Ecuador is a republic in northwestern South America between Colombia and Peru, and has around 14 million inhabitants. Ecuador is almost as big as Italy with 283.560 square kilometers. The country is named after the equatorial line that passes through the territory, with the majority of the same being located in the southern hemisphere.
Ecuador is divided into four regions: Costa (Pacific Coast), Sierra (Andean Highlands), Oriente (Amazon Basin) and Galapagos (Archipelago in the Pacific). The capital located in the Andean Highlands (Sierra) (at an elevation of 2850 m) is Quito. The port city of Guayaquil is Ecuador’s largest city and lies in the Pacific coastal plain to the South. The Galápagos Islands are located in the Pacific Ocean about 1,000 km west of the coast.
The climate is tropical. The temperatures vary according to altitude.
© Regina Bauer
The population consists of 35% of the indigenous tribes of the native population and another 45% of Mestizo (mixed indigenous with immigrants of European descent). The remaining population is composed of Europeans, mostly Hispanic, and Afroecuadorians.
The national languages are Spanish, Kichwa and Shuar.
© Regina Bauer
The AMAZONICA Academy
The AMAZONICA Academy is situated in Ecuador at the seat of two indigenous forest communities.
• The village of Sharamentsa lays in the Amazon lowlands on the territory of the people of Achuar, on the course of the Río Pastaza, province of Pastaza. Coordinates: 2° 27’50” South / 76° 59’40” West.
• Sixteen families (130 inhabitants in 2012) form the ever-growing population of the village. Sharamentsa has been working together with AMAZONICA since 2001, and is one of the model communities within the framework of the Foundation’s pilot project (see PROJECTS).
• The village of Yuwints (also referred to as Yuwients on maps) is located on the territory of the people of the Shuar (Federation NASHE) in the foothills of Transkutukú, province of Morona Santiago. Coordinates: 2° 9’9” South / 77° 34’64” West.
• Yuwints has 250 inhabitants (2012), and is a model community in collaboration with AMAZONICA since 2001.
The arrival from abroad takes place via the airport located at the capital city of Quito. From there, the trip continues in a vehicle on the Pan-American Highway (route from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego) to the city of Ambato and then east through the town of Baños in the Amazon region.
The end of the journey after about five hours is Puyo, the capital of Pastaza, which features the Shell airport. The road network ends there, just before the last intact rainforest in Ecuador.
The journey continues into the forest by airplane from the Shell airport using various sized Cessna aircraft (172/182/206) that feature a single engine and can carry three to five passenger
A larger twin-engine aircraft of the “Islander” type can carry a maximum of nine passengers.
• Flight time Shell – Sharamentsa: 45 to 55 minutes
• Flight time Shell – Yuwints: 20 to 30 minutes
depending on the aircraft used.
Regular flights are not available! AMAZONICA will select the aircraft and book the flights while organizing the trip.
The AMAZONICA Academy is located on the community grounds next to the village on the banks of the Rio Pastaza. All houses have a view of the river.
The buildings were designed according to the traditional architecture of the Achuar, using diverse woods and palm leaves for the roofing. Modern, practical elements are tiled floors, spacious bathrooms with showers and toilets, running water, electricity from the village’s photovoltaic system and Internet access.
Rooms are available with single and bunk beds, each protected with mosquito netting. The windows and ceilings also have mosquito nets to offer protection against mosquitos.
Capacity (2012/13): 20 beds.
Meals are served in the community center of Sharamentsa.
We continue to expand. Thank you for your donation!
© Barbara Dombrowski
© Barbara Dombrowski
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The houses in the village are spread across a wide area. The runway is located roughly in the center of the settlement. From there, a short forest trail leads to the AMAZONICA Academy, which towers 50 meters high above the Kusutka river – the academy swimming pool that features potable water.
The main building was indeed built in traditional style, however in the shape of a cloverleaf, much larger, and higher than what the Shuar usually build. All visitors agree: This is the cathedral of the primeval forest!
The building has a bedroom, a recreation room (the “living room of the Cathedral”) as well as baths and caretakers, all under one roof. The floors consist of thousands of pebbles, as well as wood and tiles. Spacious bathrooms with toilets and showers, running water, electricity from the solar system, a water turbine and Internet are a matter of course.
The rooms with single and bunk beds are protected against mosquitoes.
Capacity (2012/13): 21 beds.
Meals are served in the academy’s recreation room.
We intend to build a restaurant with its own kitchen. Thank you for your donation!
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