This is the first time that five Kichwa communities leaders for the Rotary project have come together. To learn more about the project. To share a meal of super foods, to see what the future looks like, and to make chocolate.
Here is the text of a call with Mike McColm, the project leader with Yakum, our partner in this project.
Whoa! Yeah, it was thunder. It was really close too. Like like a couple hundred meters away. The program went really well yesterday. We hosted participants from four communities in Sachawaysa (the community we will visit), the four that are participating in the Global Grant program for the reforestation and the work with the bicycles.
It was a full day. We had a cultural exchange and everybody presented themselves in the morning. And then a couple of the leaders from Sachawaysa, Sonia and her father, who’s the founder of the community, they provided about an hour talk about how they were successful in developing both the community and all the projects they have there in the relations with the NGOs.
There was a strong message that they were able to develop well because they prohibited alcohol use in the community, except on very special occasions. So they progressed because of the leadership of the founder and hard work everybody else, but also they work really hard and have a limited use of alcohol in the community.
So we had that in the morning and then we had a break, food with some local palm fruits. We had Morete palm fruit and Achoite. We had some chicha de yuca, a lightly fermented probiotic and we had some local peanuts as well.
Then we did a tour of the reforestation areas that Yakima’s carrying out. There’s a permanent plot that we set up about three and a half years ago and we walked through there. The idea was to show the people from the new committees what they might expect to see on the reforestation in three years or three and a half years.
There were a number of different species that are producing, the inga edulis or Ice cream bean, Jackfruit, Achoite and so on. So that was really helpful. A lot of people from the community said, now we’re really convinced and really motivated to do the planning with you guys because we can see what the results look like.
We had a typical lunch, a fish lunch, and fern fiddleheads and palm hearts, and yucca for the lunch. And then the afternoon we made chocolate from local chocolate, chocolate seeds. And in the afternoon, there was a cultural center ceremony, including some storytelling and also a dance, and then a demonstration of some of their handcrafts.
We drank a medicinal drink called zinbu from a local plant. And we had chicha de yuca again. Then we had some really strong Guayusa, which has a good amount of caffeine, woke everyone up.
So it was a fun day. It was nice. They very well organized. It was very impactful for the people who saw some of these things for the first time.
A lot of things worked out really well. And there were even a couple of species of fruit trees that are starting to burst that we didn’t know we’re producing, like jackfruit, which can produce the world’s largest fruit up to 100 pounds. Super cool!
We would like to invite you to come to Ecuador.
Meet the people. Meet the Rotaractors. See how your donations are saving the Amazon and feeding the people.
We have arranged two tours for you January 19-28, 2024 and February 9-18, 2024. Your guides are Mike McColm, a biologist with 30 years in the Amazon, his wife Gladys a Kichwa native that works with the people and Dan Smith, your Tour Manager to be sure the trip runs well.
Discounts for Rotarians and even deeper discounts for donors.
25% of every dollar goes to support the project
This is a once in a lifetime experience that may never be repeated. So come on down!