Invitation to Expedition in the Napo-Ucayali Corridor: June/July 2008

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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….

Sunrise on the River Napo

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:

Around Tena

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 Twisted Evil


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! Wink


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:



7 thoughts on “Invitation to Expedition in the Napo-Ucayali Corridor: June/July 2008

    Haig Jacobs said:
    Monday, December 3, 2007 at 18:40 (819)

    Dear sir-madam,
    I am an independent documentary producer following the corridor story.

    I just returned from Manaus where I was documenting the local tribes and the city itself .

    I am returning to the US later this month to build a documentary on this subject.

    I have some phenomenal footage and interviews. I would be delighted to join your expedition next year and would be honored to document the journey and interactions.

    I have been living here in Ecuador for the past 4 years following this and related stories.

    please feel free to contact me at anytime. I should be in the US around the 15th of Decmber.

    PS I may be able to help access funds to assist the journey.

    Yours sincerely Haig Jacobs.

    PS I am a Spanish speaker.

    PPS if you can recomend any well informed people that may like to share an interview with me for this project I would be grateful.

    Michelle Espinosa said:
    Wednesday, January 9, 2008 at 01:08 (089)

    see you there

    gudi wesley said:
    Saturday, May 24, 2008 at 07:36 (358)

    Our group from Liberia is interested in attending your program. How do we receive invitation letters for visa to attend.

    colono responded:
    Saturday, May 24, 2008 at 18:21 (806)

    Sorry – should have updated this post log time ago – the trip has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances.

    Basically we have been invite to participate in “The 11th International Congress of Ethnobiology” with a group of Kichwa shamans, naturalists, midwives and activists – and travelling via the Napo to Cusco and then back up to Iquitos is simply not feasible time wise and financially.


    Michelle Lentini said:
    Wednesday, October 22, 2008 at 13:24 (600)

    I am desperately trying to get in touch with Haig Jacobs. Haig, if you get this, please contact me at or call me at 941-755-6785. This is Michelle – I know you remember me from Key West many moons ago!! :_

    Michelle Lentini said:
    Wednesday, October 22, 2008 at 13:25 (601)

    what was I thinking…my phone is 941-237-7277

    ALLI said:
    Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 00:17 (053)

    compliment of the season to you .i just want to make an enquries about the conference invitation letter to ecuador .
    waiting to hear from you soon
    thank you

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