Amanda Marks

Huarani Ecolodge in Ecuador’s Amazon rainforest has been recently refurbished – in an eco-friendly way, of course!

The dining room roof was reconstructed using durable materials that replaced the former thatched roof that had a short shelf life. The new roofs that will last for around 20 years were built with wood covered with a waterproofing material called chova, a material made in Ecuador that is meant to repel moisture.   Previously the roof required using up to nine palm trees from two different species: Paja Toquilla (Carludovica palmata) and Ungurahua (Oenocarpus bataua).

Kitchen, staff dining and storage room roofs were replaced using a metallic fabrication called “duratecho” that also makes using palm fronds redundant.

Sufficient construction material was left over to build covers for trash cans in the kitchen. Other projects planned for late fall are refurbishing kitchen and dining room wood surfaces, replacing in-room mosquito nets in the cabins and sanding and varnishing tables and dining chairs.

Huaorani Ecolodge simplicity and comfort - Sept 2013

The nearby Huaorani-operated Nenquepare Camp (included in all Huaorani Lodge packages) also received improvements: a new bathroom with two each toilets, spacious showers and sinks overlooking the Shiripuno River. The local community of Nenquepare is involved in this development and will be trained to manage the site. The kitchen was upgraded with new ceramic walls and floor and in early winter a solar refrigerator and solar energy for light will be installed. New walking paths also connect the dining room with cabins and bathrooms.

A popular feature, a nearby jungle waterfall, also has easier access thanks to stairway maintenance. A new bridge is being constructed over a creek that leads to a self-guided trail.

The conservation/tourism partnership with the Huaorani has helped bring positive changes to the region. “The canopy is re-appearing over sections that were slashed and burned and along the rivers,” notes Carvalho, from the partner company working with the Huaorani. “The region is showing signs of regeneration with more sightings of giant river otter, jaguars, giant armadillos and the very rare short-eared dog.“

Carvalho notes that since the Huaorani Ecolodge was created in 2008 the particular interest this ancient people now show toward their ancestral land in Yasuni National Park has encouraged natural reforestation along waterways and in turn ever-more-frequent sightings of wildlife whose habitat is no longer being suppressed.

Tribes offers rainforest adventures staying with the Huaorani at their Ecolodge in Ecuador.  Indeed Guy Marks of Tribes was one of the first travel specialists in the UK to visit this wonderful place when tourism first started here in about 2000.

Amanda Marks

Amanda Marks

Amanda Marks is the founder and managing director of award-winning tour operator, Tribes Travel. Having started travelling professionally in her mid-twenties as a tour leader in Africa and the Middle East, she set up Tribes with her husband Guy in 1998. She travels regularly both alone and with her family, and is committed to sustainable travel so we can protect the earth's diversity and beauty for future generations.