Great Tribes: Secoya of Ecuador

The Secoya inhabit one of the most bio diverse habitats on earth and their knowledge of natural medicine unsurpassed.

Great Tribes: Secoya of Ecuador

Culture Facts

Where: ‘Block 13’, forests of Northeast Ecuador
Remember to Bring: Mosquito nets and medicine prevention for the jungle
Go there for: 
Discovering a fascinating and extremely knowledge people

This endangered tribe inhabit the north Eastern forests of Ecuador and number fewer than 500. The Secoya inhabit one of the most bio diverse habitats on earth and their knowledge of natural medicine unsurpassed. In the past Missionaries tried to discourage traditional practices and beliefs among the Secoya but their incredible knowledge of the forest and ingenuity can still be seen by travellers to the region today.

Power of Nature

Among the hundreds of medicinal plants known to the Secoya is a powerful hallucinogen used in Secoya shamanism called Ayahuasca, a vine used all over the Amazon by other indigenous cultures (the doses in ceremonies for curious tourists are low).

Visiting the Secoya People

Eco-tourism has opened up the forest to the traveller eager to see how the Secoya live; the flora and fauna, and way of Secoya life are fascinating.

Visitors can stay in various accommodations, from relative luxury to simple cabins. Mosquito nets are essential. Expect to see an abundance of wildlife including monkeys, caimans, Macaws, Parakeets and a host of other birds amongst a backdrop of pristine rainforest.

If you go to visit this tribe you should avoid obvious traps of tourism – do not take photos of the people unless given permission, and observe rather than trying to join in or violate their own unique beliefs and traditions.

Under Threat

Although it is possible to see how this fascinating people live off the forest and spend time with the Secoya in the jungle, be quick; the Secoya may not be here forever. Their way of life is under threat from continued pressure from Petroleum prospectors who were given the Secoya land by the government in 1985. Next time you fill up at the petrol station remember this: the Occidental Exploration and Petroleum Company (OEPC) have admitted that the destruction of the Secoya land (known as Block 13) would satisfy Americas’ petrol consumption for just 13 days…

 

MORE INFORMATION

Secoya Rainforest Adventure
Guided Jungle trek to meet the Secoya people

main image: Sulfur laguna on the site of AguaBlanca, Machalilla National Park, Ecuador CC BY-SA 2.0 fr, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=25940

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