Ecuador

 In March of 2014 I (James Reed) went on my first 3 week trip to Ecuador and experience a sacred ceremony with the Secoya tribe in there traditional territory of la Garta Cocha which is the farthest east of Ecuador along the Peruvian Border. We started in Quito and traveled by bus for one day and a half with a 7 hour mudslide delay. Then by canoe for one day. We spent 6 days doing ceremony and exploring the jungle through hikes and boat rides. 
  After the trip to the jungle I went to the town of Tena home of Guayusa tea, which comes from the guayusa tree. I helped teach the Mamallacta family of the Kichwa how to do basic tree climbing. 
 
I returned in 2015, 2016, and will return in 2021 to continue training Indigenous communities. 
 
  
Future climber

Future climber

A young member of the Kichwa community.

Knot tying practice

Knot tying practice

The Kichwa practicing knot tying during our 2015 training.

Ascending into the tree

Ascending into the tree

A Kichwa man begins his first ascent during our 2014 introduction to tree climbing.

Attaching the rope to harness

Attaching the rope to harness

Safety comes first. All climbers are checked and follow safety procedures. Photo taken during our 2014 training introduction.

2015 Graduation Photo

2015 Graduation Photo

Secoya Elders

Secoya Elders

Elders understand the fine art of lounging, 45 feet up in the canopy during the 2015 Secoya training introduction.

Girlfriend Kisses

Girlfriend Kisses

A Kichwa climbing student displays the "Girlfriend Kisses" flower for us.

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IMG_2478

2014-03-15 17.02.30

2014-03-15 17.02.30

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IMG_2438

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IMG_2456

2014-03-15 15.31.22

2014-03-15 15.31.22

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15356642_1028081237337057_51430844182612

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10999606_10153260665663304_392089152_o

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IMG_2557

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IMG_2496

Kichwa women prepping for climb

Kichwa women prepping for climb

Ladi enjoying the view

Ladi enjoying the view

Walter setting up for his climb

Walter setting up for his climb

Benjamin and Carlos on deck

Benjamin and Carlos on deck

Cieba Tree

Cieba Tree

We took some time to find some big trees after training

Indoor Practice

Indoor Practice

Roof rafters can make an alternative to branches when it starts to rain

Kichwa students

Kichwa students

Making first introductions

Jonathon Miller Weisberger

Jonathon Miller Weisberger

Drinking a bowl of chicha.