We are ending this year, 2018, and we couldn’t have wished for a better way to do it.

This year we decided to do our first “Chocolatada”, in San Pedro de Tipishca, and we are as happy as human beings can be when they feel they have done the right thing.

San Pedro de Tipishca

Let’s backtrack a little bit so you can understand this story better.

The story

Wolfers, one of the co-founders of Amazon Experience, was born and raised in this small town (population: around 300-400 people) alongside the Marañon river, located three hours upriver by motorboat from Nauta. He lived there with his family until he was 16 years old. Then the whole family departed from San Pedro and went to live in Nauta, looking for better opportunities.

After Wolfers completed his studies to be a tourist guide, moved to Iquitos looking for a job, worked for many tourism agencies learning and perfecting his craft he decided it was time to start his own tourism agency, doing things in a different way… a better way.

Fast forward some years and Amazon Experience is now established in its niche, so the time had come for him to do what he always had in the back of his mind: Come back to San Pedro de Tipishca and share with his former neighbors.

Here is Wolfers (on the left). Wondering what’s in the big pots? Keep reading!

What is a Chocolatada?

The term chocolatada is a regional one, and it’s used to describe celebrations done near Christmas time where kids (and grown-ups too) are given hot chocolate along with “Panetón” (from the Italian Panettone, a kind of sweet bread).

Backstage: Panetones with added butter being delivered at speed of light

But a chocolatada is more than that!

It’s an occasion for community gatherings, bonding, and sharing. It is also a lot of fun when it involves sports, games, art, and music.

We partnered up with our talented friend Kasy, who is pushing the Amazonian Pop Art movement, so kids could saw a live canvas painting and participate in a “spontaneous art” workshop. The response from everyone involved was overwhelming, thanks to the little artists!

Almost everyone wanted to paint!
Kasy dropping some paint for the kids to play in the spontaneous art workshop
Painting is awesome. They know it.
Awesome work

We were very happy to see the community of San Pedro enjoying and participating in the soccer and volleyball championships organized. Congratulations to the winners!

Kids playing
And also the not-so-kids
Volleyball championship under the sun. What a match!

For us is very important to help foster the development and creativity of boys and girls so we thought it was important to share with them not only toys but notebooks for them to write and draw on, pencils, erasers (because everyone can make a mistake, right?) and puzzles.

A pencil is a tool for freedom

We share this because we want to encourage people and other organizations to keep this in mind when this kind of activities are done. We believe a piece of paper and a pen or some paint in his fingers are tools for expression and could have a great impact on them. Call us idealistic if you might, time will tell.

Let’s draw!

The opportunity to share with the people, boys and girls from San Pedro de Tipishca was amazing and we are very grateful for this.

Special thanks to the local authorities, the people from San Pedro that helped us with the logistics and to the IPAE students of business administration that volunteered to help us. We are also grateful for Wolfers’ family that joined us during this trip and Kasy, that made kids laugh, create and enjoy.

Wolfers and his friends from IPAE that volunteered to help
The one and only: Kasy (and his pop painted canvas on the right)

We hope 2019 will bring joy to everyone reading this.

For a new year full of love, laughter, learning opportunities, and adventures!

Who said you cannot cheer with soup?

¡Salud!

Iquitos Worldwide

During July and August of 2018, we partnered with Neon Gang, one of our favorites disruptive video producers, to showcase the people, landscapes and wildlife of the beautiful city of Iquitos.

We didn’t want to cover it in a traditional way, so we decided to give it a wild twist.

Immerse yourself into the Amazon Jungle, the way we see it, with this teaser video:

Chapters 1 and 2 will be released soon and both will cover different sides of Iquitos: The city and the jungle.

Stay tuned for the release, and be prepared to experience the Amazon jungle in front row, uncensored and with a lot of style.

And remember, stay wild!

In November of 2017, we, as Amazon Experience, went to Nauta with a mission: Deliver 22 new uniforms for a local soccer team composed mostly of young people.

ADC El Milagro, young soccer players from Nauta, Peru
ACD El Milagro. Young soccer talents from Loreto region.

The name of this team is “ACD El Milagro”. ACD stands for Asociación Cultural Deportiva or Cultural and sports association. “Milagro” is a miracle in English. This soccer team is from the neighborhoods where Wolfers (one of Amazon Experience founders) was raised as a child.

This is Wolfers (Yes, he was a child too at some point, many years ago)

Our good friend Alex, in charge of sports delegation in ACD El Milagro, had commented us that this team was looking for sponsorship to get new uniforms without luck. Even after coming very close to winning the 2017 local championship (they came up in second place). We felt we could help there.

