Amazon Triple Frontera
We are in an area called Triple Frontera, or Amazon Trapezium, a place where three countries, Brazil, Peru and Colombia, meet.
A border that exists more on maps than in reality, an immense area entirely covered in jungle, where roads do not exist and life takes place exclusively on water.
Being an unruly frontier, trafficking of drugs, weapons and human beings thrive. Illegal activities have a dramatic impact on the natural ecosystem as well as on the social fabric, contaminating not only the natural environment, but also the local culture.
These lands of the Amazon are inhabited by the Ticuna, Yagua, Cocama and Uitoto indigenous people, communities who are settled along the Amazon River and its tributaries and live in villages built on stilts.
Indigenous spirituality shows a strong connection with the elements of nature. The waters of the river are sacred, and the Uitoto shamans process coca and tobacco leaves to turn them into medicines for the body and the soul. Protection talismans have also a considerable importance in people’s daily lives.
It is precisely through these manifestations and rituals that the peoples of the Amazon preserve their cultural and spiritual identity.
The indigenous people rely on the elements of the ecosystem for their livelihood:
“We depend on water both spiritually and materially, in every aspect of our existence; everything happens through it. We ask spirits for permission to enter the jungle,” says Alex Falcon Rubio, a Ticuna indigenous man, born to a Peruvian mother and a Brazilian father.
As in Brazil, among the indigenous communities of this area too over the last few years the proselytising activity of evangelical missionaries has increased in intensity and influence.