It is still early days of planning, but a small group of people are planning to travel, for the second time, down the Napo river – doing workshops relevant for indigenous peoples’ struggles, such as shamanic civil rights, and healing sessions in communities along the 1000km long and very exciting route from the beginning of the River Napo in Tena, Ecuador to Iquitos (where it meets the Amazon and the Ucayali rivers). The journey goes through one of the most biodiverse regions in the world – right past the Yasuni National Park, before crossing the border into Peru. After visiting The 4th International Amazonian Shamanism Conference: Magic, Myths and Miracles, which will be held in Iquitos, Peru – July 19th – 26th, 2008, we might continue to Pucallpa….
Contemporary developments in the global economy are very significant for the Amazon rain forest. While this might be said to be true for anywhere at any point in time there are nevertheless good reasons for paying special attention to what maybe the last battle for the survival of the largest rain forest in the world, the loss of which it should need no further justification to lament – and that is the basis upon which this invitation is written….
The journey will build on last year’s experiences (and, of course, on our autonomous development work in the Amazon in general): – and will begin in Tena with ayahuasca brewing and drinking sessions to get to know each other:
We’re looking for a few dedicated, preferably Spanish speaking people with sincere cultural and political interests – researchers, journalists, media makers… – for a journey that will take 2-3 weeks, all depending, in small canoas through the Amazon. We will be in Tena from March onwards and can also help organize tours of the area (whether you want to join the expedition or not) – great crystal clear rivers (very good rafting) and ayahuasqueros in the Kichwa tradition (substantially different from the Shipibo tradition). In Ecuador it is also commonplace to be in session with many shamans, as they often have political gatherings. Drinking with many shamans can be quite an experience
Fidel Andi, a very active shaman, will be welcoming people for sessions in his home in Tena by the riverside (great swims) and be part of the journey – like last year Fidel will be one of the invited curanderos at the conference in Iquitos.
Part of the journey will also be in support of a network of community based botanical gardens (or in situ natural medicine pharmacies) that we’re helping indigenous activists to create. We’re working with communities in Ecuador and Pucallpa (1 / 2) and indigenous student activists in Peru, who are fighting for their rights. The aim is to facilitate the creation of a cultural and political network of resistance in the Napo-Ucayali corridor, which is severely threatened by global capitalism and the Latin America integration projects (background info below).
As such we’re also looking for any financial help we can get – there is little time, a lot to lose and a lot to win, if we can help the people in the corridor prepare (autonomy and self-determination are key words here) for the transition that will inevitably come knocking on their shores. We also hope to do a presentation of the journey and the network at the conference in Peru.
The journey does not have any fixed cost – it all depends on what you can spend, but we need to gather at a minimum enough money to invite Fidel and hopefully another or two (or three!) local people with us. You should count as a minimum $4-500, but if you have $4000 to share, then they will go to a good cause!
For more information about the threat to the River Napo, see the blog entries that are collected primarily under this tag:
- and the primary entries about the corridor are:
Here is an academic article about the issues that I blogged:
and here is our first attempt at conceptualising organising against it:
HELP SAVE THE NAPO RIVER, CREATE A GREAT NETWORK AND HAVE A JOURNEY OF A LIFETIME!