Within the Yasuni National Park, the Kichwa Añangu community has been recognized nationally and internationally for its work on behalf of the preservation of the ecosystem and the environment.
In 1998 a group of members of the community decided to build up the Napo Wildlife Center to attract tourists to their lands and the most importantly, to preserve their region which is rich in fauna and flora, one of the most diverse ecosystems in the World.
This community from the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador realized that ecotourism is an excellent alternative for local development, for improving the quality of life, preserving their traditional activities and the most important for preserving the nature.
The Kichwa Añangu community built the Napo Wildlife Center on the surroundings of the Añangucocha Lagoon. The hotel began operations in 2004 and then in 2007 the community took 100% control of the Lodge, management and administration. There are approximately 80 people working in this and other projects of the community, doing different activities in all areas.
Thanks to the Napo Wildlife Center and other ecotourism projects, the Kichwa Añangu community has a source of employment near their homes and they are now in a process of continuous training for improving the quality of life of the community. The incomes the community receives from tourist projects are always reinvested in productive, social and cultural projects.
The Interpretative Centre: ancestral memories
The Añangu community has made an effort to make a compilation of data of how their ancestors lived, how they hunted and fished before gasoline and gunpowder. This information was obtained through research based on the memory of the grandparents and adults who inhabited the banks of the Napo River. All this information is exposed at Napo Cultural Center in “Kuri Muyu” facilities, one of the most interesting activities at NWC.
There, visitors are invited to join women and mothers of the community who show them, through music, dancing, etc., their ancestral traditions and way of life.
Sumak Kawsay – “well-being”
Sumak Kawsay is an ancient Quechua word that means “well-being”, a way of living in harmony within the communities and with nature. The Kichwa indigenous communities have a deep sense of living in community, they use their resources to promote regeneration and, through this way of living, the “sumak kawsay“, they are able to preserve and maintain their rich culture, traditions, their identity and their environment.