For 15 years, Pachamama Journeys has facilitated intimate groups of people from the modern industrialized world as they travel to Ecuador for an experiential learning journey and answer a call from the Amazon rainforest.
We journey at the invitation of our indigenous partners, the Achuar people, who seek allies around the world to share a commitment to protecting and preserving the unique biological and cultural diversity of this region, upon which all of life depends.
Deep in the Amazon rainforest, spanning the borders of modern-day Ecuador and Peru, the Achuar have lived and thrived for centuries. They are among the last indigenous peoples in Ecuador to have contact with the outside world, keeping their sophisticated culture and worldview remarkably intact.
In Achuar culture, daily life and future planning are informed by their dreams and visions, shared and interpreted by elders each morning before sunrise. By the early 1990s, Achuar shamans and elders were having dreams of an imminent threat to their land and traditional way of life.
An Invitation to Allies in the Modern World
Encouraged by their dreams and the knowledge that outside forces were encroaching upon their indigenous neighbors, Achuar elders and leaders made a bold decision.
Inspired by their warrior tradition, where one gains spiritual power by confronting their greatest fear, the Achuar reached out to the very world that was threatening their existence.
In 1995, Achuar leaders invited a group of conscious and committed people from the modern world to their ancient rainforest home, initiating a powerful and unique partnership that thrives to this day.
They shared with this group their vision for self-determination and the urgent threat to their lands and culture.
The Achuar emphasized that the root cause of the threat they face is the modern culture of overconsumption, and called on the people of the global North to “change the dream of the modern world” – from one of accumulation and consumption to one that honors and sustains life.
Accepting the Achuar Invitation
Guiding that first group into the rainforest was Daniel Koupermann, a visionary guide and tour operator who had pioneered purposeful travel in the Amazon basin.
Upon receiving this request from the Achuar to bring potential partners from the North, Daniel contacted his long-time friend and colleague John Perkins to organize a group of committed people to make the journey.
Among the participants in that first group with John Perkins were Bill and Lynne Twist, who responded to the Achuar request by co-founding The Pachamama Alliance not long after their return to the United States.
Welcoming Visitors at Kapawi Lodge
Profoundly impacted by their trip to the rainforest, Bill and Lynne worked with Daniel and others to begin bringing people to the rainforest in 1996, just as the ideal place to accommodate visitors was nearing completion.
The acclaimed Kapawi Lodge was envisioned as an environmentally and culturally sensitive accommodation for visitors in the remote Achuar territory, and a healthy economic alternative to oil development. Kapawi Lodge is a form of community based tourism.
Created through a partnership between the Achuar, Daniel, and an Ecuadorian tour company, the Lodge reflects both the Achuar vision of cultivating allies and Daniel’s belief that the pristine Amazon and its indigenous stewards had much to teach people from the industrialized world.
Currently fully owned and managed by the Achuar, Kapawi Lodge is setting the global standard for indigenous-run community-based tourism projects. Pachamama Journeys has been and continues to be a pillar of support for this successful endeavor.
Changing the Dream of the Modern World
At first, Pachamama Journeys were filled with our friends and family. As more and more people connected with the profound mystery and message of the rainforest, and witnessed the transformative effects this experience had on their lives, a broader range of people answered the call. Now we have travelers who regularly join us from many countries around the world.
Pachamama Journeys are a powerful way to “change the dream of the modern world,” reconnecting participants to the ecological, cultural, and spiritual wealth our modern lifestyle undervalues and galvanizing their commitment to create a just, thriving, and sustainable life and future.
Allies in Ecuador
In 1997, The Pachamama Alliance set up Fundación Pachamama as a sister organization in Ecuador, to implement and execute the extensive on-the-ground work with our indigenous partners. Together, the two organizations have supported the Achuar in gaining full title to nearly two million acres of rainforest.
Fundación Pachamama’s work includes strategic support for community-based enterprises such as the Kapawi Lodge and the Ti’inkias lodge, both of which are entirely owned and managed by the Achuar people and are key parts of the Pachamama Journeys experience.
Every Pachamama Journey includes a briefing from a Fundación Pachamama team member on the geo-political context and current work and projects with the indigenous communities we’ll be visiting on the trip.
A New Expression of Warriorship
The Achuar are committed to maintaining and protecting their ancestral stewardship of the rainforest, taking a stand to preserve this invaluable resource on behalf of all life.
By accepting the Achuar people’s invitation to enter into their lands, Pachamama Journeys play an important part in their success, supporting alternatives to oil development and fostering strength and pride among the Achuar, who know people from the outside world value and respect their culture and are standing with them in partnership and committed action.
The Story Continues with You
The story of Pachamama Journeys began with the Achuar people of the Amazon rainforest. It continues with people, like you, who share a commitment to positive transformation – for ourselves, our communities, and our world.
Experience the power, beauty, and magic of the rainforest and its people today and share it with the world for a lifetime.
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