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.
A young member of the Kichwa community.
Knot tying practice
The Kichwa practicing knot tying during our 2015 training.
Ascending into the tree
A Kichwa man begins his first ascent during our 2014 introduction to tree climbing.
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
Elders understand the fine art of lounging, 45 feet up in the canopy during the 2015 Secoya training introduction.
A Kichwa climbing student displays the "Girlfriend Kisses" flower for us.
Kichwa women prepping for climb
Ladi enjoying the view
Walter setting up for his climb
Benjamin and Carlos on deck
We took some time to find some big trees after training
Roof rafters can make an alternative to branches when it starts to rain
Making first introductions
Jonathon Miller Weisberger
Drinking a bowl of chicha.