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I have been traveling and studying Amazonian communities since I first visited a community in 1992 on the Napo River in Ecuador. I've always had curiosity about the approach of local communities to environmental issues, who experience the continuous extraction practices in the Amazon region every day, such as deforestation, oil exploration, mining and industrial fishing. I just finished my Masters in Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Florida International University, which included research in a community in the Peruvian Amazon. I intend to continue research on environmental issues with communities in the Amazon.
Is there a common point of view among indigenous peoples on climate change and the impact of ecotourism?
There are common points of view, but almost always different approaches. In my view, NGOs imposing global environmental visions and perspectives have learned a great deal from local ecological knowledge (LEK, in ethnographic parlance). In general, local communities adapt to global environmental visions and techniques in exchange for government and NGO protection from extractors and exploiters.
Vegetarians in these communities are very few, but they can be found. Recall that these communities have relied on animal protein for many years, but their agricultural practices of growing fruit and vegetables are long-standing and each community member has their own chacra or small garden.
Speaking of Chamchico (ed: he is the recurring protagonist of some legends in that area mentioned in the article), are there other similar characters who protect the earth?
The Chamchic character is mentioned in various sub-regions of the Amazon Basin and has common traits such as dwarf stature, having one leg shorter than the other, and an authoritative approach to forest protection. I'm not aware of any other characters, but there are similar ones with other names.
Reading of the natives' disappointment in the protection of giant otters, are there any other animals or plants that they don't deem important?
Amazonian cosmology is very unique because human beings consider themselves equal to plants and animals. Everyone has a soul and they are important. In the case of predators, since we ourselves are seen as predators, they have a special relationship with their fellows, as is the case with the puma, jaguar and caiman. In this regard, I advise everyone to read Eduardo Konh's book, entitled How Forests Think .
Jorge has visited several areas of the Amazon to study the people. Let him help you to plan a visit to the Amazon to suit your interests.