Alex showing the new uniforms for local soccer team
Our friend Alex

This is the design they chose.

Socce Uniform for ADC El Milagro. Nauta, Peru
Front
Socce Uniform for ADC El Milagro. Nauta, Peru
Back

Cool eh?

As we entered the club’s headquarters we saw most of the players gathered there along with Alex. It was inspiring to say the least seeing them with the uniforms and hearing what they had to say. We left feeling that differences can be made with our actions.

We are very thankful for this opportunity to support them and we encourage everyone reading this to think of ways how to potentiate your local community.

Local soccer team from Nauta gets new uniforms
ACD El Milagro
The team with its 2 new members. ACD El Milagro + Amazon Experience

PS: Go ACD El Milagro! This is your year, we are gonna be rooting for you. Your fans: Luis and Wolfers.

How do people live in the Amazon rainforest? What it’s like to live in the Amazon jungle?

Don Julio, Santa Maria de Fatima
Don Julio, member of the Santa Maria de Fatima community

On March, 2017 we went to Santa Maria de Fatima community, located in the Amazon river and we talked with Don Julio to share how Amazon rainforest people live.
Don Julio is part of a group within the community that is in charge of developing this area in the context of sustainable ecotourism.
He shared some insights with us in how people live in his community.
What is your full name?
My name is Julio Cahuachi Sanda.
How old are you?
I’m 67 years old.
How long have you been living in the Santa Maria de Fatima community?
I’ve been living here my whole life, since 1950, the year I was born. I’ve lived my childhood, when i was young and, well, now I’m an elder.
I’m permanently here, I haven’t been out that much, just to work in some other places. Mostly I dedicate myself to my community.
Amazon rainforest people
Don Julio and his house

What is your role in the community?
I work permanently with my group, we are about 20 people working in this paradise -I’m going to just call it like that, he says-. We have an environmental conservation area and we love that our tourist friends visit us and go deep into the Amazon jungle. Usually they enter in the afternoon and they come back in the morning after staying in the jungle.
Santa Maria de Fatima
Surroundings of Santa Maria de Fatima, a true paradise

Which animals can we find in the surroundings of Santa Maria de Fatima?
The jungle here is really charming. Many times you find animals like monkeys. We have 2 types here, the mono ardilla (squirrel monkey) and the cervecerita (pichico pardo, saddle back tamarin), that has a white mouth.
By night while walking you can find snakes in some ocassions, frogs like the sapo hualo and others.
Of the birds you can see here, the Herons are the most known?
Yes, the herons and the shansho (hoatzin). In the season you can find snowy egrett (garza blanca), white and brown boat billed herons (huapapa blanca y huapapa marron) and others.
Tower Santa Maria de Fatima
3 floor wooden tower. Built by the community to enjoy the landscape and look for herons.

When it’s the best time for seeing Herons?
The best season it’s from May until September.
How many people live in Santa Maria de Fatima?
In the community we are 65 families. Older than 18 years are considered part of the community. Counting childs and adults we are 232 persons.
What do you do for a living?
Here the work we have is the agriculture and fishing. We sow so we can produce banana, yuca, corn and other vegetables.
What do you like the most of living here?
I like my community a lot. I love living here and that is why I stay here.
school santa maria de fatima
Santa Maria de Fatima community: Blue buildings are the school

What are the problems that your community has?
We need many things here to improve. For example, an infrastructure to receive our friends that visit us like a community house, between other things that we have permanently delayed because we just can’t.
Do you feel supported by the regional government?
No. We belong to the Belen district but politically we belong to the Indiana district. In election times we go to Indiana, and to the Belen district, only 2 or 3 people go.
For example, in front of my house, there are documents for making a new local building but that has been like that for 3 years. The thing is we don’t have support.

What is the thing that visitors most like when they come?

I’m one of the local guides, when the visitors come I come with them and show them the jungle. They say to me that this place is charming.
What message would you like to give to the world, to the people who read this?
I would give a message to our tourist friends:

Visit our community, we will be glad to welcome you.

Thank you, Don Julio
Thank you, good day.


We are in the process of updating our tours in the Amazon river to include this destination. If you wanna visit them just send us a message. We strongly believe in the development of communities throught practices of self leadership and sustainable eco tourism. That’s why we support them.
If you wanna contact Santa Maria de Fatima community you can do so through their Facebook page
This is the first post of a series showing some perspectives from Amazon rainforest people.
Interview by Luis Bustamante