are no longer safe to consume or use. Currently, there is no solid plan for remediation of the rivers and land as all of Ecuador is facing hard times economically due to the pandemic.

We are asking for your help from all those who visited us and learned about the life of the Shuar or have taken a tour with Amazon Travel. This is not something we, Amazon Travel Tours, has done before, but this year has been unlike any other.

With your help, the Shuar Community is hoping to raise $2000 USD. This money will go directly to helping the community:

  • Repair family homes
  • Repair communal buildings
  • Relocate fields to better areas for planting
  • Rebuild and repair their potable water system
  • Buy necessities like soap and foods that are not obtainable from the Amazon.

Additionally, the money will be used to help maintain the daily upkeep of the Shuar Cultural Center until it is safe to reopen and start receiving guests once more.

We are hoping that with your help, we can help the Shuar community through this difficult time. As we write this, we have been working with a private donor who will match the first $750 USD in donations to help the Shuar community get the necessary funds and resources they need.

If you would like to make a donation, please follow the link below.

GoFundMe: Aid for the Shuar Community of Ecuador

By giving your support, you will be remembered by the Shuar People as an Ambassador to the Shuar Culture: one who gave their community the ability of continuing with their goal of preserving the Shuar heritage. Your name will also be added to a plaque honoring those who helped the Shaur Community through these tough times.

Thank you for your past support of Amazon Travel Tours. We look forward to seeing you again once this pandemic has passed us. Stay safe, healthy, and be blessed.

Patricio Juank
Owner, Amazon Travel Tours