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Tambopata Expeditions

the Peruvian Amazon and its people: Interestingly, countries with high biodiversity are themselves countries with great cultural diversity and Peru is no exception to this finding. The Peruvian Amazon has a low population density, 4.86 inhabitants per km2 compared with 21.18 inhabitants per km2 national average. The Amazon represents 14.2% of the inhabitants of Peru. ^ The 2005 census gives a population of 3,872,318 inhabitants,

concentrated in large cities such as Iquitos, Pucallpa and Tarapoto. This figure includes all residents of the regions of Loreto, San Martin, Ucayall, Madre de Dios and Amazonas, as well as those of the Amazon territories of Ayacucho, Cajamarca, Cusco, Huanuco, Junin, Pasco, Puno, Huancavellca, La Libertad and Piura (Peru Amazon).

For indigenous groups or Amazonian peoples originate them, called natives in Peru, a population of 300,000 is estimated at 400 000 inhabitants, widely scattered throughout the Amazon territory. The INEI (National Institute of Statistics and Informatics) in its latest census of Amazonian Indigenous People 200712 Indica which are divided into 13 ethno-linguistic families and within them can be found 60 ethnic groups (Amazon Peru).

In our Amazon, for example the forests of Alto Purus river border with Brazil, can still be found some territories inhabited by the so-called “indigenous groups in voluntary isolation”. Those who do not wish to be contacted and used to communicate to other Indigenous groups. Unfortunately they are being threatened by the Informal loggers, as still living in extensive primary forests full of high-value forest species (Amazon Peru). Also the drug dealer and

informal mining are threats that hang over them. There have been recent clashes between them and the settlements made near their territories. It is they who have come out in large numbers to attack these new settlements of migrants creating fear and confusion. (Amazon Peru)

The Amazonian peoples originate them have a great cultural diversity together. We can even within the same language group found significant vanantes in customs, oral traditions and ways of relating to the environment. Moreover, the Amazonian high forest villages originate them played a role of coordination between the Andean peoples and indigenous peoples of the lowlands. (Amazon Peru)

This is a constant that can be seen both in Ecuador, as in Peru and parts of eastern Bolivia. The book “East of the Andes” describes this abundant preclslón14. Relations cultural and economic exchange, conflict and mutual discoveries of the territories of Andean and high Amazonian inhabitants, were some of the characteristics that marked these functions. (Amazon Peru)

It is significant to see how well this screed are in high jungle, one be of archaeological remains that establish a border between the Andes and the Amazon. Just to cite a few: Kuelap in Amazonas, Pajatén on the border between Libertad and San Martin, Kotosh in Huanuco, Choquequlrao in Apurimac and Machu Picchu in Cusco. They are a sort of bookmarks between different cultural universes and still know little about the relationships established between the Andes and the Amazon. (Amazon Peru)

While it is true that indigenous peoples are a fundamental reference for the Amazon basin, therefore we can not fail to mention the various waves of migration that took the Amazon after the arrival of Europeans. Portuguese and Spanish were the first to venture into these lands aroused the imagination and greed (Amazon Peru). However, gradually nature was teaching these new visitors how different was this territory from that of temperate climates of the Iberian Peninsula and how necessary it was to learn to adapt to these new challenges of nature. Gradually,

expeditionary, scientists, travelers, missionaries, traders, authorities … the crown and military representatives from many of the kingdoms of that time, began to discover some of the secrets of these lands. Forest wealth, species such as vanilla or fruit as give the world cocoa or chocolate bark of the cinchona tree to treat malaria, are among the first Amazonian contributions to the world. Already at the time of the rising South American republics marked the rubber boom a history of pain and violence particularly against indigenous peoples (Amazon Peru). They were enslaved to work in the plantations of these trees, recalling the fateful periods of colonial era when disease decimated the Portuguese bandeirantes or captured Indians to reduce them to slavery. Epics such as the Jesuit missionary

bohemian (territory of present Czech Republic) Father Samuel Fritz between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries are noteworthy. It displaced more than 5,000 Omaguas native from the Brazilian Amazon (Solimoes) to the current Peruvian side to save them from slavery and harassment to which they were being subjected (Amazon Peru).

