Christopher Newport Ecuador + Galápagos

Communities and Capuchins!

Friday, May 21, 2021

An early rise for the Broadreach group this morning! At 5:30am breakfast was served and around 6am we headed out on motorized canoes on the Rio Napo to the “Parrot-lick”. There we saw a diverse array of parrots, aracari toucans, and macaws! It was a beautiful display of the biodiverse Amazonian bird community.

After the Parrot-lick we headed to the Yasuni National Park to visit the Kichwa community. There we were greeted by the natives of this tribe and they taught us the culture of their community. First was a lesson on their daily morning guayusa tea which is their version of coffee in the morning - it provides caffine to start their day. The mother or grandmother of the household wakes up at 3am every single morning to make this tea to start the work day. Next we as a group tried chicha which is fermented yuca and yam. This drink is commonly used as a meal replacement. Afterwards, we learned that the women of the tribe work in the “chaka” which is their farmland while the men do the hunting and fishing. To hold the day's harvest, the women use baskets gifted by their husbands at marriage and are carried on the head. Lastly we were served traditional Kichwa cuisine, which includes Yuca, sugar cane, cooked plantains, and Weevil larvae!

After the visit to the interpretation center, the two groups took canoe rides along the premise of the lodge. With Fausto's group, they saw a Brown Throated Three-toed Sloth and had a “Capuchin Battle!” The group members came face-to-face with the Capuchin monkeys as they tried to intimidate us by breaking foliage and throwing sticks, but we bravely held our ground! Chris's group also encountered Capuchin's, however, these were much more docile and curious than aggressive. We also spotted Red Backed Howler Monkeys and a group member attempted to initiate a howling contest to which the monkeys laughed at.

The Amazon has been an incredibly rewarding experience! Our next adventure takes us to the Andes Mountains. We will have out of touch until the 23rd of May, so ciao!

- Erika (Hello family! I hope all is well! I'm having the adventure of a lifetime and I cannot wait to share all of these wonderful experiences with you!) and Sophie (a huge shoutout to my incredible family and my mans Conor! I can't wait to share my experiences with you all!)

You can check out more trip photos here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/8eDMdvX8mXmMNTzx5