Magazine article New Internationalist

The Huaorani Project

Magazine article New Internationalist

The Huaorani Project

Article excerpt

The idea to build the Huaorani Eco-Lodge came from local Chief Moi Enomenga, who believes that ecotourism could enable Ecuador to generate an income while conserving its indigenous culture and habitat. ? recognize that the [Yasuni initiative] is not likely to succeed,' he says. 'Every time I go to Quito to have meetings with different ministers I sense the pressure they put on President Correa to abandon it and start drilling in our homeland. That is why we want to develop a viable option in the shape of ecotourism, to show them that there is a real alternative to the raping of our world.'

In the village of Quehueri'ono, where the lodge is situated, young people are learning the latest creative media techniques in order to discover more about, and record, their community's beliefs and practices. Sixteen-year-old Anita is enthusiastic about the volunteers who have come from universities in Europe and North and South America to help them: 'They have been a breath of fresh air,' she says. 'We have been to the oil towns outside the reserve and met some horrible types, who care only about making money and despise the indigenous people. …

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