Returning to our republican era and after the founding of Iquitos as Naval Station in 1864, the region had several migratory waves as different as Chinese nationalities, several European countries and Sephardic Jews. This made the nascent city was very cosmopolitan. Many of the migrants then sailed upstream of the Maranon, Huallaga and Ucayali rivers to the current cities of Yurimaguas, Tarapoto, Moyobamba, Rioja, Chachapoyas,

Lamas or Pucallpa. Many surnames of Portuguese, Chinese or Jewish origin are common throughout the territory. Its origins date from these first migratory waves of the Republican era, were families that took root in our Amazon. The Jewish cemetery in Iquitos sector is just one example among many to note the diversity of peoples and cultures that entered these lands (Amazon Peru).

For centuries, since the colonial era, descendants of Portuguese and Spaniards were creating small villages on the banks of rivers, mingling with the locals, thus constituting a new human group in the Amazonian rural areas:

riparian. There are many generations that managed to adapt to this environment in which gradually learned to go conjugating knowledge and customs brought from their homelands with those who learned of the ancient inhabitants of the Amazonian world (Amazon Peru). The populations of “riparian” today are a clear example of how humans develop adaptive strategies in the most challenging contexts. They were also successful, as the Amazonian indigenous peoples, establish relationships “participation” with the nature around them, always seeking to use the resources that the environment offered them without exhausting them, because they knew that they depended on subsistence (Amazon Peru ).

Since the second half of the twentieth century an important Andean migration occurs towards the Amazonian areas. Many of the major capitals of our Amazon have today an Andean cultural imprint, as in the case of Puerto Maldonado, where migrants from Puno and Cusco have taken root; the northern jungle in the San Martin region or in the northern part of the Amazon region (province of Condorcanqui and district Imaza in the province of Bagua), to where have moved many cajamarquinos settlers from the provinces of Chota and Cutervo . Even in the city of Iquitos we speak of a “Andeanization” of the town since many Andean traders have established successful businesses bringing with them their customs and celebrations (Amazon Peru).

This is a brief summary, the remarkable human and geographic mosaic Amazon:

indigenous peoples, lush jungles, waves of Iberian settlers from the colonial era and other European countries, enigmatic pre-Hispanic cities on the edge of the saw with the jungle. With the Chinese republic migrations, Jewish and in recent years strong internal migration of Andean inhabitants to the Amazon, generated rapid urban development, infrastructure works that defy the tropical forest. Mixing processes are intense, but are also open questions about native peoples and their future existence (Amazon Peru).

Will they survive these great migratory processes as people with a particular identity, or shall be treated as other human groups greater in number and cultural influence? It may still be premature to seek an answer. There are movements of indigenous revitalization and recovery of language such as Kukama case, or where the geopolitical control remains in the hands of an ethnic group, such as Aguaruna-Huambisa (awajun-Wampis) that have managed to put several of its more trained government positions in the region, provinces, municipalities and districts (Amazon Peru) members.

We also have other challenges in the area that must be faced, the legality seems to want to take account of forest resources with informal loggers, of land resources such as gold, polluting rivers with informal mining, drug trafficking gradually shifts from the high jungle towards the lowland areas. These actions destroy everything in its path, not only ecosystems but also human groups that inhabit them (Amazon Peru).

At the other extreme actions of projects including sustainable development, social responsibility, proper and responsible management of forest resources with the participation of local actors. Programs Territorial Planning and Economic Ecological Zoning, which help to sustainably manage their productive vocations territory according to resources, are a breakthrough for the proper handling of them. Increase Natural Protected Areas (Amazon Peru).

Industry without smokestacks as ecotourism are becoming an item of important income for the Amazonian regions. It investigates more and increases awareness of the importance of the Amazon to Peru, for South America and the planet (Amazon Peru).

In our country there are institutions such as IIAP (Research Institute of the Peruvian Amazon) and many NGOs serious that have committed to work for the Amazon in a sustainable and socially responsible manner. To big troubles, big solutions. The answers to the challenges of the Amazon territory should be given to local, regional and continental levels, they should take into account both its inhabitants and the vast territory that surrounds them (Amazon Peru).

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