We experienced the marvelous cultural and natural diversity of the Peruvian Upper Amazon today. After breakfast, we visited Amazonas Community. We were welcomed by the villagers, especially a group of women leaders who are part of Minga Peru, the organization supported in part by guest donations through the Lindblad – National Geographic Fund. We had a very hot but enlightening morning as we learned about the local way of life, including the daily productive and cultural activities carried on by people in this community. We had great opportunities to interact and share precious moments with Amazon people of all ages, ranging from small children roaming around to youngsters, elders, and leaders who graciously helped our visitors learn what it is like to live in the Amazon.

Minga Peru is a remarkable organization. Founded in 1998, its mission is the promotion of social justice and human dignity for women and families in remote, rural areas of the Peruvian Amazon. They have developed valuable projects in the area, like the production of radio programs to spread health and education to thousands of listeners. There is also a commitment to the technical training of women and community members in agroforestry, crop cultivation, manufacturing handicrafts using local materials, and the construction and management of fishponds. This work is vital to increase economic sustainability for many people.

In the afternoon, we visited Casual. We took a rainforest walk in an area that is usually underwater. We observed several tarantulas, poison dart frogs, and interesting Amazon trees. A fiery sunset was the golden finale of this long but productive day in the Peruvian Upper Amazon.