The Amazon is known for the cultural diversity of its indigenous inhabitants and for its unique biodiversity that includes thousands of animals and species of birds, and an uncountable number of insects, plants and other life forms. Its beauty and resources are a living testament to the natural health of the jungle, but also to its fragility, where each specie is an essential part of an enormous, interdependent complex, where the loss of one or another life form causes irreversible changes in the entire ecosystem. Ricancie was born with the objective of preserving the forest and generating an alternative source of income and employment in the communities. Ricancie is a network of nine Kichwa communities inthe Upper Napo region, within the Grand Sumaco National Park Biosphere Reserve. The communities have established a unique ecotourism program based in traditional respect for their cultural and ecological inheritance, and have done so in search of an alternative path of development for the current and future generations of the communities. Money from the tourism program improves the lives of families, offers youth a future within their own communities, and reduces immigration to the large cities and abroad. It also the entire community – men and women alike – to play a role in the tourism program. The efforts of Ricancie were recognized at the international level when the organization was invited to participate in EXPO 2000 (Hannover, Germany), in an exposition titled “Indigenous Communities.".
Río Blanco is a community situated deep within the Amazon forest.
To arrive, one must travel first by bus (1.5 hours,) then canoe (20 minutes,) and finally on foot (2-3 hours). The hike requires some effort, walking along a ridge of small hills. The tourist facilities are surrounded by relaxing scenery beside the River Huambuno which runs quietly through the forest and community.
Río Blanco is known for its medicinal plants and shamanic ceremonies. The two Shamans are central figures in the community, as is true of Shamans in most of the RICANCIE communities. They offer their services to tourists
interested in learning more about themselves and, at the same time, the Kichwa cosmovision.
Other therapeutic opportunities include the sulfuric baths from natural stream sources, and of course all the knowledge and practical information that you will acquire on your visit to the incomparable medicinal plant garden. Various short walks are available, as well as a comfortable hour- long walk to nearby waterfalls. There one can swim in an area with connecting lagoons before returning to the tourist cabañas by dugout canoe.
A visit to the traditional agricultural land will complement this unique experience.official source:
Animal Rehabilitation center
The animal rehabilitation center, amaZOOnico, is located in the middle of the protected GSR preserve and is sheltering a number of different animals, some in danger of extinction. There are many ways that the animals arrive at amazOOncio: from other centers, from private people or from the police (confiscated). Most of the animals arrive at amaZOOnico in bad condition: malnourished, wounded due to being tied up, and very often full of parasites. Approximately one fourth of the animals die either on their way to the rescue center or in the first days of living here. Another fourth can successfully be set free. Some of them must remain in the center, because for example young animals without a mother have to be protected from other animals; or sick animals could infect other animals and they need special care; or aggressive animals are not able to be released; some of them Animals that have lost their natural instincts.official source:
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