Address: This place is accessible only by boat. It is about 22 miles (35 km) from Iquitos. (Iquitos is about 2 hours by plane from Lima, Peru.) From where the boat docked on the Amazon River, I walked for less than half an hour to reach this community.

During my stay in the Amazon, I visited a community of people called “Yaguas”; they are an indigenous people living in northeastern Peru (and I learned also in Colombia). The word “yagua” in Spanish means “royal palm,” which probably refers to the clothing they wear which is made of palm fiber. The Yagua have their own language, which isn’t Spanish, but they understand some Spanish because they have to interact with other people in the area. I heard this particular village consists of just one family, but there were quite a few children.

This is the chief of the community. Actually the chief, I was told, can have 7 wives (he probably does, but I just didn’t have the nerve to ask which ones).

I saw a lot more females than males, perhaps in a 3:1 ratio. All the women work hard in addition to bearing children, while the men … well … I don’t really know what the men do in this community.

OK, I remember now. The men use a punaca (i.e., blowgun) to hunt animals for food. I am not the person to explain the physics, but it was evident to me that with the punaca it is so much easier for the arrow with poison at its tip to reach the target.

Como pude ver mientras estuve en la selva, esta niña era la mas linda de todas. She had the greatest, most natural smile! Lamentablemente me olvidé de preguntarle su nombre.

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