The Kichwas of the Napo River
The Kichwas of San Pedro Sumino are very shy and reserved people. They are also one of the original tribes of the Ecuadorean jungle. This indigenous community lives fairly isolated from big cities. A lot of their houses can only be reached by canoe making it hard for most to reach the roads and sell their products in the markets. They survive in tight communities where helping the other is not an option but a philosophy of life. They receive basic or no assistance from the outside, having to work very hard together to make ends meet. Still, they live without creating a great impact on their environment. In what they call mingas, the Kichwas harvest, make canoes, fish, hunt, cook and play together. They don’t like anyone in their community to be left behind. The Kichwas prosper together. With modernity, some things have changed, but the basic principles of living in a community have remained the same. Kids wear jeans and listen to reggeton but they still help the family with all the daily chores. They understand medicinal plants, can stand in a one-person canoe as they row up river and they deeply respect their elders. They know legends of rivers and boas and hold a tight relationship with nature, their home.
A man heads down the Napo River on a fishing trip near San Pedro Sumino in August of 2009. San Pedro is a Kichwa (indigenous) community located on the Napo River. Many of the houses located along the river can only be reached by canoe and the residents live in isolation. The people hunt, grow crops, such as corn and yuca, and fish in the Napo river.