Ecuadorian ethnic lodge

A cooperative program engaging the Huaorani, one of the world's most isolated ethnic groups, as hosts on and stewards of their ancestral turf in Amazonian Ecuador recently involved a communal effort to modernize and refurbish the five-cabin guest accommodation, Huaorani Ecolodge.

The lodge is located in the region of Yasuni National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve that is home to as-yet uncontacted indigenous tribes, including the Tagaeri and the Taromenane.  The region is considered the most bio-diverse in the world.

The Ecuador-based eco-tourism company Tropic Journeys in Nature arranges authentic interactions with the Huaorani to witness first hand their day-to-day lives. Guests will also observe the sustainable manner in which recent renovations were accomplished. The dining room roof, for example, was reconstructed using durable materials that replaced the former thatched roof that had a short shelf life. The new roofs that will last for around 20 years were built with wood covered with a waterproofing material called Chova, a material made in Ecuador that is meant to repel moisture.

The nearby Huaorani-operated Nenquepare Camp (included in all Huaorani Lodge packages) also received improvements: a new bathroom with two each toilets, spacious showers and sinks overlooking the Shiripuno River. The local community of Nenquepare is involved in this development and will be trained to manage the site. The kitchen was upgraded with new ceramic walls and floor and in early winter a solar refrigerator and solar energy for light will be installed. New walking paths also connect the dining room with cabins and bathrooms.

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