Completed 2019 Magazines Sustainable Soul - Page 9

9

On the River

Life

Iquitos and the people of the Loreto Region

Iquitos is a city that can only be reached by plane or boat. Its population grew immensely during the early 1900's because of the rubber boom. Although located in the Amazon Rainforest, this city is filled with motorized mototaxis (and a lot of energy!). Along the edge of the city is a smaller region called Belen (the floating city). Water levels vary so much during the year, the people have built their homes on stilts or balsa wood. For them, the river is their lifeline, giving them access to food, water, and transportation.

Away from the city, many people live in villages along the main river and its tributaries. Most villages have a school and common area as well as their own customs and way of life. Some families have chickens and some even cows, but most rely on growing crops and fishing. Regardless of how they use their land, everyone depends on the river for survival.

While boating down the river and its many tributaries, it’s hard to not notice the stunning beauty that surrounded us. Looking up, the luscious, flourishing trees draped over the river creating a scene straight from a movie. The dense trees and strong current gave a sense of awe at the magnitude of the rainforest and what mother nature has created.

Just being out in fresh air with bountiful life surrounding us on all sides allowed one to realize the main reason to protect the Amazon.