Plantas de la selva: Vol. 9

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Plantas de la selva: Vol. 8

Nature's white party

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Plantas de la selva: Vol. 7

ID?

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Insect king

Long-legged


The jungle is full of big, bad bugs. Or spiders, which are generally incredibly helpful, even if they are at once dangerous.

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Una serpiente muy peligrosa!

Locally known as an equis

The equis, a common lancehead, a rather dangerous pitviper. Not sure of exact species here but it’s also known as a fer-de-lance.

Highly poisonous. Common in the Oriente around Arutam. This one found along a jungle path near a bamboo stand harvested by the Shuar.

Incredible.

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Graduation day

Rite of passage: Finishing elementary school

Arutam’s school caters to a handful of village children, staffed both by Domingo Vargas, one of the older Shuar brothers, as well as volunteers. At the end of the semester, the school celebrated a graduation of sorts before a holiday. Parents and children attended, and Domingo read aloud the accomplishments of each child.

Edgar, above, who will next year attend the government school, was cause for particular celebration. Education levels are abysmal in parts of rural Ecuador, like much of the rest of the developing world. His graduation and chance at higher education is a big deal. Such an accomplishment has replaced old Shuar rights of passage, and it is a happy occasion worthy of donning traditional clothing.

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Save my soul

Evangelism

As best I can tell, the Arutam Shuar community is mostly tied to traditional beliefs. That hasn’t stopped a fair growth of small, elementary churches from making in roads during an evangelical revival in Latin America. Take the highway through the jungle and every several miles you’ll likely see one of these clapboard iglesias.

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Plantas de la selva: Vol. 6

Sunlit

Vivid colors, translucent leaves; one of my favorite jungle photos.

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Roadside orchids

Beauty

It’s the Oriente. Orchids are everywhere. Even blossoming alongside the major highway that bissects the Amazon here, the Puyo-Macas road.

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Shuar baby on board

I love taking pictures of little kids

Day-care isn’t a widespread convenience in the Oriente. Many Shuar women take their children with them when they are working — in the jungle, the field or the kitchen. I’m amazed at the amount of work they do with an infant strapped to their back.

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