Plantas de la selva: Vol. 10


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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


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Insect king


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.


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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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One-horse burg in the Oriente

Who needs a car?

Most “villages” in the Oriente are little more than a scattering of houses alongside the main road. Few people here have much in the way of major possessions. Large consumer goods — like cars — are almost nonexistant.

But horses, those beasts of burden, are a little more plentiful. Transportation, labor and investment, with four legs.

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Plantas de la selva: Vol. 6


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

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Roadside orchids


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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