Directors and advisors of the STNF have been active in Ecuador for years. There have been improvements in some areas, but because of lack of funds, it’s been haphazard and small-scale. The foundation is now making an integral, strategic and efficient approach possible. This will help protect the native forest.
Thanks to initial donations by Samsung, we are starting our first large-scale project in Ecuador. We are in the process of buying a large tract of rain forest and, once purchased, it needs active protection.
We will focus on the vulnerable frontier areas that are being threatened by oil companies, lumber companies and poachers. The moment we buy a piece of rainforest, we instantly counter these threats. Because we own it.
Shihuango is an excellent Quichua shaman and the father of one of our rainforest guides, José Shihuango. All his life he has helped people with medicine and treatments that the rainforest provides. We have been friends with him and his family for years. A while ago, he came up with the idea of recording his knowledge to save it for posterity.
Aside from the Huaorani, there are two other Indian tribes living in the Ecuadorian rain forest: the Tagaeri and Taromenane. These three tribes used to be one, but in the 1970s they split up in different groups. The Huaorani chose to establish contacts with the outside world, while two other groups insisted on remaining isolationist. The Huaorani number some 3,000, spread over various villages and families. The Tagaeri and Taromenane live in (family) groups of 20 to 30 members.