From the Delfin II in the Amazon

Dec 01, 2012 - Delfin II

Butterfly (Maria Crawford, guest)
The Matses, Supay Canio

Supay Canio & Flor de Castania

I understand now why so many people have been attracted to the rain forest to the point of abandoning everything, sometimes mysteriously vanishing, leaving no tracks. Francisco de Orellana, the official European discoverer of the river, came back to the Amazon in 1545. He brought his wife, hundreds of men, and a fleet from Spain, to enter from mouth to head, just the opposite he had done in 1541. But this place that had obsessed in his mind, also took his body at the very beginning of the trip. Many have gone crazy, looking for El Dorado, for lost cities. It’s been the powerful magnet of the forest. I have felt it myself. Adonai, our expert naturalist, told us that the trees have spirits, they are communities who feel and communicate; the oldest and thickest trees are the wisest. If I had heard Adonai a few months ago, I would have thought the guy was just another romantic man from the Amazon, selling an old story.

But the forest has won me over. I enter the creeks, the trails, and I know there is “something” strong, powerful; This “Being” is producing carbohydrates from the very light of the sun; what can be more magnanimous?

This morning we danced with people from the forest. The small community of Aucayacu in Supay Lake (Supay means devil), welcomed us dressed in their traditional costumes; they showed us how it was before they had left their native territory. There are 22 families here, and half are Matses, also known as cat people. They came from a far land, at the border between Peru and Brazil. It’s a young community, but they do not want to forget who they are. So they danced, and we danced with them. They used their bows and arrows, they told us about their lives; they shared their understanding of the forest.

In the afternoon we explored a new creek, Flor de Catania. We found birds, insects, a sloth, and trees. Oh, the trees, the makers of life from light!

I feel like crying, I do not want to leave.

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About the Author

Paula Tagle

Expedition Leader

Paula grew up in Guayaquil where she obtained an undergraduate degree in geology from the Polytechnic University of Guayaquil. She enjoyed many field trips all around Ecuador and during her vacations traveled in Central and South America in the hope of learning more about her people and culture. The last year of her studies she worked at a mine looking for a more ecologically responsible way of recovering gold. Interested more in volcanoes than in raw materials, she came to Galápagos, a mecca for geologists, in 1992. She was bewitched by the other wonders of the islands and became a naturalist guide for the Galápagos National Park.

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